By: Glyndora Condon MS MFT LPC
Heal and Hope Counseling Services
Cleveland, TN 37311
For a while now, clinicians have used several forms of treatment to aid our military, first responder, and society who are suffering with PTSD. Some use hypnosis, others normally used CBT, REBT, and Grief and Loss Modalities mainly treating the fear aspect of the trauma, but new research is supportive of the spiritual element when treating PTSD. You see...when a person experiences trauma by another or witnesses trauma of someone-then this also injures the moral conscience. This moral injury often hinders healing due to the guilt and shame attached and must be processed. Being able to embrace the spiritual pain and moral conscience and then process this aspect of the trauma-then one is able to find a full peace.
Lately, we have had training in how to provide such aid, and as a Christian Counselor-then we are versed in scriptural passages to also provide to our clients if they are accepting of including the spiritual aspect; or we can address moral injury without this adjunct for those who may not feel comfortable of the spiritual construct. While we use EFT, CBT, Radical Forgiveness, Grief and Loss to address Fear and Hate; we can also address the Guilt and Shame from working with the moral injury of the conscience-and can add the spiritual aspect for believers of Christianity or in any other faith of their choice-as long as it does embrace the constructs needed to allow for healing.
A recent Veteran came to use through a referral from Tri-West; who had been in treatment for decades yet was not feeling relief. He complained of the usual PTSD symptoms, marital issues, and was not sleeping. He also suffered with major depression anxiety. His health was also struggling with several health conditions and stress. This hurting Veteran who should be honored as a Navy Commander, and for his service; appeared to be lost and frustrated. He was polite and with above intelligence, and was dressed casual yet his clothing was pressed (as one would expect); and his face was filled with doubt-but he entered the office. I sensed his pain and we chatted about why he was here.
I had only returned from CEU training and had taken the class regarding PTSD. I am a daughter of the Revolution; with two grandfathers who served in WWI, Uncles in WWII; and many family members, including my father (stationed in Germany-Army branch-Sergeant, and tank officer; my husband (stationed in Korea, army, mechanic), and both sons (Army, one tech and one served in Iraq on the ground as a soldier); and I am most proud of each. Due to my want to help those who have put their lives on hold and at risk for this nation; I found myself entering that class and was educated as to the latest research and techniques that were providing effective healing. Therefore I listened to this man's story and I knew that this was my opportunity to employ the additional training. I disclosed this to him and we decided to work together. Within 12 sessions; he was most elated with the progress and most thankful-but you see-I was more thankful that he came and was helped.
If you are struggling with PTSD, please ask your counselor if they are aware of "moral injury" and the treatment for this. If not-find a counselor who does. Thank you for your service. Our Nation is strong because of you. God be with you.