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Veteran Couples Connect Program

Raised toward our $15,000 Goal
61 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 06, at 09:00 AM CST
Project Owners

Veteran Couples Connect Program

Who are we?

The Institute for Military & Veteran Family Wellness is a joint effort between the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas at Austin.

The institute serves as a hub for researchers and community members to collaborate on identifying the most effective programs and practices that support service members, veterans, their caregivers, and their family members.

What is Veteran Couples Connect?

The Veteran Couples Connect (VCC) program is a new initiative that provides free treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to veteran couples. Couples will receive Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy for PTSD (CBCT-PTSD). Unlike other PTSD treatments, Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy for PTSD provides care to the couple rather than the individual and uses the strength of the relationship to help move treatment forward.

The program is delivered in a group, with five veteran couples meeting together once a week for 8 weeks with two clinicians who guide couples through the treatment together and help strengthen their relationship. Our goal is to serve 30 veteran couples in the Austin , Belton, and Killeen areas over the next year.

After completing treatment, the couples will attend an all-expenses paid weekend retreat in the Texas Hill Country to celebrate their hard work. Each couple will also receive a date night voucher for a local date night out to ensure they find time to have fun with each other in the midst of their busy lives.

Why is this important?

Roughly 3.3 million veterans have served since 9/11—nearly twenty percent of whom experience PTSD. This number is staggering, and doesn’t capture the impact of service on friends, family members, and other loved ones. While much of the focus is on the veteran and their experience with PTSD, few people are aware that partners can also develop secondary traumatic stress if their partner has PTSD. This secondary traumatic stress makes it essential for spouses to be a part of treatment as well.

In 2015, we established the Texas Veteran Spouse Network (VSN), out of the belief that connecting veteran spouses with each other can provide much-needed peer support to veteran spouses and their families. Through our conversations with spouses whose partner suffers from PTSD, we have heard stories of pain, loss, and isolation—but we have also heard stories of perseverance, commitment, love, and resilience. Relationships are uniquely affected by PTSD, and also require support and attention.

Last year, we served 21 veteran couples who were seeking support for their marriage. While the program was designed to address foundational relationship needs unique to the veteran population, many of the couples’ struggles were inextricably connected to PTSD. More than 1/3 of individuals screened positive for PTSD, and many listed it as the main reason they felt they were struggling in their relationship. The Veteran Couples Connect program addresses these unique needs by providing an innovative, evidence-based treatment for PTSD within the relationship—with the dual goals of reducing symptoms and increasing relationship satisfaction.

Why do we need your help?

VCC has been awarded the Texas Veteran Family Alliance (TV+FA) grant from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. We have raised nearly $75,000 in in-kind donations, and only need another $15,000 to guarantee we can serve all 30 veteran couples. With your support, we can achieve this goal! Every dollar you donate will be matched 1:1 by HHSC, which doubles your impact!

How you can help?

We appreciate anything you can give to help us reach our goal of serving 30 veteran couples in the next year. Check out our levels for examples of what your donation can provide. Help us purchase much needed supplies for our couples, fund one couple’s date night out, or help us provide a whole cohort of veteran couples with 8 weeks of free treatment! Remember, anything you donate will be doubled by our funder, so if you can only give a small gift, please know that it will have a huge impact! Please help us serve those who have sacrificed so much to serve us.

Choose a giving level


One Step Closer

Your gift will help the 10 individuals in each of our groups get one step closer to increased health and happiness in their lives and relationships.


Brain Food

Your gift will provide drinks and snacks for one meeting to help the couples stay focused on each other and not on their grumbling bellies!


Program Supplies

Your contribution will fund the cost of relationship workbooks for 5 couples. These guides allow couples to engage in the program, record homework and maintain a lasting record of their progress.


Date Night Out

At the end of the program, couples will be given funds for a date night out to celebrate their hard work, help them reconnect and celebrate their relationship. Your contribution will fund this experience for one couple.


Help a Parent Out

Your gift will provide 5 sessions worth of on-site childcare, allowing our veteran couples to make it to session without having to worrying about finding a sitter.


Group Leaders

This gift will support the hiring of experienced co-facilitators. Co-facilitators help maintain a safe, comfortable and productive environment in group settings for the couples throughout the 8-week program.


Teamwork Tools

Your support will be directly used to provide needed supplies for all 30 couples involved in the program. Supplies will range from binders, worksheets, educational resources and food & beverages for each meeting.


Romantic Weekend Retreat

Your contribution will cover the cost of one couple’s attendance at an end of program weekend couples’ retreat in the Texas hill country. This retreat will welcome all participating couples, facilitating a tranquil environment where couples can focus on one other and celebrate the commitment they made to themselves and to each other.


Help 1 Veteran Couple

A donation of $750 will allow one couple to receive 8 weeks of free treatment, allowing them to repair and strengthen their relationship while combatting PTSD.


Expert PTSD Care

This gift will cover the cost of an experienced, licensed clinician to provide CBCT-PTSD treatment for one full cohort. Clinicians play an essential role in each couple’s success.


Treatment for All

This generous gift will ensure that 5 couples will receive the full 8 weeks of free treatment! Your donation will offer an enormous contribution to the lives of veteran couples struggling with PTSD.

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