What People Are Saying:
My experience with outside the "normal chain" as far as mental health has been both good and bad. Bad that sometimes you get people that either cannot relate to your experiences or just flat out refuse to believe that you have these very unique and horrific experiences that you were part of, and are dealing with. Good in that its helped immensely to get someone who is genuinely trying to understand what you've gone through and help you with not so formulaic methods such as "are you suicidal?...no? Ok, see you for your 6 month post deployment follow up". It always been a problem with aligning treatment with someone whom you trust and who you do not feel is going down a checklist just to get you out of their office and back to work. I feel that Erin is in a very unique position as both a military spouse and Therapist. She has direct insight to the pains and joys of constant “on the go” lifestyle. Having to uproot the family every few years and reestablish a home, career, practice and she has a deeper understanding to what goes on during combat deployments from being exposed to that lifestyle through day to day interactions with military members and friends, family of military members. I’d go so far as to say that if it wasn’t a conflict of interest by being a close family friend that she’d be the best suited therapist for me.
I am a military spouse of almost 10 years and work as a nursing
professor at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX. Erin’s dedication to our service
men and women is appreciated more than she will ever know. The start of Family Therapy
Solutions has been such a huge asset to our small town. I have personally seen her work affect
students, friends, and co-workers in a positive way. Erin has made therapy accessible to those
who would have otherwise gone without. She goes out of her way to help others in any way possible,
and her efforts are unparalleled.
As a member of the armed forces, I feel that what Mrs. Calahan says is correct. I've
had a similar problem with the military Mental Health office. I have nothing at all against
the mental health technicians, but I do know that I have to speak very carefully around
them. If I don't watch what I say and they start to believe I really do have something
wrong with me, I'll be put on a profile for whatever issue it may be such as depression,
anxiety or any other mental or emotional injury. If I am diagnosed with one of those, I
will be labelled and my peers will find out. I'll be considered broken and I'll be pushed to
the side. Were I able to go off base, I would feel less pressure because I know my job
wouldn't depend on it as much. Of course there would always be guidelines the
Counselors should have to follow, but there would be more freedom expression when
describing our feelings.
As a current Marriage and Family Therapy Student, Erin Calahan has been a great asset
in my life. She has been a great mentor, and I am extremely proud of her
accomplishments in her short time here. There are very few events in this town that she
has not offered her services. She loves the community that we live in and she has such a
grand passion for helping others. I am in extreme awe of how she started her private
practice in this small town and has not let anything stop her along the way. She has taught
me the true meaning of the role of a therapist. Erin has no borders as she strives to help
any and everyone - not just the military community. Not only does she do great work
with couples but also there are many addicts that can speak for the change she has caused
in their lives. To have someone this close to me, in a field that I am still studying, I am
truly grateful to have someone so passionate, selfless and ambitious as Erin Calahan in
Erin Calahan brings to light a very real issue. As a military wife, I myself have dealt with so many
different emotions over the last nine years I’ve been married. During my husband’s first deployment, I
was overwhelmed with stress and fear. The first time we had to move away from everyone and
everything we knew, I inwardly panicked. I had no one to talk to about what I was feeling. Of course
there are “family support” groups on base, but I was scared to go to group therapy and really
embarrassed to ask for help. I wish I’d had outside resources to help me through the struggles and
stresses of deployment and that first move. Over time, friendships are formed, and “family” is created
from those friendships. Before you know it, we’re moving again and that’s hard on the whole family.
Throughout the years, and a few moves we’ve accumulated many military friends. I’ve seen men and
women come back from deployments changed, emotionally hurting and unable or afraid to speak out.
I’ve seen marriages struggle and children feel ignored. I truly believe that there should be more
counselors like Erin Calahan, who offers services specifically geared to reach our military and families.
She is creating a safe environment where we can be heard and not be afraid or overwhelmed. She is
touching our lives in a way that few can. It helps so much to have someone to talk to who is not only a
professional, but someone who lives the same life that we live and who experiences the same struggles
we do. She can relate on a level that many counselors can’t and is able to help guide us back to
-Military Spouse & mother of two