The New Mexico VA Healthcare System now offers relationship-building retreats for veterans and their partners. Experiences of deployment, combat, and active duty can seriously impact relationships. Warrior to Soul Mate (W2SM) retreats are designed to help couples learn effective communication skills and gain emotional wisdom to help them strengthen and/or re-build their relationships.
The free retreats are conducted by VA chaplains, social workers, psychologists, and nurses. Certified Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills (PAIRS) instructors teach couples better communication skills, relationship skills, and emotional literacy skills. Independent research has shown these retreats help to restore and revitalize relationships; create higher levels of satisfaction; reduce symptoms of distress and anxiety; build a greater commitment to shared vision; and increase resilience for marriage, families, and relationships.
The next W2SM retreat will happen August 27 – 28 at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque. The deadline to register for that event is August 22. Another retreat weekend is being planned for October 22-23, with a registration deadline of October 17. Military veterans and their spouses or significant others are encouraged to attend, but need to register in advance.
For applications or more information, please contact the VA Chaplain Service at (505) 256-2735. Those interested in participating also will find more general information about the program at va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/20121018a.asp.