Clinical approaches to addressing spiritual struggle in veterans with PTSD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Trauma survivors often face difficult spiritual challenges as they attempt to reconcile the experience of trauma with their spiritual/religious beliefs. Spirituality has been found to be associated with a range of indices of well-being, and it is a component of many clients' coping skills and treatment strategies. However, many clinicians do not routinely assess or incorporate this domain of functioning in psychological services. This article describes a model for conceptualizing how trauma can impact spirituality by reviewing the possible consequences of each posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom cluster on clients' belief systems and spiritual practices. Specific implications for treatment are described for each symptom cluster. A case study highlights many of the spirituality issues and intervention options described in this model. Ethical issues surrounding addressing spiritual factors in trauma survivors are considered, and clinicians are encouraged to further explore this domain with their clients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-212
Number of pages10
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

Keywords

  • Mental health treatment
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Spirituality
  • Trauma
  • Veterans

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