In the January 2011 issue of American Psychologist, the American Psychology Association (APA) dedicated 13 articles, detailing and celebrating a 117 million dollar collaboration with the US Army, called Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF). It’s being marketed as a resilience training to reduce if not prevent adverse psychological consequences to soldiers who endure combat. Because of the CSF emphasis on “positive psychology”, advocates call it a holistic approach to warrior training.
Criticism arose shortly after the initiative was announced – including ethical questions about whether soldiers should be trained to be desensitized to traumatic events. And methodological concerns about large-scale programs similar to this – which have not worked or had adverse effects in the past. Also problematic, this program is adapted primarily from the Penn Resiliency Program (PRP), which had very little success with a nonmilitary population, and now on its first trial run is going to incorporate 1.1 million soldiers. How about trying it out on small groups of soldiers first?