Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 7, pp 1114–1119 | Cite as

Preliminary Report on a Spiritually-Based PTSD Intervention for Military Veterans

  • Vincent R. StarninoEmail author
  • Clyde T. Angel
  • John E. Sullivan
  • Donna L. Lazarick
  • Licci D. Jaimes
  • John P. Cocco
  • Louanne W. Davis
Brief Report


Military veterans can experience spiritual/religious struggles such as weakening of beliefs, loss of meaning, increased guilt, difficulty forgiving, and moral challenges as a result of military trauma. While mainstream treatments (e.g., exposure therapy) have been shown to be effective for many, they often fail to address these issues adequately. This paper describes an 8-session spiritually-based group intervention designed to treat trauma-related spiritual wounds among military veterans. A program evaluation conducted with 24 veterans revealed significant reductions in PTSD symptoms, spiritual injury, and negative religious coping from pretest to posttest. The findings support the need for additional PTSD treatment approaches.


Posttraumatic stress disorder Military veterans Spirituality Religion Treatment 



The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the US Department of Veterans Affairs. This material is the result of work supported with resources and the use of facilities at the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis, IN, USA.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent R. Starnino
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Clyde T. Angel
    • 2
  • John E. Sullivan
    • 3
    • 4
  • Donna L. Lazarick
    • 2
  • Licci D. Jaimes
    • 5
  • John P. Cocco
    • 1
  • Louanne W. Davis
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Indiana University School of Social Work (IUPUI)IndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical CenterIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.Indiana University Conscience Works ProjectBloomingtonUSA
  4. 4.Indiana University Medical SchoolIndianapolisUSA
  5. 5.Virginia Garcia Memorial Health CenterMcMinnvilleUSA
  6. 6.Department of PsychiatryIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA

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