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Sister Kateri was on Local12 Newsmakers, May 3rd. See the interview here!:

Them Bones' name came from the Bible's book of Ezekiel 37:1-14, where God asked the prophet Ezekiel to go to a field full of dry bones. There, God asked, "Son of man, can these bones come to life?"

As the story proceeds we read, "I will put spirit in you that you may come to life... From the four winds, come, O spirit, and breathe into these slain that they may come to life... I heard a noise; it was a rattling as the bones came together, bone joining bone... the spirit came into them; they came alive and stood upright, a vast new army."

Throughout the ages war has and continues to bring about a sense of despair for some of those who participated. That sense of lack of trust, depression, and disconnection is now more commonly known as "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" or PTSD, for short.

Within Them Bones Veteran Community, veterans are challenged and supported to join in the slow but certain process of discovering inner peace and reuniting with other veterans on their healing journey. The ultimate value of becoming part of this vast new 'army' is growth in inner and shared wisdom.

Over time, you will come to understand the saying, "Life is more a mystery to be revered, than a problem to be solved."

About Us

Them Bones Veteran Community was incorporated as a not-for-profit 501-C3 organization in early 2001. A Board of Directors and an Advisory Board guide the direction of this agency. No fees are charged, but donations are welcomed from the recipients who receive the services, or those who wish to contribute to help others.

While Them Bones Veteran Community collaborates with several agencies on behalf of providing veterans with integrated services, Them Bones is not affiliated with the Veteran's Administration or other organizations.

Records are totally confidential and can only be shared with the explicit written authorization of the veteran for disclosure.

MISSION

To female and male veterans across cultures who are on the journey to wisdom and who want to learn from each other's experience of war, duty and conflict.

VALUES

  • We value wholeness that is often only achieved by embracing mental, emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical pain.
  • We value loving our neighbor as ourselves.
  • We value understanding that a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
  • We value reconciliation, because "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth makes the whole world blind and toothless (Gandhi)".
  • We value power only as a means for service.
  • We value our world citizenship that stems from our interdependence as members of the human family.

VISION

Addiction, mental illness and trauma are challenges to the human spirit, but together, we veterans, can channel our energies toward healing, love and compassion - The new millennium needs our wisdom.

About Sister Kateri

Sister Kateri Koverman holds a Masters degree in Social Work, a Masters degree in Pastoral Ministry, is a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW), and a Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor (LICDC) in the State of Ohio. She has also had formal training as a teacher in the Oral Tradition of the Enneagram, Trauma Incident Reduction (TIR), and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).


Sister Kateri has also served in active combat zones, including:

She has also spent periods ranging from weeks to months serving as a consultant with refugees and persons traumatized by war/conflict in Sierra Leone, Thailand, Zambia, and Armenia.

Sister Kateri also taught part-time for 15 years at the College of Mount St. Joseph in the Departments of Social Work and Theology.

She co-founded Joseph House in 1973, a residential treatment facility for homeless veterans in Cincinnati, where she functioned as the clinical director from 1993-2000.

Sister has run trauma groups for veteran inmates in local jails for 12 years, serving as both an individual and group psychotherapist with combat veterans

Programs & Services

Them Bones Veteran Community offers several programs and services to choose from, including Individual and couple (spouse/significant other) psychotherapy sessions, 12 Steps for War Trauma Group Recovery, Support Groups for Spouses of Veterans, Psycho-Educational Panic Attack assistance, and Psycho-Educational Trauma Groups for Veterans within local jails.

We also offer outreach educational sessions for civic groups who want to understand the immediate and long term effects of post traumatic stress on veterans, their family and the community.

We also facilitate spiritual retreats for veterans and their spouse/significant other.


Treatment Modalities

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This mode is based on the principles of how humans learn and are conditioned by their experiences. The impact of war can cause a person to dissociate traumatic memories from their regular "memory bank." The goal of this treatment is to normalize the feelings, thoughts and behaviors that are common to veterans who have post traumatic stress problems.

Family Systems Therapy

This approach views the family of the veteran as an entire network of relationships. Thus, it is accepted that the change in the veteran, from their military experience, will automatically impact the family system. The entire family or simply the couple can be seen in therapy sessions. The goal is to have everyone express how the changes are felt and how together, they would like to deal with these to establish a healthy family balance. Because we understand the toll that war inflicts on family relationships, we are open to the option of including those members of the family who have been separated by divorce.

12 Step War Trauma Recovery Group

This group explores 12 themes that are common to veterans with post traumatic stress issues. There is individualized screening by Sister Kateri prior to acceptance into this group. The 12 themes are broken down into 3 areas:
  1. Trust
    • Seeking the positive power of choice versus being victimized by past nonintegrated experiences of war
    • Seeking meaning in having survived
    • Seeking trust versus shame
    • Seeking the truth of self inventory
  2. Emotions and Memories
    • Anger
    • Fear
    • Guilt
    • Grief
  3. Making a Commitment
    • Life versus death
    • Justice versus revenge
    • Finding a purpose
    • Love and relationships


Trauma Incident Reduction (TIR)

This is a procedure designed to examine the thoughts, feelings and perceptions of past incidents (traumas). The goal is to reduce or eliminate the emotional charge contained in them, and thus relieve the person of their negative consequences. The repeated "viewing" of the incident by the veteran is a form of integrative learning from one's "unfinished business."

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

This technique is based on the belief that the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body's energy system.

The Enneagram

This is a very old dynamic personality system that explains nine different patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. If the veteran wants to employ this approach it may help in understanding more about the unconscious motivation which might have impacted his/her military service.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. If I am a combat vet who would like to forget many of my military experiences, why would I want to come to Them Bones Veteran Community?

    What is buried alive... is still alive. If you don't work through the emotions around trauma and stress, they will gradually "work you over" to the point where many aspects of your life will be negatively impacted (i.e. significant relationships can become strained, employment can become very difficult to maintain). Another reason for coming together in a therapeutic community is that veterans who do so come to realize that they are not alone in their experiences of nightmares, flashbacks, hyper vigilance, etc. Sharing in such a peer group and with a therapist who has actually "been in war" lessens the previous inner need to isolate.

  2. What is post traumatic stress (PTS) and who gets it?

    Post traumatic stress is the emotional and psychological reaction of a person to overwhelming stress and trauma. War changes the lives of people forever. These are some of the common experiences of veterans with PTS:
    • Having the same bad memories over and over
    • Not wanting to get close to anyone; numbing out
    • Wanting to be alone
    • Becoming angry and full of rage easily
    • Having trouble sleeping
    • Muscles being tight, tense and having a sense of panic
    • Difficulty concentrating and feeling confused
    • Feeling sad, frightened, listless, depressed
    • Mistrusting others and frequently looking over your shoulder
    • having guilt about surviving the war when so many comrades were lost


  3. How long does the process of help take to deal with problems that I might have from combat or my military experience?

    Getting better is an individualized journey. Since we are not connected to insurance policy demands or set programming the veteran moves at the pace he/she is ready to take.

  4. Is it true that doing the work (therapy) of getting better causes you to get worse before you get better?

    A helpful way to address this concern is to consider the following spiritual assumptions about trauma and pain: "Pain is a great teacher. Yet the greatest teacher imparts little wisdom if the student has not the eyes and ears to hear. I write this so that we may benefit from our suffering and triumph over our painį®¤ in the process become better, stronger, warmer, more compassionate, deeper, happier human beings- realizing that the ultimate value of pain reduction is not comfort, but growth". Glenn R. Schiraldi, (2000), The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery and Growth

Contact Us

General office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 4:30; Office visits are made by appointment only.

Weekday evening appointments or Saturday morning/afternoon appointments can also be arranged for the working veterans, spouses or groups.

Please contact Sister Kateri for more details:

Them Bones Veteran Community
2420 Drex Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45212
Phone: 513-366-4426
Fax: 513-366-4427
Email: aboveashes@aol.com