Moral Injury

A lot of people haven’t heard of moral injury and those who have are often uncertain about what it means. Moral injury is what happens to some people after they have been exposed to events which challenge their moral code and values. Most of the research that has been done in recent years focuses on moral injury arising from combat, particularly killing, but it can be much wider than that. In a large study of Canadian troops deployed to Afghanistan in a variety of roles, over 65% of them reported exposure to morally challenging events, the most frequent being unable to render medical aid to wounded women and children. We don’t know very much at all about what the situation might be in Australia as no research has been done yet. Moral injury can co-occur with PTSD but it’s different and sometimes more difficult to treat. What makes it harder is that a lot of mental health professionals may not have heard of it and may treat it as though it is PTSD. This presentation aims to give an introduction to moral injury, how it happens, how to recognise it and what to do about it.

This webinar took place 7 PM AEST, 2 September 2019


More about Anne MacDonald

Anne Macdonald is primarily a clinical psychologist who has provided treatment to serving ADF members and veterans for nearly 25 years. During that time she has specialised in treating PTSD. Several years ago, Anne recognised that some of her clients were presenting with symptoms that were different from PTSD and started to research moral injury. She formalised this research when she commenced PhD studies at the Phoenix Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health at the University of Melbourne. Her research is focused on developing a new model to answer the question of “What is injured in a moral injury?” She also continues to treat clients with moral injury in her clinical practice.