Alternative Title

Psychic, moral and social sequelae of war trauma

Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type



School for Social Work


Veterans-Psychology, Veterans-Ethics, War-Moral and ethical aspects, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Sophocles. Ajax, Theater of War (New York N.Y.), Moral injury, Veterans, PTDS, Theater of War, Ajax


Although the idea that a violation of deeply held moral and ethical values can result in a profound psychic, social and spiritual wounding is an ancient one, the exploration of the phenomenon of moral injury in the field of mental health has only recently gained traction. Moral injury is increasingly being regarded as its own psychological phenomenon, one that shares symptomology with PTSD, but is also distinct, and as yet not sufficiently accounted for in current PTSD criteria. This theoretical thesis charts the evolving clinical construct of moral injury and draws on two bodies of theory, narrative theory and adult onset trauma theory, to further explore the psychic and social sequelae of war trauma. The work of the public health project Theater of War, and the text of Sophocles’ Ajax are used as case examples to illustrate the treatment implications for social work practice of applying narrative theory and adult onset trauma to moral injury.




iii, 121 pages. M.S.W., Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Ma., 2016. Includes bibliographical references (pages 109-121)

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