Publication date: August 2019
Source: New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 54
Author(s): Marek S. Kopacz, Jennifer Lockman, Jaimie Lusk, Craig J. Bryan, Crystal L. Park, Susan C. Sheu, William C. Gibson
The aim of this paper is to develop understandings of how meaning-making processes apply to moral injury in military populations. Moral injury is an emerging clinical construct recognized as a source of mental health morbidity. Meaning-making processes, especially following highly stressful events, have far-reaching applicability to ensuring favorable mental health outcomes. This paper examines meaning-making processes in the context of moral injury: meaning and morality in times of war, morally injurious experiences, moral emotions and cognitions, the importance of meaning-making in general mental health, and how meaning-making plays into the expressions and/or symptoms of MI. We apply these understandings in a case vignette of a Veteran affected by moral injury. We end by offering suggestions on how meaning-making can be applied in the development of clinical support strategies in cases of moral injury.