FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress)

Introducing FOCUS, the newest Prevention, Support and Intervention program available to military families!

What is FOCUS?

FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress) provides resiliency training to military families, including parents, caregivers and children. It teaches practical skills to help families overcome common challenges related to the unique military lifestyle, develop effective communication, problem-solving and successful goal-setting techniques, and create a shared family story.

FOCUS Training consists of eight one-on-one family skill-building sessions specifically designed to help military families stay strong and supportive of each other during stressful times. It also supports families to build their own family story, comprised of their life experiences and how each family member’s past or present experience of the military lifestyle may have affected them. The result is a better understanding of one another as a family, plus greater resiliency, strength and skills to achieve goals as a family. FOCUS has been used both preventatively and as an intervention to support families during, after and especially before crisis and challenging situations happen.


Occupational duties and the unique military lifestyle can bring many challenges for families including long separations, moves, changes in family routines, and children’s concerns for a parent’s safety. These challenges can at times become overwhelming, particularly when a family is coping with the impact of occupational and combat stress injuries. Based on over 20 years of research from UCLA in partnership with the US Military, FOCUS has successfully provided services to thousands of military children and families facing challenges and adversities in many different settings. It is practiced at dozens of sites across the US and abroad, and recently expanded into Canada to bring the benefits of FOCUS to CAF families.

Is FOCUS Right for Me (And My Family)?

FOCUS is for everyone! Any family can benefit from additional skills in problem-solving, communication, coping strategies and increased resiliency. And remember, FOCUS is not just for when a family is in crisis – it can also help families to grow stronger BEFORE crisis and challenging situations happen. By developing and building on strengths and skills through participating in FOCUS, families can be better prepared to deal with difficult situations when they do happen (and life does happen!).

How Can My Family Participate in FOCUS?

Signing up for FOCUS is easy! Simply contact FOCUS Trainer Dani Alarie with the H&R MFRC to set up your first session. Session dates and times can be flexible to meet the needs of your family. You can also feel free to also contact Dani for more information, questions or concerns, and she will be happy to support you and your family.