The Emotional Cycle of Post Deployment

Section One: The Emotional Cycle of Deployment

The emotional cycle of deployment is important when helping you cope with deployment emotions.

Deployment is a tough time for everyone in the family. Knowing what to expect at each stage of the emotional cycle of deployment can help you feel more in control and less alone. Understanding there is a cycle that each person goes through can facilitate supportive communication and maintain healthy connections. Although each person experiences deployment differently, everyone will experience some of the emotions in each stage of the cycle. As you will recall from earlier lessons on deployment related emotions, there are 7 stages throughout the emotional cycle of deployment and they are broken up into pre, during, and post deployment categories.

Before understanding the post deployment stages, you should be familiar with all of the stages in the cycle.

You will recall that the pre-deployment stages are anticipation of departure and detachment and withdrawal. The first is finding out about deployment and trying to prepare while spending quality time with family. The second stage is when family members withdraw and argue more. The stages during deployment are emotional disorganization, recovery and stabilization, and anticipation of return. These stages move through the early feelings of confusion, recovering routines and support, and the excitement and nerves of waiting for return. Now you have come to the home stretch. Your loved one has returned safely and the post deployment stages begin. These stages are return adjustment and renegotiation, and reintegration and stabilization. Select the Resources tab to download the handout, The Emotional Cycle of Deployment, and learn more about the stages.