Rebekah L. Gingras, MS/Psy ’14, PsyD ’16August 28, 2017
Psychology Resident, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas
[as told to David McKay Wilson]
“My family has an extensive military service history. My dad, uncle and brother are
retired Air Force; my grandfather was in the Army; and my great-grandmother was among
the first women to serve in the Navy. . . . In 2006, while I was working to complete
my master’s degree in athletic counseling, I met a soldier who had just returned from
Iraq. He told me about his problems reintegrating back home. I decided I wanted to
help service members who are at risk for mental health disorders. I eventually decided
to return to school to study clinical psychology. . . . I enjoy the challenge of my
career. I find satisfaction in helping people, many of whom have had to do and see
things that no human beings should have to experience. Many servicemembers who suffer
from post-traumatic stress disorder have a hard time readjusting when they return
home from a conflict; some find it challenging to live their lives the way they would
like and have difficulty reintegrating with their families. Through the use of evidence-based
treatments, I’ve been able to help reduce and even eliminate my patients’ symptoms.
. . . I’ve made a commitment to five years in the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer.
On my first day, I was awarded the rank of Captain. It was a little nerve-wracking
to start out with such a rank—without knowing all the military customs and courtesies.
. . . I am currently completing my training at Brooke Army Medical Center. When my
training is finished, I will be a behavioral health officer, which means I’ll be attached
to a unit. If that unit deploys, I’ll deploy with them. . . . I’ve been able to complete
a variety of trainings within the Army, one being with the aviation community. I also
attended training on the reintegration of both military and civilian isolated personnel.
I learned about the psychology of captivity and the reintegration process. It is a
privilege and honor to be counted among the few who have been able to complete such
training and be qualified to help others during a great time of need.”