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213: Moral Injury in the Setting of Severe Trauma: What Christian Counselors Need to Know

Harold Koenig, M.D.
Duke University Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health
Box 3400, Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27710

The focus in this workshop will be on “moral injury” in the setting of moderate to severe trauma. Moral injury is a relatively new term in the psychological world, although it is closely related to what used to be called the “wages of sin” (missing the mark). First, moral injury will be defined as a transgression of moral values or standards. Second, moral injury will be examined as a syndrome in its own right, distinguishable from PTSD. Third, ways to measure moral injury in clinical settings will be reviewed (our research group developed the first published measure of moral injury symptoms and the only one today that includes religious struggles and loss of religious faith). Fourth, the prevalence and consequences of moral injury will be explored. Finally, psychological treatments (Spiritually Integrated CPT) and pastoral care treatments (Structured Pastoral Care for Moral Injury) for moral injury will be described, based on the Bible. Moral injury, as it applies to current and former military personnel, healthcare professionals, clergy, and traumatized laypersons, will be addressed.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
• Identify moral injury and its relevance to psychologists and licensed mental health professionals
• Describe the symptoms of moral injury in their clients
• Formulate treatment plans for symptoms of moral injury using a biblical approach

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