The Center for Religion and Spirituality’s November 16 workshop “Moral Injury: Warriors, Families and Communities,” facilitated by Extension instructor Mark Mitchell, was recently featured in an article in The Tidings by Robert Dellinger. The workshop was a panel-led discussion on ministering to war veterans, especially those struggling with moral injury and PTSD.
“When you experience any kind of traumatic event that you think you’re going to die, then the mind remembers. It’s like a movie camera. It remembers what you heard, what you felt, what you experienced, what you thought at the precise moment. And then a way for you to psychologically adapt to that traumatic event is you replay it over and over and over again,” said Val Reyes.
The licensed clinical social worker at the Del Amo Military Hospital and Veterans Program was one of eight speakers at the Moral Injury and PTSD: Warriors, Families and Communities workshop at Loyola Marymount University. The November session was facilitated by Mark Mitchell, a licensed marriage and family therapist.
“With moral injury, a lot of veterans replay those emissions or commissions that brought them a sense of shame and guilt,” Reyes explained. “And when you replay an event, there’s a thought process or a belief system that’s attached to those images. We tell ourselves this is the part where ‘I did something or didn’t do something, because I know it was my fault.’ So there’s the emotion of shame and guilt.”
Similarly, the local Argonaut interviewed Army National Guard chaplain Nathan Graeser, a featured panelist at the November 16 workshop, on the nature of moral injury and his remarks at the workshop. You can read that article here.
As a follow up to the November 16 workshop, the Center will host a forum on best practices in Veteran ministry in multiple faith traditions. Sponsored by the Martin Gang Institute for Intergroup Relations, this forum will be held the evening of Thursday, April 2, 2014 at LMU’s University Hall. It will be free and open to the public. Look for more information in the coming weeks.