Vanessa Jacoby, PhD

Vanessa Jacoby, PhD, is an Assistant Professor and Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a child specialization in the Division of Behavioral Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center. She is member of the STRONG STAR Multidisciplinary Research Consortium and the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD, whose mission is to alleviate and prevent posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other deployment related problems in active duty service members and their families. In her work at STRONG STAR, Dr. Jacoby conducts prevention and supportive programs with military families with young children experiencing deployment.

Recent Posts

In Honor of Military and Veteran Families: Talking With Children About Military Service

Posted by Vanessa Jacoby, PhD on Nov 8, 2019 2:37:24 PM

Veterans Day is a time to step back and honor those who have served or are currently serving our country. It’s a day to reflect on how the service and sacrifice of others have paved the way for the freedoms and opportunities that we enjoy.

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Topics: Children's Mental Health, Military Families, Mental Health Wellness

Understanding Secondary Trauma Stress – A Guide for Families

Posted by Vanessa Jacoby, PhD on Jun 25, 2019 10:06:46 AM

When a child is injured or traumatized in some way, it’s not unusual for the parents to also experience some emotional impact from the trauma. This is called secondary traumatic stress, or STS, and it’s a form of persistent emotional distress that comes from dealing with your child’s trauma firsthand. STS is more than just feeling burnt out; its signs and symptoms are similar to posttraumatic stress. And parents with their own history of trauma can be especially vulnerable to STS.

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Topics: Children's Mental Health, Mental Health Conditions, Advocacy, Parenting Kids With Mental Illness, Mental Health Wellness, Self-Care, trauma

4 Reasons Why Military Moms are True Superheroes

Posted by Vanessa Jacoby, PhD on May 9, 2019 4:18:39 PM

As Mother’s Day approaches, I would like to take the opportunity to shine a light on military moms. You are all truly amazing, and here are some reasons why.

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Topics: Inspiration, Military Families

Supporting Your Child During a Military-Related Separation

Posted by Vanessa Jacoby, PhD on Mar 26, 2019 10:12:09 AM

Between deployments, TDYs, training in the field, and preparing for missions at training centers, frequent separations are a common reality for military families. This can mean a lot of change and disruption that is stressful for everyone, especially your children. Yet even through transition and separation, there are things you can do to before the separation and during to reduce stress and promote well-being for everyone in your family.

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Topics: Military Families

5 Healthy Habits to Promote Mental Wellness for Military Families

Posted by Vanessa Jacoby, PhD on Jan 9, 2019 10:49:01 AM

It’s a new year, and that means it’s a perfect time to reflect on our habits and goals for ourselves and our family – especially around mental wellness for your family.  I encourage you to take some time to reflect on how your family is doing in these five areas below. Take note of any areas where you would like to grow, and decide on some small steps your family could take to make those changes happen.

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Topics: Military Families

Parenting Through Winter Break And Starting the New Year Strong

Posted by Vanessa Jacoby, PhD on Dec 28, 2018 11:37:11 AM

The end of the year is approaching, which means we are already halfway through the school year. Holiday parties, special religious celebrations and services, snow days, and winter break are all here. While the holidays are meant to bring us joy, rest, and spiritual rejuvenation, all of these changes also can be disruptive or stressful for families with children. This may be especially true for families with children who have special needs due to a mental health diagnosis.

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Topics: Children's Mental Health, Parenting Kids With Mental Illness, School Issues, Mental Health Wellness

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