Religious Considerations and Self-Forgiveness in Treating Complex Trauma and Moral Injury in Present and Former Soldiers

Volume
Volume 40
Issue
Winter 2012
Title
Religious Considerations and Self-Forgiveness in Treating Complex Trauma and Moral Injury in Present and Former Soldiers
Abstract

Being in the military, especially if deployed in combat or combat potential settings, can create opportunities for self-condemnation—occurring through moral injury or apart from and within the context of complex trauma. Moral injury is internal conflict due to doing or witnessing acts not in line with one’s morals. Complex trauma involves a prolonged history of subjection to totalitarian control and involves danger, stress, and inability to escape from the situation. Combat can be interpreted as fitting these criteria. We first examine how military deployment might lead to self-condemnation due to moral failures by wrongdoing or when soldiers let down their peers and themselves. We examine soldiers who develop complex trauma and explore its contributions to self-condemnation. Religious issues are likely to be involved. Active wrongdoing, moral failure, and failures of church- and culture-created religious expectations contribute. Soldiers need the skill of self forgiveness through secular and religiously tailored programs delivered via psychoeducational groups, workbook, or online.

Authors
Dr. E.L., Jr. Worthington and Dr. D. Langberg
Pages
274 - 288
Price
Add to Cart $5.00