Ari Lowell & Marco Bongioanni Recorded Webinar: Working with Military Service Members and Veterans: Assessment and Cultural Competency 101


Original Air Date: January 31, 2018


Military veterans and service members currently serving are seeking community mental health in greater numbers than ever before. Yet, many community providers lack awareness and understanding of military culture, and may not feel competent to adequately assess their problems and needs. This webinar provides a basic overview of military culture, to include examination of its explicit and implicit elements, how to interact with military veterans and service members, as well as a review of key assessment areas, techniques, and strategies. 

 Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will:

  1. Gain basic awareness and understanding of the explicit and implicit aspects of military culture  
  2. Learn how to assess military veterans and service members 
  3. Learn to effectively engage military personnel in treatment 

About the Presenters:

Ari Lowell

Dr. Lowell is a licensed clinical psychologist, Associate Director of the Columbia Veterans Research Center at the PTSD Research and Treatment Program at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), and Instructor in Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Lowell hails from a military family; his grandfather served in the US Army during WWII, and his father is a retired colonel, R&D, US Army. Dr. Lowell served in the Israel Defense Forces in 1998 in the armored corps division. Dr. Lowell has long been invested in the mental health treatment of veterans and their families. He completed his internship training at the VA New Jersey Health Care System, and subsequently completed his postdoctoral training under Dr. Yuval Neria at NYSPI/Columbia University. Dr. Lowell specializes in the treatment of PTSD and depression, and has extensive training in numerous forms of evidence-based treatment, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Prolonged-Exposure, Cognitive-Processing Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. He is trained and experienced in individual, couples, and group counseling. Since joining the MFWC, Dr. Lowell has spearheaded the center's telemental health component, as well as initiated training programs for doctoral and postdoctoral psychology students. He has published a number of articles on the subject of PTSD, and frequently presents at local and national conferences and organizational gatherings on the topic of veterans' mental health and PTSD. 

Marco Bongioanni

Marco A. Bongioanni, LMHC, is a NYS licensed mental health counselor who has been a Readjustment Counseling Therapist with the Bronx Vet Center, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, since 2014. He works both in the individual and group setting, offering primarily outpatient counseling services for combat Veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Additionally, he works with Veterans who have experienced military sexual trauma. He is trained in several evidence-based practices, including Cognitive Processing Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. Mr. Bongioanni completed graduate school studies at Fordham University in 2012, obtaining a Master’s of Science in Mental Health Counseling. During his training, he was a psychology extern in the PTSD outpatient clinic at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx, NY. He also holds a Bachelor’s of Science from Cornell University. Mr. Bongioanni served on active duty in the U.S. Army as an officer for 9 years, including two combat deployments to Iraq and service in the Republic of Korea, Germany, Egypt, and Djibouti. Mr. Bongioanni currently still serves part time in the U.S. Army Reserve as a Civil Affairs Battalion Commander. He was born and raised in New York City and is frequently involved in activities and initiatives within the Veteran community. 

Recommended Readings:

  1. National Center for PTSD: 
  2. VA: Community Provider Toolkit:    
  3. Make the Connection:  
  4. About Face:  
  5. Coaching Into Care:  
  6. PTSD Decision Aid  
  7. DoD/VA: Center for Deployment Psychology:  
  8. DoD: Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury 
  9. After Deployment:   
  10. PsychArmor Institute: 
  11. Head Space and Timing:  
  12. Task & Purpose Newsletter:  
  13. Have You Ever Served In the Military?:  
  14. Wes MooreTED Talk: “How to talk to veterans about the war”  
  15. Sebastian Junger TED Talk:  “Why Veterans Miss War”  

All attendees will receive a certificate of completion when the course requirements are satisfied. Certificates of completion is included in the cost of the webinar

ABCT is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. ABCT maintains responsibility for this program and its content

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5797. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies is recognized by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences for Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) to offer continuing education as Provider #4600


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