Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Kristen Newberry, PsyD

Second Advisor

John Bair PhD.

Third Advisor

Anthony Peterson, PsyD


The purpose of this study was to gain greater insight and understanding of how moral injury, moral distress, and shame can influence spirituality and to determine ways to effectively improve treatment to support and serve those carrying these unspeakable wounds. The experience of loss, betrayal, uncertainty, and fractured spirits can affect an individual’s beliefs about the self. The primary aim of this study was to explore how veterans now view themselves in the eyes of God or their Higher Power or why they so choose not to partake in their spirituality. Results were based on aggregate analyses and summations of veterans’ responses. A full determination of the impact of spirituality can only be gained through an in-depth analysis of veterans’ verbal accounting of moral injury and moral distress.