Learning 5 Key Skills

In FOCUS, families and couples develop a shared understanding of how their own experiences in the military (deployment, injuries, relocation), challenges, and successes create a unique story to enhance their resilience and better prepare them to handle future challenges and obstacles.

Emotional Regulation

Family members learn to better understand their emotions and a common emotional language to make it easier to communicate with one another. Parents learn skills to help them identify emotional reactions their children might have, such as being worried or sad.


Family members learn to actively listen and respond to one another’s concerns. They learn how to express feelings, talk to each other, and deal with unique challenges related to a family member’s military service. Parents also learn how to address their children’s concerns when they are worried about their parent’s safety and/or their own safety.

Problem Solving

Families learn how to clearly define problems and implement effective solutions, as well as ways to handle day-to-day challenges, while recognizing and building upon their existing strengths.

Goal Setting

Families learn how to set and take steps towards achievable goals. Parents learn to work better as a team in parenting their children before, during, and after deployment.

Managing Trauma and Stress Reminders

Family members learn how to develop a plan together to deal effectively with stress and trauma.

I feel like all families can benefit from the tools that they give you in FOCUS [like] basic communication skills to speak to your children.


FOCUS Mom and United States Navy Spouse

I find one of the most useful tools is the Feeling Thermometer. It helps children expand their emotional vocabulary.


FOCUS Resilience Trainer