Select Proceedings Book from the 2020 Women Veterans Military Moral Injury Conference

Edited by Lindsey Moser, Liz L’Eclair, Susan Watson, and Daniel L. Roberts

This book contains select presentations from the groundbreaking military moral injury conferences co-hosted in March and May of 2020 by the Moral Injury Support Network for Servicewomen, Inc. and Women Veterans Social Justice Network (WVSJ).

This work is loaded with resources, practical activities, and tools you can use in your practice and personal life. Written by top experts in the field of moral injury and veteran support, chapters include: 

  • Moral Injury: A Common And Often Neglected Syndrome Among Veterans Experiencing War Trauma, by Dr. Harold Koenig
  • Military Moral Injury and Women Veterans, by Chaplain (Colonel) Cliff Vicars, DMin & Christiane O’Hara, PhD
  • Female Service Members and Veterans and Suicide Risk: What We Need to Know, by Jennifer Tucker, PhD, Laura Faulconer, MSW, MPA, & Holly O’Reilly, PhD
  • Contemplative Practices and Lamentations, by Dr. Daniel Roberts and Christiane O’Hara, PhD
  • Faith-Based and Secular Meditation: Everyday Betrayal Trauma and Other Posttraumatic Applications for Personal Practice and with Clients, by Dr. Raymond Scurfield
  • Planning a Faith Community Military Veteran Ministry, by Chaplain (Colonel) Cliff Vicars, DMin & Christiane O’Hara, PhD

You can read it for free with Kindle Unlimited or purchase on Amazon.


“What is Moral Injury?
Moral Injury is a condition being talked about with more frequency. In 2009, it was Brett Litz who brought this condition to the forefront. He described moral injury as involving acts of transgression that create dissonance and conflict because it violates assumptions and beliefs about what is right and wrong and personal goodness. Moral injury is a syndrome that often occurs in the setting of trauma, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but MI is distinct and separate from PTSD.” (Dr. Harold Koenig, p. 1).

Types of Military Moral Injury
Types of military moral injury include perceived transgressions and perceived betrayals. Transgressions refer to ‘what I did.’ Examples include struggling because of personally killing, maiming, or hurting innocents. This parallels with the spiritual concept of ‘I have sinned.’ Service members may wrestle with the idea that they have caused hurt or damage to an innocent person, or to a bystander who was an unintended target. The violation doesn’t have to be connected to an enemy. A warrior can assign this to their self-perception. ‘I have committed a serious transgression and cannot be forgiven.'” (Christiane O’Hara and Cliff Vicars, p. 13).

Female Service Members and Veterans: By the Numbers
Today there are more women serving in the military than ever before and the current active duty female force is also more racially and ethnically diverse than the male force. Approximately 17 percent of the 1.3 million Active Duty Service Members (ADSM) are female and females comprise 17.8 percent of the National Guard (NG) and 21.9 percent of the Reserve force. Of the projected 19 million total living Veterans as of September 2019, 10 percent are female. Experiences of female SM and responses to those experiences may be different from those of their male counterparts, and thus, may influence their psychological well-being.” (Jennifer Tucker, Laura Faulconer, and Holly O’Reilly, p. 31).

The Circle of Balance
Next, we introduce a clinical assessment tool that can be used over time with clients to assess their awareness of their balance/imbalance in mind/body/heart/spirit dimensions, and any “stuck points” in recovering from moral injury … The Circle of Balance is simple to administer, visually friendly, and can be administered as an assessment or treatment tool individually or in a group, and can measure change in self-awareness and internal balance over time.” (Christiane O’Hara and Cliff Vicars, p. 25).

Read it for free with Kindle Unlimited or purchase it on Amazon.

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