Moral Injury Resources
For additional information on moral injury and PTSD, we have summarized some websites, books, movies and journal articles that cover the topic.*
- National Center for PTSD: www.ptsd.va.gov
- National Center for Trauma-Informed Care: www.samhsa.gov/nctic
- National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network: www.nctsn.org
- National Institute of Mental Health PTSD page: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml
- Shared experiences for veterans: www.maketheconnection.net
- The Trauma Center: www.traumacenter.org
- The Trauma-Informed Care Project: www.traumainformedcareproject.org
- Wellness resources for the military community: www.afterdeployment.org
- The Moral Injury Project: http://moralinjuryproject.syr.edu/
- Soul Repair Center: https://www.brite.edu/programs/soul-repair/
- VA PTSD website article on moral injury: www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/newsletters/research-quarterly/v23n1.pdf
- Dr. Jonathan Shay on moral injury: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBkCg6_ISpQ
- Dr. Rita Brock on soul repair: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIVYpRM8xtc
- Boulanger, Ghislaine (2007). Wounded by Reality: Understanding and Treating Adult-Onset Trauma. Mahwah, NJ: Analytic Press.
- Brock, Rita Nakashima and Lettini, Gabriella (2012). Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury After War. Boston: Beacon Press.
- Courtois, Christine and Ford, Julian D. (2013). Treatment of Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship-Based Approach. New York: Guilford.
- Doerries, Bryan (2015). All That You’ve Seen Here is God: New Versions of Four Greek Tragedies - Sophocles' Ajax, Philoctetes, Women of Trachis; Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound. New York: Random House.
- Doerries, Bryan (2015). The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today. New York: Knopf.
- Epstein, Mark (2013). The Trauma of Everyday Life. New York: Penguin.
- Frankl, Viktor E. (1959/2006). Man’s Search for Meaning. Boston: Beacon Press.
- Herman, Judith (1997): Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. New York: Basic Books.
- Janoff-Bulman, Ronnie (1992). Shattered Assumptions: Towards a New Psychology of Trauma. New York: Free Press.
- Klay, Phil (2014). Redeployment. New York: Penguin Books.
- Lifton, Robert Jay (1973). Home From the War: Learning from Vietnam Veterans. New York: Other Press.
- Litz, Brett T.; Lebowitz, Leslie; Gray, Matt J.; and Nash, William P. (2015). Adaptive Disclosure: A New Treatment for Military Trauma, Loss, and Moral Injury. New York: Guilford.
- Marlantes, Karl (2011). What It Is Like to Go to War. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.
- McClelland, Mac (2015). Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story. New York: Flatiron Books.
- Miller, Ronald B. (2004). Facing Human Suffering: Psychology and Psychotherapy as Moral Engagement. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Morris, David J. (2015). The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
- Schauer, M.; Neuner, F.; and Elbert, T. (2011). Narrative Exposure Therapy: A Short-Term Treatment for Traumatic Stress Disorders. Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe.
- Shay, Jonathan (1995). Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and The Undoing of Character. New York: Simon and Schuster.
- Shay, Jonathan (2002). Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and The Trials of Homecoming. New York: Scribner.
- Sherman, Nancy (2015). Afterwar: Healing the Moral Wounds of Our Soldiers. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Sherman, Nancy (2011). The Untold War: Inside the Hearts, Minds, and Souls of Our Soldiers. New York. W W. Norton & Company.
- Sites, Kevin (2013). The Things They Cannot Say: Stories Soldiers Won’t Tell You About What They’ve Seen, Done, or Failed to Do in War. New York: Harper Perennial.
- Stolorow, Robert (2007). Trauma and Human Existence: Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections. New York: Routledge.
- Tick, Edward (2005). War and The Soul: Healing Our Nation’s Veterans from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books.
- Tick, Edward (2014). Warrior’s Return: Restoring the Soul After War. Boulder, CO: Sounds True.
- Van Der Kolk, Bessel (2014). The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. NY: Viking.
- Wood, David (2016). What Have We Done? The Moral Injury of Our Longest Wars. New York: Little, Brown, & Co.
The following list offers a small selection of films that depict PTSD, moral injury, or both. Considering PTSD and moral injury through film can help people better understand how symptoms manifest while providing examples that may help people talk about what they are experiencing.
- The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) – Combat trauma and moral injury in WW II veterans
- Coming Home (1978) – Combat trauma and moral injury in Vietnam veterans
- The Deerhunter (1978) – Combat trauma and moral injury in Vietnam veterans
- The Accused (1988) – Noncombat PTSD and moral injury from sexual assault
- Born on the Fourth of July (1989) – Combat trauma and moral injury in Vietnam veterans
- Jackknife (1989) – Combat trauma and moral injury in Vietnam veterans
- The Fisher King (1991) – Noncombat PTSD
- The Prince of Tides (1991) – Adult effects of childhood trauma, moral injury (suicidality)
- Schindler’s List (1993) – Noncombat moral injury
- The War at Home (1996) – Combat trauma and moral injury in Vietnam veterans
- Missing in America (2005) – Combat trauma and moral injury in Vietnam veterans
- Gran Torino (2008) – Combat trauma and moral injury in Korean War veterans
- In the Valley of Elah (2008) – Combat trauma and moral injury in OED/OIF/OND veterans
- Brothers (2009) – Combat trauma and moral injury in OED/OIF/OND veterans
- Manchester by the Sea (2016) – Noncombat moral injury
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) – Noncombat moral injury
- Boulanger, Ghislaine (2008). Witness to Reality: Working Psychodynamically With Survivors of Terror. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 18, 638-657.DOI: 10.1080/10481880802297673.
- Caplan, Paula J. (2018) Moral Anguish is not a Mental Illness.
- Carr, Russell B. (2011). Combat and Human Existence: Toward an Intersubjective Approach to Combat-Related PTSD. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 28(4), 471-496. DOI: 10.1037/a0024174.
- Currier, Joseph M.; Holland, Jason M.; Drescher, Kent; and Foy, David (2015). Initial Psychometric Evaluation of the Moral Injury Questionnaire – Military Version. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 22, 54-63. DOI: 10.1002/cpp.1866.
- Currier, Joseph M.; Holland, Jason M; and Malott, Jesse (2015). Moral Injury, Meaning-Making, and Mental Health in Returning Veterans. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 71(3), 229-240. DOI:10.1002/jclp.22134.
- Drescher, Kent D.; Foy, David W.; Kelly, Caroline; Leshner, Anna; Schutz, Kerrie; and Litz, Brett (2011). An Exploration of the Viability and Usefulness of the Construct of Moral Injury in War Veterans. Traumatology, 17(1), 8-13.DOI: 10.1177/1534765610395615.
- Drescher, Kent D. and Foy, David W. (2008). When They Come Home: Post-Traumatic Stress, Moral Injury, and Spiritual Consequences for Veterans. Reflective Practice: Formation and Supervision in Ministry, 28, 85-102.
- Drescher, Kent D.; Nieuwsma, Jason A.; and Swales, Pamela J. (2013). Morality and Moral Injury: Insights from Theology and Health Science. Reflective Practice: Formation and Supervision in Ministry, 33, 50-61.
- Farnsworth, Jacob K.; Drescher, Kent D. ; Evans, Wyatt; and Walser, Robyn D. (In Press). A Functional Approach to Understanding and Treating Military-Related Moral Injury. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcbs.2017.07.003.
- Farnsworth, Jacob K.; Drescher, Kent D.; Nieuwsma, Jason A.; Walser, Robyn B.; and Currier, Joseph M. (2014). The Role of Moral Emotions in Military Trauma: Implications for the Study and Treatment of Moral Injury. Review of General Psychology, 18(4), 249-262. DOI: 10.1037/gpr0000018
- Frankfurt, Sheila & Frazier, Patricia (2016). A Review of Research on Moral Injury in Combat Veterans. Military Psychology, 28(4) DOI: 10.1037/mil0000132.
- Gray, Matt J., Schorr, Yonit; Nash, William; et al. (2012) Adaptive Disclosure: An Open Trial of a Novel, Exposure-Based Intervention for Service Members with Combat-Related Psychological Stress Injuries. Behavior Therapy, 43, 407-415.
- Laifer, Alexandra L.; Amidon, Amy D.; Lang, Ariel J.; and Litz, Brett T. (2015). Treating War-Related Moral Injury and Loss with Adaptive Disclosure: A Case Study. In Ritchie, Elspeth C. Posttraumatic stress disorder and related diseases in combat veterans. New York: Springer.
- Litz, Brett T.; Stein Nathan; Delaney, Eileen; Lebowitz, Leslie; Nash, William P.; Silva, Caroline; and Maguen, Shira (2009). Moral Injury and Moral Repair in War Veterans: A Preliminary Model and Intervention Strategy. Clinical Psychology Review, 29, 695-706.
- Maguen, Shira and Litz, Brett (2012). Moral Injury in Veterans of War. PTSD Research QuarterlyPTSD Research Quarterly, 23(1), 1-6.
- Maguen, Shira; Burkman, Kristine; Madden, Erin; Dinh, Julie; Bosch, Jean; Keyser, Jessica; Schmitz, Martha; and Neylan, Thomas C. (2017). Impact of Killing in War: A Randomized, Controlled Pilot Trial. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 73(9),997-1012.
- Nash, William P.; Carper, Teresa L. Marino; Mills; Mary Alice; Au, Teresa; Goldsmith, Abigail; and Litz, Brett T. (2013). Psychometric Evaluation of the Moral Injury Events Scale. Military Medicine, 178(6):646-652.
- Nieuwsma, Jason A.; Walser, Robyn D.; Farnsworth, Jacob K.; Drescher, Kent D.; Meador, Keith G.; and Nash, William P. (2015). Possibilities within Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Approaching Moral Injury. Current Psychiatry Reviews, 11, 193-206.
- Norman, Sonya B.; Wilkins, Kendall C.; Meyers, Ursula S.; and Allard, Carolyn B. (2014). Trauma Informed Guilt Reduction Therapy with Combat Veterans. Cognitive Behavioral Practice, 21(1), 76-88.
- Price, June T.; Steuwig, Jeff; and Mashek, Debra (2007). Moral Emotions and Moral Behavior. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 345-272.DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.56.091103.070145.
- Robjant, Katy and Fazel, Mina (2010). The Emerging Evidence for Narrative Exposure Therapy: A Review. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 1030-1039.
- Vargas, Alison F.; Henson, Thomas; Kraus, Douglas; Drescher, Kent; and Foy, David (2013). Moral Injury Themes in Combat Veterans’ Narrative Responses from the National Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Study. Traumatology, 19(3), 243-250.DOI.org/10.1177/1534765613476099.
* A special thank you to William C. Gibson, PhD and Bobbi L’Huillier for curating this list of resources.