Patrick Weichert – Poetry and Therapy

Originally from Springfield, Illinois, Patrick Weichert received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute in 1988. He now works with veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. When he isn’t working, Patrick Weichert enjoys writing poetry.

Patrick Weichert

Poetry can also be an effective therapy technique for patients suffering from a multitude of personal and mental health issues. Poetry therapy refers to the use of poetry in clinical settings to promote increased awareness and cognitive healing. There are several ways in which a therapist might use poetry therapy in order to help a patient. For example, a therapist may choose a poem or collection of poetry for a patient to read in order to better come to terms with their own emotions and experiences. By reading someone else’s poetry, a patient may feel less alone in his or her own emotions.

Another method of poetry therapy requires the patient to write original poetry. In these cases, the process of writing one’s own poetry encourages the patient to confront and process their own difficult emotions in a safe, non-judgmental environment. What they may find difficult to put into words during a typical conversation with their therapist, the patient may be better equipped to write down and share later. Writing original poetry also encourages patients to express creativity, which can provide a boost in self-confidence and a general feeling of increased accomplishment.

Patrick Weichert understands that poetry can be both a hobby and an effective technique to process one’s emotions and experiences.

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Patrick Weichert – Treating PTSD

Patrick Weichert is a clinical psychologist and Vietnam War veteran specializing in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), forensics, depression, anxiety, and child and youth problems. He is a totally disabled veteran who uses his clinical knowledge and personal experiences to provide advice and examinations to other veterans suffering from service-related mental health issues. Patrick Weichert works to ensure that those struggling with PTSD are given adequate knowledge about treatment options and recovery.

Patrick Weichert

PTSD is most often treated by various forms of therapy. Though many victims of PTSD are uncomfortable discussing their traumatic experiences and fears, talking about their experiences can lead to positive healing and greater personal function. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common form of therapy used for treating PTSD. There are two types of CBT currently promoted by Veterans Affairs (VA): Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy.

CPT is designed to help the patient change the way they view their own traumatic experiences. Patients are encouraged to identify which of their thoughts make them upset or scared, and are then coached on how to replace these thoughts with ideas that are less upsetting. One goal of CPT is to show the patient that whatever occurred during their experience was not their fault. PE therapy, meanwhile, encourages the patient to discuss in length and detail their traumatic memories with a therapist in order to become desensitized to the event itself.

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Patrick Weichert combines scientific knowledge with practical experience in order to provide the best information and advice to veterans suffering from PTSD.

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Patrick Weichert – The Veteran Benefits Network

Clinical psychologist Patrick Weichert works with veterans on a limited basis to assist with mental health examinations and nexus letters for Veteran Affairs (VA) compensation. As a totally disabled veteran himself, he understands the often confusing path for wounded Veterans to receive their benefits for mental health services. Much of Patrick Weichert’s work is completed through private sources and the Veteran Benefits Network, where he provides advice on the claims process for Social Security and VA compensation.

The Veteran Benefits Network is a free online forum of approximately 30,000 members. The network is maintained by a group of volunteers who offer a safe place for veterans and their families to post questions and receive advice and encouragement. Though the network is not officially associated with the VA, it is an easily accessible location where members can mentor others on topics such as receiving compensation, submitting a claim, and survivor benefits. The Veteran Benefits Network also serves as a social forum for veterans to meet and get to know other service members who may share similar interests. There are also separate discussion boards for spouses and other family members to meet and chat about their related experiences.

Through his work with the Veterans Benefits Network, Patrick Weichert offers information and guidance to veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and advises them on receiving proper compensation for military service injuries and illnesses. For his work with the network, he was awarded the “Heroes Among Us” award, a distinction given to only 10 of the network’s members.

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Patrick Weichert: Portrayal of the Vietnam War in Movies and Television

As a Vietnam veteran, clinical psychologist, and veterans’ rights activist, Patrick Weichert is unimpressed with the way the Vietnam war — and most wars in general — are portrayed in film and television. Patrick Weichert argues that Vietnam wasn’t “all gore and sadness,” and that Hollywood’s version of war can at times be a far cry from reality.


The media version of war, particularly Vietnam, is one that Patrick Weichert and other veterans criticize. Television programs like China Beach and Tour of Duty are dismissed by Weichert as “horrendous — unreal, theatrical, and overdone.” The oddly unrealistic depictions of Vietnam may also be related to the films and television shows created during the height of the Vietnam era. Often these films and shows followed predictable propagandist storylines where the enemy Viet Cong was presented in the worst light possible and American soldiers were the liberators of the peasants suffering from a Communist regime. Even pro-war actor and star John Wayne, an ardent anti-Communist, felt his movie, The Green Beret, would, through a simplistic plot, show those Americans who opposed the war that they were in the wrong.

For Vietnam veterans like Patrick Weichert, the film industry’s interpretation of the war is different in many ways from reality. Weichert notes “A lot of crazy stuff went on — it was just wild, no control […] Did Marines in Vietnam have fun? Sure they did. It was funny […] It was misplanned, mismanaged, mis-executed, mis-everything.” Weichert does point to John Lithgow’s in Distant Thunder, as a Vietnam veteran reunited with his son as a representation of the war that he respected.

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Patrick Weichert – Siberian Huskies Training

As a keen, highly intelligent, and energetic breed, Siberian Huskies require careful, consistent training to become an effective member of an owner’s household. Many Husky owners and rescuers, like Patrick Weichert, have taken the appropriate steps to train their Siberian Huskies in a way that benefits both the dog and the owner.

Patrick Weichert

Siberian Huskies and their owners can profit from attending obedience classes with a certified instructor and trainer. The Husky can develop confidence, proper socialization skills with other dogs and people, and strengthen communication skills with the owner. Crate train a Husky by relying upon a dog’s natural denning instinct. Crate training can help especially when the dog cannot be supervised at all times. Owners should take simple, consistent steps to take a leadership role in their relationship with their Husky. Use positive reinforcement, practice trust and dominance exercises, and practice taking objects from the dog like toys and food, and then returning them to establish leadership. Owners need establish good, consistent routines and rules for eating, going outside, and going for walks.

Many Siberian huskies end up at shelters, given up by frustrated and overwhelmed owners who may not have been fully educated about the breed. Patrick Weichert, other Husky owners, and Husky rescue organizations recognize the positives that come from owning a Siberian Husky, while also understanding the trials that this breed can bring. Being aware of the breed’s personality and traits, as well as dedicating the time, effort, and care necessary for proper training, can result in a beautiful relationship between an owner and his Siberian Husky.

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Patrick Weichert – Border Collies Rescue

Patrick Weichert, a distinguished veterans’ psychologist, and many other dog associations and owners have helped rescue numerous Border collies over the last decade. Border collies are very active and extremely intelligent dogs who were originally bred to herd sheep, but are mostly owned today as companion pets and competitive athletes. It is primarily because of their personalities and characteristics that so many Border collies have been in need of rescue.

Patrick Weichert

Border collie rescues were developed in the mid-1990s when the breed was formally recognized by the American Kennel Club, and began to be seen more regularly in pop culture, from kids’ movies to agility and trick competitions on Animal Planet. Border collies need a great deal of space or an owner who is willing to engage in exercise with them at least three times a day, anywhere from 45 – 120 minutes. With its increasing cultural popularity, the Border collie became the dog of choice for people living in apartments and small urban spaces, locations that work against the nature of the breed. The high energy and drive of a Border collie is often not compatible with a small home. Often described as neurotic and hyperactive, Border collies are amongst the most euthanized breeds.

Many Border collie advocates, like Patrick Weichert, have worked with formal rescues to ensure that Border collies are relocated to appropriate situations that will give them the best opportunity to live their lives in happiness and comfort. Many rescue organizations have large facilities, educational training programs for prospective fosters and owners, and around the clock care for the Border collies they rescue.

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Patrick Weichert – General Information on PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a potentially debilitating condition that impacts many people who have witnessed or experienced traumatic situations, such as violent assaults, serious accidents, natural disasters, deaths of loved ones, or other frightening, shocking events. While some people are able to naturally recover from these incidents, those individuals diagnosed with PTSD may suffer lifelong stresses and anxieties. PTSD can be a severe condition, which is why many psychologists, like Patrick Weichert, have dedicated their careers to assisting people who live with PTSD-generated fear every day.

Patrick Weichert

Patrick Weichert

Nearly 7.7 million Americans over the age of eighteen suffer from some form of PTSD. Some traumatized people develop acute, or short-term, PTSD, while other individuals develop chronic, or long-term, symptoms. Signs of PTSD can be found in re-experiencing situations, like dreams and flashbacks; cognition and mood symptoms, involving distorted, negative thoughts and loss of interest in fun activities; avoidance symptoms, such as becoming emotionally numb or avoiding people and places that may trigger reactions; and reactivity symptoms, like insomnia, feeling edgy and tense, and having irrational, angry outbursts.

Patrick Weichert and other renowned PTSD psychologists have also studied the difference in symptoms between adults and children. Very young children, under the age of six, may become unusually insecure and gravitate toward adults. Some young children may also reenact the terrifying event, be unable to talk, or wet the bed even after being potty-trained. Older children and teenagers who develop PTSD are more likely to have the same symptoms that adults have, in addition to feeling guilty, acting out in destructive manners, and have desires for vengeance.

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