Matthew Wesson's Story
Matthew travelled to Washington and Texas for four weeks to study how the US military prevent and treat traumatic stress injuries.
He met a wide variety of different clinicians and visited numerous medical facilities to increase his understanding of how they manage post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions that are common consequences of military operations.
On returning Matthew presented his Fellowship findings and recommendations at several military conferences, which included many of the senior officers from the UK defence mental health and nursing services. His work was also published in a military medical journal. Witnessing the widespread use of therapy groups with military personnel in the US during his Fellowship sparked an interest in this niche area. This proved fundamental in him setting up the first group therapy programme for UK military personnel with clinical depression. The positive findings of this course have now been published in an eminent psychotherapy journal and been presented at several conferences.
Although Matthew has now left the Royal Navy, he continues to work in the field of traumatic stress injuries, particularly those that result from road traffic collisions and occupational accidents. In addition he supervises and trains other clinicians in recognising traumatic stress and treating PTSD. He also trains and supervises clinicians working with military and veteran clients with mental health difficulties.