Letter: The Work in Action at the VA

The following is a letter from Jonathan M. Hartiens, Ph.D. Program Director at the Center for Addiction Treatment at the VA Medical Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Dr. Hartiens shares his experience with using The Work on Vietnam Veterans and a formerly incarcerated woman. (Patient names have been initialized for confidentiality.)

Dear Katie,
I’m delighted to share with you the progress on two veterans you met while here in Martinsburg. J* was a veteran you facilitated and you may recall his one liner was “I killed a child.” As you were processing him he left the room. I believe I shared with you how he continued to process this line with me in private using the four simple questions. Anyway, he recently discharged from CAT-5 and is doing simply wonderful. He moved into a great apartment, has a fantastic job here locally making very good money, and he has reconciled with his children. He has had no more nightmares and discontinued all his medications. In his exit interview with me, he credited much of his progress and success to “that day with Katie” and he wanted to express his gratitude for you being willing to taking on such an entrenched belief which held him hostage for so long.

Also, K, who came to the School in June, is doing great. She is preparing to discharge in December and move into a transitional house in the community we’re setting up for formerly incarcerated women. Due to the tremendous improvement she has made, her parole officer released her from VA, which allows her to stay in WV permanently where she can continue to stay close with us and process her beliefs using the Work.
I also wanted to thank you for your on-going support of our VA staff. G is beginning to realize that the thoughts which blocked his progression in LA are the same thoughts which block our patients from progressing here. I’m meeting with him weekly to review his thoughts and help him experience the power of questioning them. While he is moving at a slower pace than others, he is moving. And for that I’m grateful.

I look forward to seeing you in the Spring. Until then, may God continue to bless you. With gratitude for your service,


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