Author Dr. Diane England is a licensed clinical social worker with a Ph.D. in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington, a Master of Science in family studies from Oregon State University, and Bachelor of Science in child development from the University of Maine. She was originally from central New Jersey.
Dr. England became particularly interested in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after the United States sent troops into Afghanistan and Iraq because she was working with military members and their families at the time--at a base in northern Italy where she was part of the medical group’s mental health clinic. She spearheaded both family violence prevention efforts as well as the base’s suicide prevention program—helping her gain knowledge as well as a comfort level talking about issues that can certainly arise in relationships impacted by PTSD.
Because of her experience working with the military, Dr. Diane England is well aware of the reluctance of men and women in uniform to seek help for mental health issues. “At least once each year, I would interview the base commander and others who words and stories I hoped might convince these young adults that help-seeking behavior was a sign of strength, not weakness. While sucking it up, a tactic often called upon in the military, can sometimes get you through difficult times, this approach typically doesn’t work with most mental health issues anyway--but can be disastrous with PTSD.”
Dr. Diane England hopes that if any partner of a PTSD sufferer sees this reluctance to seek help in the loved one, he or she will feel comfortable not only nudging the partner to do otherwise, but will actually elect to become the support system and advocate the PTSD suffering partner might need to take action—so that the PTSD is not left to pursue its normally destructive course.
“I’ve been educating both adults and youth all my life regarding how to improve their health and their lives. And while I hope other roles I’ve played have made a difference in people’s lives and helped to minimize their suffering, I particularly want to help ensure our wounded warriors don’t needlessly suffer the type of fate or ruined lives that befell so many of the Vietnam War veterans.”
Of course, Dr. Diane England is well aware that PTSD can have harmful consequences for any sufferer, and that their loved ones can suffer as they become unwilling victims of some of the consequences of PTSD’s painful symptoms. Dr. England adds, “Sadly enough, while car accidents were once the source of most PTSD cases , in the years to come, I suspect that war trauma will have created the majority of the cases we confront—and particularly the most complex cases.”
Dr. England certainly wants to remind everyone that this book is designed for the partner of any PTSD sufferer. In fact, Dr. Carl Hindy, a psychologist in private practice in Nashua, New Hampshire and co-author of the book, “If this is Love, Why Do I Feel so Insecure?,” said of “The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Relationship” after reviewing it prior to its release date, “This book seems destined to become a classic among books on marriage self-help and counseling. It does some things not done before: It provides a compendium of information on PTSD, relates it in an authoritative yet feeling way to the marital sphere, and offers a systematic approach to regaining and enriching your lives. I'll recommend it most highly to couples and to professional counselors.”
Perhaps the book’s unique approach shouldn’t be surprising. Dr. Diane England has a more diverse educational as well as professional background than most who come to author such a book after practicing for years as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist. She was a Child Development and Family Relations Specialist as well as an Extension Agent with the University of Idaho Extension Service; State Director of Professional Education and Patient Services for the American Cancer Society’s Oregon Division; held three positions at the National Center, American Heart Association that included working in planning and human resources, training and organizational development, as well as public education and community programs; served as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington where she attained her Doctorate; and worked in both medical as well as mental health pracrices.
Dr. Diane England dedicates this book to all partners of PTSD sufferers who are trying to be supportive and maintain a healthy relationship with the PTSD-impacted loved one. She sincerely hopes "The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Relationship" might prove to be both a life and relationship preserver.