Judith BroderIn 2004, psychiatrist Judith T. Broder, M.D. attended a theatre performance of “The Sand Storm: Stories from the Front,” a series of 10 monologues describing the Iraq war from the perspective of active duty marines. The play was written by Sean Huze, himself an active duty marine at that time. It was performed by Iraq veterans, including Huze, who later developed the theatre company VetStage. The play dramatically illustrated the horror of war and the trauma it brings to the young men and women who carry the burden. After the play, Dr. Broder felt a professional obligation to help our troops and their families manage the myriad of war-related mental health issues.

Dr. Broder then approached the Ernest S. Lawrence Trauma Center, whose mission is to provide free psychological services to populations “in-need” or “at-risk” in and around Los Angeles. She proposed that they jointly start a program to serve veterans. The Ernest S. Lawrence Trauma Center, under the aegis of the non-profit educational institution, the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies, agreed that its psychoanalysts could make a contribution to the community by providing free care for our service men and women and their families.

Dr. Broder started The Soldiers Project in 2004. She paid for a telephone line, started a website and gathered together a group of volunteer mental health professionals. They reached out to veterans groups, the VA, military bases, and community venues to raise awareness of the psychological consequences of war and the availability of free, confidential, individualized counseling, at private offices throughout Southern California.

Our licensed mental health professionals offer free psychotherapy to any military service member/veteran who has served Post 9/11. We also offer free therapy to their loved ones – boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, children, parents and grandparents. There is no red tape, there are no fees, and there is no arbitrary limit on the number of sessions provided. We see individuals, couples, children, and families. We configure our therapy to meet the client’s needs. Because we are in private practice, we have the flexibility to see people prior to, during and/or following return from deployment and to keep in touch via phone or the internet if needed.

Today, The Soldiers Project in the Southern California area alone has well over 200 volunteer therapists and more than 500 in the entire country. With calls coming in from all over the United States, affiliated chapters have developed in Sacramento, Washington state, Chicago, New York City, Long Island, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming.



Presidential Citizens Medal 2011 – Judith Broder, M.D


Dr. Judith Broder, 2011 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award Recipient

After three years of struggling I am doing very well. I spent 2014 coming off 10 of my 12 prescription meds in the woods of South Jersey. I know, crazy right? I am seeing Dr. Goodman and he is great. I know it took me a while to come around but I appreciate you sticking with me. I owe a lot to The Soldiers Project. Thank you. Also I am becoming active in the volunteer/activist circles taking up some of the most important issues affecting my brothers and sisters in arms today. I am in a place where, to give back is therapeutic. Thank you for all you do for us …

AnonymousNew York City