Moral Injury of Military Servicemembers



Moral Injury of Servicemembers

Friday, September 11, 2020

12:00pm to 2:30pm


Presenter: Michael Shurmatz, LMSW, US Army Veteran


This workshop is approved for 2.5 continuing education credit hours for licensed social workers, licensed mental health counselors, and licensed marriage and family therapists

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Workshop Description

Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began in 2001/2002, one of the primary diagnoses returning and transitioning servicemembers have been given is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD; Wood, 2016). While many of our servicemembers have been exposed to significant fear-based trauma (Gray et al., year), one of the primary qualifying criteria for PTSD, there is another invisible wound that impacts veterans. Moral Injury is the violation of what’s right by a person in authority in a high stakes situation; a disruption in an individual’s confidence and expectations about his or her own moral behavior or others’ capacity to behave in a just and ethical manner (Litz et al., year). Service members who sustained a Moral Injury often report lasting psychological, biological, spiritual, behavioral and social challenges due to experiences in the military that perpetuated, failed to prevent, or bore witness to acts that transgressed deeply held moral beliefs and expectations (Gray et al., year). According to Nash(2007), Moral Injury differs from PTSD because it is inherently tied to actions in war including killing, perpetuating violence, betrayals of trust in leaders, witnessing depraved behavior, or failing to prevent serious unethical acts.

This workshop will cover the etiology of Moral Injury as well as the difference between Moral Injury and PTSD. In addition, the presenter will explain how military culture impacts service members and contributes to the development of Moral Injury. Examples of Moral Injury will be provided, which will assist participants in conceptualizing how this phenomenon presents in clinical settings. Finally, the presenter will introduce therapeutic interventions that are used to treat Moral Injury. 


Learning Objectives

After the completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Define and describe the difference between Moral Injury and PTSD
  • Explain the etiology of Moral Injury
  • Describe the impact of the Military Indoctrination Process on service members and how this contributes to Moral Injury
  • Identify therapeutic interventions that address Moral Injury

This workshop is approved for 2.5 continuing education credit hours.

NASW-NYS is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers (Provider ID #0014), licensed mental health counselors (Provider ID #MHC-0053), and licensed marriage and family therapists. (Provider ID #MFT-0037)

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September 11th, 2020 12:00 PM   through   2:30 PM
Event Fee(s)
NASW-NYS Member $ 0.00
NASW Other Chapter Member $ 0.00
Non-Member $ 0.00