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

5 Common Myths about Child Mental Illness that Could Keep Parents from Seeking Help

Posted by Vanessa Jacoby, PhD on Oct 18, 2018 2:38:19 PM

The stigma surrounding mental health can cause a gap in awareness for parents and lead to myths concerning child mental illness. Awareness is clearly needed for parents; according to research published by the NIH, the first onset of most mental health disorders usually occurs before the age of 14. Yet this report from the Child Mind Institute notes that millions of children with a diagnosable mental illness are not being treated.

What keeps children from getting the treatment they need? Sometimes, parents don’t know what to look for. Other times, access to treatment is a problem. There are also the myths about mental illness. Due to feelings of shame or misunderstandings about mental illness, some parents fear taking their child in to be diagnosed or “labeled.” Considering the long-term consequences of untreated mental illness in children, these myths must be debunked. Below are five common mental health myths and the truth behind them:

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how to coparent during a deployment

Posted by Vanessa Jacoby, PhD on Jan 26, 2018 11:35:21 AM

Coparenting, or the coordination between parents as they work together to raise a child, is hard work. Staying consistent, attuned, and effective as a team is a challenge for any family. For military families, separations due to trainings and deployments add to that challenge.

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Topics: Military Families

what does consistency in parenting look like for military families? 

Posted by Vanessa Jacoby, PhD on Jan 26, 2018 11:31:58 AM

Imagine if you had no idea what would happen in your life from day to day. What if you didn’t know any of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for your job? What would it feel like to have no clue what would or wouldn’t upset your boss? For most of us, what would cause a lot of anxiety! The same is true for children. They need consistency.

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Topics: Military Families

how to take the best of your military training into the family and leave the rest at the door

Posted by Vanessa Jacoby, PhD on Jan 25, 2018 9:03:26 AM

AdobeStock_114157963.jpegFor many, being a military service member isn’t just a job. Military service is surrounded by unique culture, values, and lifestyle. Some service members embrace their military culture and training and bring those values home to their families. Others try to intentionally separate themselves from the “soldier” at work and the “parent and spouse” at home. There is no specific RIGHT way to do things and different strategies work for different families. However, in working with military families, I have noticed that the families who are struggling tend to take an extreme approach at either end of this spectrum.

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Topics: Military Families

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