Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Buechner, Military Psychology

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing where to earn your online graduate degree is faculty: you want to know how involved and respected they are in their field. Here on the blog, we’ll regularly feature Adler’s esteemed faculty’s accomplishments—from speaking engagements to publications and more. This month, meet Dr. Barton Buechner.


Who, what, where: An instructor in Adler’s M.A. in Psychology: Specialization in Military Psychology program, Dr. Buechner recently participated in the 2016 International Qualitative Research Summit in Krakow, Poland as a workshop presenter and co-leader of several general sessions.

What he discussed: In his individual workshop, Dr. Buechner addressed the applicability of phenomenologically and somatically-informed research (explained below) as a means for differentiating between the effects of post-traumatic stress—an embodied response to violence and fear of death—and moral injury, a disruption in worldview caused by the conflict between lived experiences and deeply held values or beliefs.

Phenomenological research pertains to the study of human consciousness, and the meanings derived or created from direct experience within social contexts. In this sense, it is closely aligned with Adlerian psychology. Somatically-informed research takes into account the role of the embodied nature of experience, and specifically takes into account how the brain and lambic system shape our responses to environment and experience. This helps to engage findings in neuropsychology, in particular how the brain/body systemically respond to trauma.

Dr. Buechner also discussed learning how to apply this perspective in the purposeful and shared effort of rebuilding of social worlds. This approach was fairly new to the group, resulting in some lively follow-up conversations with the international scholars and practitioners in attendance—including psychiatrists, sociologists, and university professors in related disciplines.

Why this should matter to you, as a prospective student: This is significant for students in that these forms of research are significantly more attuned to getting to the complexity of issues that face veterans as they return from service and combatas opposed to traditional forms of quantitative and qualitative research employed in academia. These methods, in combination, are challenging notions of what constitutes “evidence” in human research, and they may help to develop and evaluate better treatments for both moral injury and PTSD that are less stigmatizing for veterans.

For more information about Adler’s military psychology program, click below and fill out the brief form. When it comes to our faculty, program highlights, and outcomes, there’s a lot to discuss.


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