Reflections on a Therapeutic Healthy Lifestyles Intervention for Three U.S. Service Members and One Civilian

  • Tracey Marie Barnett The University of Texas-Arlington


In this narrative, I describe the experiences of three male military service members: 44 year old African American, 36 year old Hispanic American, 30 year old European American and one 28 year old civilian African American male and my interactions with them. All four men joined a 12-week health, wellness, and financial literacy program operating under the umbrella of a social work clinical research setting in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. They all had the same goal of losing weight, but for different reasons. Although two accomplished their weight loss goals and one of those two lowered his blood and glucose levels, the other two learned healthy lifestyle changes that I hope will be forever implanted in their hearts as they continue their journeys to ideal cardiovascular health.

Author Biography

Tracey Marie Barnett, The University of Texas-Arlington

Tracey M. Barnett, LGSW -a native from Ripley, MS is a PhD candidate in the doctoral program in social work at The University of Texas at Arlington. She completed an undergraduate degree in social work at The University of Mississippi and a master’s degree in social work at The University of Alabama. She is licensed in the state of Alabama as a graduate social worker and has practice experience in family protective services, justice services, disability advocacy, HIV/AIDS education/prevention, behavioral activation therapy, and problem solving therapy. While attending The University of Texas-Arlington, she was accepted as a Council on Social Work Education Minority Fellow. Ms. Barnett is interested in researching the effectiveness of obesity prevention programs for African Americans. She is also interested in understanding how exposure to stress and trauma and negative coping strategies among African American military families increases their risk for developing obesity and cardiovascular disease. She would like to contribute to the knowledge base on behavioral health factors in the development of obesity and cardiovascular problems.