— The Erimtan Angle —

In a new film, psychologist and filmmaker Jan Haaken embeds with military therapists in Afghanistan and at their training at Joint Base Lewis-McChord — where the alleged U.S. shooter of Afghan civilians is from. Lewis-McChord has a controversial record of addressing mental health problems, including high rates of suicides, domestic violence and homicides by soldiers. It was also home to the notorious “kill team,” a group of soldiers who murdered Afghan civilians at random and collected their fingers as trophies. Haaken’s forthcoming documentary, Mind Zone: Therapists Behind the Front Lines shows the ethical dilemmas faced by therapists in Afghanistan who guide soldiers through the trauma of war. “The military has relied quite extensively on therapists to help hold people together psychologically in war zones,” Haaken says. “But they have to show that they are efficiency multipliers, force multipliers — in other words, that they can help the military get more out of their fatigued assets”.

 

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