Over two million Veterans have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of these troops have been exposed to traumatic events, some of which are morally confusing or inexplicable. While PTSD has received significant attention as a result of these wars, less focus has been on moral injury – the deep emotional pain an individual feels stemming from a perceived transgression of his or her moral, ethical or spiritual beliefs, or what he or she considers to be right or wrong that tarnishes the soul.
This presentation will provide an overview of moral injury, including definitions, examples, and clinical implications for Veterans, as well as suggested clinical strategies for assessment and treatment. There will be a discussion on the challenges of helping military clients who wrestle with moral injury and ways to assist in their healing process.