Veteran’s Court Alternative

Program Overview

The Pathways for Veterans 90 Day Program is designed as an alternative for veterans who qualify for veteran’s court. The intention of this program is to support the veteran in discovering a new sense of purpose. This program has three phases.

Phase one “restoration” is designed to support the veteran using evidence base protocols to shift from the military mindset of learned helplessness, commonly known as being a victim, to that of being responsible.

Phase two “repurpose” is designed to empower the veteran to take full accountability and be responsible for the situation they find them self in.

Phase three “reintegration” is designed to support the veteran in developing the civilian mindset of thriving rather than surviving.

The measured outcome of the Program is reflected in the journaling posted by the veteran online using the Google drive. The veteran only posts what he is willing to share. When veterans share their story they are relieved from the pain of their past. Through that process they are renewed and empowered to serve again.

The Pathways for Veterans 90 Day Program is a transformational leadership social process model which incorporates individual and group mentoring with information and tools provided by several strategic partners. These strategic partners are leading developmental and behavioral medical research firms in the country, such as Heart Math, the VIA Institute, The Listening Program by Advanced Brain Technologies and Klemmer & Associates.

The basic program includes a personalized 40 page signature strength assessment from the VIA Institute. Upon review of this report, the veteran receives individual career and relationship mentoring based on their signature strengths. The veteran then writes a reflection based on the VIA work. This veteran then reads twelve books provided by Philosopher’s Notes and writes a review of each book. Philosophers Notes provides hundreds of inspirational and developmental books written in a brief and conceptually integrative style. The veteran has three full levels of resources available on the Philosopher’s Notes site. Finally, the veteran views and provides reflection papers on 20 experiential learning modules, which can assist in repurposing and conceptual reframing. The online-posted reflection posted by the veteran provides a standardized, reliable metric for the courts, counselor, as well as a context, which promotes the personal development of the veteran and their families.

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Pathways for Veterans 90 Day Program
A Professional Assessment
Jon Cordas, Ph.D.

Personal Impressions

I went through this 90-Day Program and would like to share my impressions. My initial reaction when exposed to the 90-Day Program was to be impressed with how the program might help the court system. I was very impressed with the quality and extent of the materials provided by the strategic partners. A lot of thought and work went into laying the foundation to help the courts system perform their job more efficiently and effectively.

However, when I viewed the information and tools as “parts”, I was less convinced that the individual veteran would gain much benefit from the Program experience. This skeptical view radically reversed when I actually started doing the work and posting my reflections. Shifting from the conceptual to the applied produced profound personal transformation within the first three weeks.

As a psychologist, I have taken many personality assessments, but Seligman’s VIA assessment is the premier tool for illuminating “signature strengths”, the core values of the behavioral matrix which formed by age eight and can drive current behavior. Seligman developed this assessment to reflect a persons “authentic self”, patterns which repeat again and again throughout a person’s career and relationships. When I began to write my reflection on my report, I was impressed by a few points. These “strengths” were not dimensions on other personality surveys I had taken. In addition, I would not have chosen this particular combination of strengths to reflect my self-concept. As I reflected on the top six strengths, I saw how these really captured the essence of my tendencies over the years. I was very impressed with this unique instrument and the mentoring conversations based on the results.

I liked Philosopher’s Notes books because they were quick to read but were quite thought provoking. My most interesting coursework when in school integrated several complex concepts into a “big picture” and tied multiple, apparently unrelated sources together to do so. That’s what each book in the Philosopher’s Notes series does, and there are hundreds of books to choose from. I found the Optimal Living series particularly intriguing because it integrated past and present wisdom literature and philosophy together into ten themes, which promote personal happiness. I have explored the subject of personal happiness and success for many years and this series treats the subjects with depth and maturity.

The twenty experiential learning modules were rather tedious to plow through. I recommend creating a more interactive series of ten-minute online modules that can serve as a context for conversation and personal development. Despite these limitations, this series had many useful tools and concepts. A few of these concepts were game changers for me. Experiential learning holds that most of our behavior is driven by beliefs or “programs” in the subconscious mind. Reframing or “reprogramming” this mental process can attain new behaviors, attitudes and results.

I am still learning to apply these concepts and tools, but I am producing new results in my life through this application.

While the resources provided by the strategic partners are valuable, the greatest value for me within the 90-day program came from the conversations I would have with mentors and peers. Through this mentoring, I was able to clarify and apply concepts and the environment of growth and accountability produced unexpected and startling personal transformation.

Through the Pathways conversation, after 90 days, I have a strong grounding in who I am, my personal goals and purpose, and have structures in place to help me achieve these objectives. My core values of service enabled me to create a veterans outreach ministry and men’s studies in area churches. These will be launching within a few weeks. The Pathways conversation enabled me to clarify what was important to me and how to create the results I wanted. In my opinion, the Pathways for Veterans 90 Day Program will add value to the court system and the veterans within the Program.