February 2020
Focus on Family This Valentine's Day

Our Cohen Clinic prides itself in helping post-9/11 veterans make it back to better, but we don’t stop there. We provide the same help to family members of active duty service members and veterans. As we approach Valentine’s Day on February 14, our team provides the following tips on how to promote love within your family.

  • "Understand that everyone gives and receives love differently. Learn the 'Love Language' of your partner and/or child(ren). Also, schedule some alone time with each member of your family and do something you both enjoy (cooking, reading a book, going for a walk, doing arts or crafts, going window shopping, playing a game, building Legos, etc.). And, let each person have a special day, where they get to choose what is for dinner or a family activity." – Carlie Felion, Nurse Practitioner

  • "Take time out of your busy day to unplug and disconnect (yes, put down the phone, turn off the TV, turn off the podcast…I know it’s hard) and have a face-to-face conversation about what is going on in the lives of your loved ones. It’s amazing what just 10 minutes of undivided attention can mean to others. For the kiddos, validate their challenging feelings by listening to their perspective and acknowledging their important role within the family." – Marla Monk, Clinician

  • "Set aside time to connect. A family dinner (or breakfast!) hour can be a great way to connect through conversation and the shared experience of prepping a meal and eating together. If this is challenging with extracurricular activities, work, and other demands, then scheduling a game night or similar fun activity as a weekly event can be an excellent alternative." – Elizabeth Sparks, Clinical Fellow

  • "When my husband is deployed, I still try to make holidays special and Valentine's Day is included! My kids and I will send him a box of goodies to make sure he feels loved, even from afar. I try to make it special for us back home by getting the kids a box of chocolates and a small gift. Last year, we ordered a heart shaped pizza for dinner!" - Ashley Tatum, Case Manager 

If you are a family member of an active duty service member or veteran and would like to seek professional mental health care at our Cohen Clinic for yourself or your child(ren), call us at 619-345-4611 or email us at info@cohenvvsd.org
Support The Enlisted Project (STEP) builds financial self-sufficiency among young military and veteran families in the Southern California community. STEP’s life-changing Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) program provides counseling services and emergency grants to help families overcome hardship and work toward a brighter financial future. Today, this program is 94% effective at helping families achieve their financial goals.

STEP also offers several secondary programs, which are primarily focused on alleviating common expenses for families. Its upcoming Warehouse on Wheels (WOW) events on February 7 and February 21 at Camp Pendleton will bring donated goods and food directly to military families. STEP’s annual Baby Drive, taking place in March, brings the community together to provide baby essentials for new parents.

They will be hosting a “Coffee with the CEO” get-together on February 27 at 8:45 am. Attendees will have the opportunity to chat with CEO and Co-Founder Tony Teravainen (ret. US Navy). You can also visit their website at stepsocal.org or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @stepsocal.
Elizabeth Sparks
Clinical Fellow

What's your role at the Cohen Clinic?
I’m a Clinical Fellow at the Cohen Clinic at VVSD clinic, where I treat adult individuals, couples and children. My favorite part about my role is working with a diverse client population and walking alongside them as they work toward their goals.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?
I’m honored to have the trusted privilege of assisting clients through life stressors and challenges and playing a role in de-stigmatizing mental health care.

What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
I was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska. So, I was raised with a deep appreciation and respect for nature, and spent a lot of time outdoors hiking, exploring, biking, and fishing.

What’s on your bucket list?
I would love to do a bicycle tour of Europe! I love the idea of being able to take in the sights at a slower pace and being able to interact with other people in a more casual and spontaneous way. Touring the countryside on bicycle would also help me burn off all the cheese, bread, and other amazing food.

How do you like to spend your free time?
I like to spend my free time reading, exercising, taking walks on the beach and hanging out with my family and dogs. 
The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic
at Veterans Village of San Diego
8885 San Diego Drive, Suite 301
San Diego, California 92108

Phone : (619) 345-4611
Email : info@cohenvvsd.org