Fourth Edition of WARMCAMP International Military Psychology Conference in Pune

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Payal Pedkar

Pune – The fourth edition of WARMCAMP International Military Psychology Conference will be held in Pune at Hotel Sagar Plaza from 11th August-14th August 2018. WARMCAMP has been initiated to connect between experimental learning at ground zero of military environment on one hand and evidence based academic research on the other.

WARMCAMP International Military Psychology Conference has been conceptualized by Lt Col Dr Samir Rawat, Combat Veteran, Indian Armed Force’s first Home grown Military Psychologist. WARMCAMP is aimed to stress on the importance of military psychology and its implementation in context of challenges faced by soldiers on the war front as well as stabilizing the home front for the soldier by building strong resilient military families. In all military affairs not only the soldiers are affected, but their wives back home and their children also undergo colossal pressures. The intention is to help soldiers bounce back from stressful events and help their wives back home to cope with the pressure of alone running a family.

The conference will include 9 workshops, 9 paper presentations and three key notes including those of Jacques Gouws Military Psychologist Canada, Dr Merle Parmak Military Psychologist and advisor NATO and Dr. Gauri Kadam, HOD psychology at Dr DY Patil College Pimpri. This year’s conference will be centered on the theme Resilience. Some of the other topics which will be deliberately addressed by Indian and International experts during conference include combat stress, post traumatic stress, disability stress, communication traps, crisis management, complexities of soldiering in asymmetric warfare, Resilience etc.

Giving details about the conference, Lt. Col. Dr Samir Rawat said ‘my aim is to create pool of resources that can serve the Armed Forces and the PMF in form of psychologists with certain competencies that will facilitate in serving those who serve the Nation . Wounds on the surface are simpler to manage; the psychological impact that military operations have on a soldier is often ignored and precipitates mental illness in the individual affected if appropriate interventions not factored in before, during and after exposure to combat. Psychology is gaining currency all over the world, with terror attacks happening everywhere.

Dr Rawat added that whether during war or post war, Military Psychology is gaining prime importance and should be developed as a separate stream; he hoped that realising the need, colleges and Universities would soon offer undergraduate and post graduate courses in military psychology.Col. Rawat has also presented a paper on this subject in a similar conference in Portugal couple of years back and recently returned from Romania where he was invited by the Romanian Armed Forces to conduct a training workshop for their officers and military psychologists.