The Making of an Army Psychologist

From Fighting in Vietnam to Treating Fellow Veterans


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About the Book

In the early 1970s the U.S. Army was undergoing seismic changes. The Vietnam War had ended, almost 600 American POWs were released by North Vietnam, the draft was terminated and the Army itself was in dismal shape. A decorated former infantryman turned behavioral scientist, Bob Worthington returned to active duty as a clinician and served as a senior psychology consultant, helping the Army remain an effective fighting force. His insightful memoir describes his pioneering research in PTSD, the managing of a clinical service and mental health center, his work focusing on pilots and aviators, and a stint as a sports psychologist for the U.S. Olympics.

About the Author(s)

The late Bob Worthington was a retired Army officer with 15 years in the infantry and special operations and 10 years as a clinical psychologist. He was also a retired university professor, having taught psychology, business and journalism, and an award-winning writer of 2600+ publications. He lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Bibliographic Details

Bob Worthington
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 268
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8753-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4802-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
Part I—Graduate School: August 1969 to August 1973
1. Graduate School 6
2. Northern Arizona University: From Combat to Classes 8
3. The University of Utah: Moving to Salt Lake City 21
4. Dissertation: The Demise of the Army 28
Part II—Post-Graduate Fellowship: August 1973 to August 1974
5. Post-Doc Fellowship: 31 August 1973 to 31 August 1974 42
6. My One-Year Fellowship 49
Part III—Practicing as an Army Psychologist: September 1974 to July 1978
7. Fort Polk: 20 September 1974 to 30 July 1975 60
8. Clinical Support and Research Studies: Project OSUT 66
9. Health Services Command Psychology Consultant 83
Part IV—Return to Practicing Psychology: July 1976 to September 1981
10. Psychology Service at Brooke Army Medical Center: Department of Psychiatry 102
11. Operation Homecoming: Returning Home 122
12. Some Repatriated POWs I Met 137
13. U.S. Olympics and Sports Psychology: The Modern Pentathlon 150
14. Continued Adventures in Flying 163
15. Being Demoted, Three Times 179
Part V—Doing What I Love Most: Community Psychology: July 1978 to September 1981
16. Community Mental Health Service: The Previous Chief and His Problem 184
17. What Community Mental Health Services Are Provided: What I Do at CMHS 197
18. ­Non-Military Endeavors (Moonlighting): Why? 222
19. Retirement: When It Began 235
Epilogue 249
Military History 251
Chapter Notes 255
Index 257

Book Reviews & Awards

“I recommend that those of us who are affected with PTSD, whether diagnosed by the institutions that purport to serve us or passed over by its incompetence, consider reading this autobiography in the hopes that we may find insights into a lingering condition we know too well and find some peace in the madness of war.”—The Veteran