Proposed U.S. Military Veterans Research Programs

"THRIVING vs. Surviving" and "Coming Home to Peace"

A sunrise[Pending Adequate Funding]

The failure of the Veterans Administration to provide effective treatment for returning veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has been well documented. Here are three articles addressing this:

  1. New York Times Article, September 20, 2015 (Archived PDF, 151 KB)
  2. New York Times Opinion Article, January 17, 2015 (Archived PDF, 95.5 KB)
  3. Los Angeles Times Article, June 21, 2014 (Archived PDF, 487 KB)

Center for Sustainable Change wants to provide evidence to the Veterans Administration concerning the effectiveness of a Three Principles intervention with PTSD suffering veterans.

Center for Sustainable Change has partnered with Three Principles professionals and a residential support organization to produce two veterans interventions that include evidence-based research. Data measuring the veterans' mental health both short term and over time will support the research documentation.

  • An initial non-residential pilot program, THRIVING vs. Surviving: A Veterans Transformation, will provide the setting within which the principal investigators and program partners expect to validate the efficacy of a Three Principles based therapeutic approach for US military veterans affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related mental health issues.
  • COMING HOME TO PEACE: Three Principles Intervention Program is a residential program bringing veterans together to learn and gain a deeper understanding of the Three Principles and their own innate health. While they gain their own understanding and ability to handle outside experiences better, the veterans will be actively engaged in building a healthy future for themselves.

Principal Investigators & Partners

The principal investigators have 75+ years treating and counseling distressed individuals. They are William F. Pettit, Jr., M.D., Psychiatrist in Tipton Michigan; Judith A. Sedgeman, Ed. D., Mental Health Educator, Adjunct Professor at West Virginia University and owner of Sedgeman Consulting LLC in Bradenton, Florida; and Thomas M. Kelley, Ph.D., Professor at Wayne State University and psychotherapist at Reflections Counseling Center in Troy, Michigan. They have developed and will direct, conduct and evaluate the program. The Institutional Review Board of Siena Heights University in Michigan is reviewing the pilot phase of the project to ensure the integrity of the research and the protection of the rights and welfare of the human research subjects.

Program partners include (1) Center for Sustainable Change (CSC), a California nonprofit founded by the late Roger Mills, Ph.D. (a psychologist who pioneered the sharing of the Three Principles in distressed communities and neighborhoods in a number of cities across the US) and his daughter, Ami Chen Mills-Naim (a Three Principles author, trainer, and facilitator) and (2) Independence Place of Charlotte (IPC), a 182-room residential center in Charlotte, NC, serving predominantly formerly homeless veterans, many of whom suffer from mental disorders or substance abuse, with a program designed to meet their basic needs so that they become contributing citizens of the community.

Pilot Program:  THRIVING vs. Surviving

The pilot program, THRIVING vs. Surviving, is planned to be a free, non-residential, 5½ day program for 30 U.S. Military veterans. To be eligible to participate in this program, one has to be a U.S. Military veteran (male or female, regardless of age or discharge status) who is having significant difficulties adjusting to the challenges of civilian life. These difficulties can include symptoms and signs of PTSD. However, symptoms of PTSD are not required to be eligible for participation in this program. Each veteran participant is encouraged to invite one or two adults chosen from family members, trusted friends, or significant others to participate in the program with him or her.

Each veteran and their chosen support person(s) who participate in this program will be asked to complete pre- and post-measurement surveys, administered immediately before, immediately following, and three-months after the program. These measurements will document the extent to which understanding the Three Principles will have affected the mental well-being and post-service adjustment of the veteran program participants.

Following the final day of the THRIVING vs. Surviving program, veteran-serving community agencies and interested individuals will be invited to a half-day workshop to learn more about the Three Principles understanding, the THRIVING vs. Surviving program and the proposed residential program, COMING HOME TO PEACE.

Second Program:  Coming Home to Peace

The second research program, COMING HOME TO PEACE, is currently planned to consist of two groups each of 30 veterans. All participants will reside for three months at the IPC facility. One group will begin its program immediately while the second group – the research control group – will begin its program after the completion of the first group's program. Pre- and post-research instruments will be completed by both groups.

Each residential group begins its program with 5 full days of intensive curriculum led by Drs. Pettit and Sedgeman. Participants will then learn more about the Principles through twice weekly group sessions, one-on-one scheduled sessions upon request, reading, listening, or viewing selections from a large collection of Three Principles books, CDs, and DVDs, and up to four 2-3 day intensive programs led by other Three Principles practitioners. Each veteran's family members, trusted friends, or significant others will participate during the three months in weekly Three Principles training.

Evaluation of the Programs

Dr. Kelley will lead the evaluation of the impact of the program on all participants (veterans and their family members, trusted friends, and significant others) utilizing pre-, post-, and over-time measurements including the Three Principles Inventory. A summary evaluation will be produced, provided to major funders, and submitted for publication consideration.