Date of Award
Doctoral Research Paper
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Veterans, Clergy, Mental health, Pastoral care, Moral injury, Posttraumatic stress, Acceptance and commitment therapy
Many veterans opt to seek the support of clergy before mental health professionals. Most clergy, however, are unfamiliar with the nuances of the veteran culture and experience. Mental health professionals who specialize in working with the veteran population can collaborate with clergy to bridge this gap of care to mutually develop a better understanding of veteran culture and symptoms of mental health conditions common among the veteran population, and by equipping clergy with basic tools that promote psychological and spiritual wellbeing. Special consideration is given to the concept of moral injury and the application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, illustrating ways in which they align with the cultural and theological implications of Orthodox Christianity. This paper is intended to serve first, as an informative resource for those interested in integrating mental health and spiritual care and second, as the foundation upon which to build an implementable training program for Orthodox Christian clergy ministering to the veteran and military population in their parishes.
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Xanthos, Danielle, "From Military Service to Diakonia: A Training Program for Clergy Ministering to Veterans" (2021). Graduate School of Professional Psychology: Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 426.