Thursday, June 18, 2009

War and the Soul

For anyone working with veterans, I highly recommend Edward Tick’s powerful, painful, and wise book, “War and the Soul: Healing our Nations Veterans from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.” There is also an online video that addresses Tick’s work with traumatized veterans available for free download entitled, “Forgiveness and Healing.”

Tick observes, "the soul at war is characteristically distorted... War stamps the soul with an indelible imprint and makes it its own. The soul that once went to war is forever transformed..."

"We can embrace the life- affirming and protective capacities of the warrior spirit and practice a living spirituality. We can restore relations with former enemies and with the dead and witness to the suffering caused by war and violence. We can find new and meaningful forms of service that atone for former actions and contribute to the healing of our own veterans and those we harmed. We can perform sacred ceremonies and rituals for ourselves, others, and the dead. All this, hand- in-hand with the truth about war, can lead to a spiritual transformation in which the soul grows again..."

Tick offers valuable insights into how we as therapists can help to not only heal the wounded psyche of veterans, but how we can help to facilitate healing of their wounded souls.

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