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(p. 249) Facilitating Recovery From Moral and Spiritual Injuries 

(p. 249) Facilitating Recovery From Moral and Spiritual Injuries
(p. 249) Facilitating Recovery From Moral and Spiritual Injuries

Jennifer H. Wortmann

, Alyssa Boasso

, Yonit Schorr

, Maria M. Steenkamp

, and Brett T. Litz

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date: 19 October 2020

During military service, service members may perpetrate, fail to prevent, or bear witness to acts that violate their core moral beliefs and expectations. The psychological, social, and spiritual legacy of these types of experiences is termed moral injury. This chapter describes types of morally injurious experiences and associated emotional reactions; explains why these events can elicit feelings of guilt, shame, anger, and frustration; discusses the psychological and spiritual implications; and reviews the available treatments for moral injury. Clinicians should routinely evaluate potential signs of moral and spiritual injury among veterans. Guilt, shame, anger, and frustration are emotional signs of possible disruption in worldview caused by a perpetration or betrayal event, indicating the need for a process of healing that involves disclosure, cognitive and emotional processing, and promoting acceptance, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

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