Soul Injury initially originates from the End of Life Care and was acquired through the care and treatment of more than 10’000 dying war veterans in the USA. Many of these patients were suffering of a trauma or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Behind Soul Injury stands a treatment concept, which now is also used outside of the End of Life Care and is supportingly recommended by therapeutic PTSD-, crises- and stress intervention, as well the more insidious ways we get separated from our sense of self.

Where does SOUL INJURY® come from?
Fife VA nurses uncovered two barriers that separated veterans from their soul – from their sense of being. Those two barriers were: unmourned loss and unforgiven guilt/shame. Learning how to grieve losses and learning how to forgive others and themselves for what they thought they should or should not have done became a liberating force that allowed the veterans in hospice to die healed. The five left the VA to start Opus Peace, a non-profit organization with the mission: taking the Soul Injury message to people who are not veterans and who are not dying - and out to the world.

The founder team
middle r: Deborah Grassman, l: Shaku Desai
below r: Sheila Lozier l: Pat McGuire
above: Mary Bainbridge 

"If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideals of beauty would be"

What does SOUL INJURY® and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have in common?
In 2001, Deborah Grassman first identified the phenomena that veterans have a different experience of death than civilians. Her descriptions of the phenomena were embraced by both the PTSD, VA, and Hospice communities. The closest the professional literature comes to indirectly address Soul Injury is the American Psychological Association (APA). They have developed a Posttraumatic Growth Inventory scale. The 21 likert-scaled self-evaluation statements are aligned around five categories: relating to others, new possibilities, personal strength, spiritual change, and appreciation of life. These are SPIRITUAL and  SOUL issues that the DSM-based criteria on PTSD does not even identify. In other words, the APA is measuring outcomes of non-existent criteria for PTSD.

Education programs for healthcare providers don’t consistenty include; how to grieve with traumatized patients, help them to forgive themselves and others, encourage them to accept help or learn how to maintain self-compassion. SOUL INJURY® provides a resource to incorporate these spiritual and soul criterias and to gain special understanding for the care of traumatized patients. The concept helps also to improve communication skills in crises interventions by using practical and simple tools. An ability, that is especially relevant when working with vulnerable patients.

What do the experts say about SOUL INJURY® ?
"Our hospice clinicians have found the “heart anchoring technique” to be effective in helping professional and family caregivers “be” with their patient. They have experienced that this technique is the “something” that CAN be done when options are few during the final days and moments"
Mitzi Butler LCSW, Director of Social Services for 18 branches of Comfort Care Hospice, USA

"I am a hospice nurse and Director of Clinical Excellence in a hospice agency. I use the work of Soul Injury for both my staff and my patients. This concept and information has been beneficial in helping my dying patients to die healed by working through their Soul Injury. It has also helped my staff who may have a Soul Injury or who want to enhance their work with their patients. I have also incorporated an education on Soul Injury into my orientation for all new staff so they are exposed to it and begin understanding Soul Injury as soon as they become employed in hospice. I personally think Soul Injury knowledge has improved our patient outcomes and staff satisfaction"
Angela Snyder, Division Director, Bayada Healthcare System, USA

"While I'm taking care of patients and families in Hospice and Palliative Care, I often see people numbing out, avoiding, denying, and running from challenging situations. During that time, I can often help families sit with the pain, sadness, and sorrow that is often encountered at EOL (end of life) so they may FEEL their emotions. Because we know that we don't heal what we can't feel. AND if we numb out and deny those painful parts of self, we can develop a Soul Injury"
Stephanie Turner RN, Kansas City Hospice, USA

"I have witnessed the power of Soul Injury in our community. Whether by reading The Hero Within book, or watching the 94 minute Soul Injury DVD, individuals are able to grasp insight and define paths of healing regarding conflict in their lives. It has been a thrill to witness as I have often observed clients in support groups for years (while spending lots of money on therapy) as they search for insight and wisdom. The therapeutic concept of Soul Injury® gives tools for healing that is accessible and very powerful for inner and world peace"
Jessica McCune, Director Bereavement Services, Hospice of Marion County, USA

"I have been a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner in the Veterans Health Care System for over 27 years, as well as a Veteran myself; having the words “Soul Injury “to describe emotional pain is healing in and of itself. I have found that healing emotional wounds can be as life altering as healing physical ones. With the therapeutic concept of Soul Injury® I have received educational information as well as self help tools that have been extremely beneficial both personally and in my clinical practice"
Kathi Burkhart MSN, APN-C, FAANP, Lyons New Jersey VA Healthcare System, USA

"As a Hospice Chaplain, Soul Injury is the keystone of my ministry. My Soul Injury practice enables my patients to liberate themselves from unmourned grief and unforgiven guilt and shame at the end of life. It is truly a blessing to participate in this beautifully transformative experience"
John Drinkard, Chaplain at Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, Vietnam Veteran, USA

"I am a Board Certified hospital chaplain. I have seen patients for almost eleven years. My recent studies and experience with Soul Injury have provided a very helpful tool for effective ministry. I work mostly with cardiac patients and have seen how the issues of helplessness and irrational guilt that come up so often can be effectively be addressed. The progress and relief for some of these patients has been dramatic. I am finding new ways almost daily in which to use these tools"
Rev. Gordon Ruddick, MDiv, BCC, Chaplain, PeaceHealth, Springfield, USA

"Whether you are a nurse, counselor, chaplain or caregiver- our lives touch each other personally and professionally. Soul Injury® education offers tools to reach out with understanding and compassion on a journey toward personal healing and peace. It is beautiful to witness this training impact and transform the lives of people as they move toward restoring inner wholeness"
Lisa Mueller, RN, Tomah , Wisconsin, USA

The concept of  SOUL INJURY®  is already integrated in many well-known organizations in the USA. Would you like to be one of the first in Europe to work with the tools of SOUL INJURY® ? Join a seminar or contact us!


Smoky Mountian Home Health and Hospice  
Veterans Funeral Care  
Relias Learning  
Service Corporation International  
Aseracare Hospice  
Bayada Home Health Care  
Prince Edward Island Canada Hospice  
Kindred Hospice  
Community Hospice Jacksonville  
Hospice of Northwest Ohio  
Hospice of Santa Cruz  
Sutter Health  
Pathways Health  
Bridge Hospice  
Seasons Hospice  
Hospice of the Valley Sutter Health  
Mission Hospice  
Hospice of the Chesapeake  
Sacred Journey Hospice  
Talbot Hospice  
Comfort Care Hospice  
Community Hospice Jacksonville  
Hospice of Kankakee Valley  
Leading Age Florida  


National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)  
Georgia HPCO  
Louisiana-Mississippi HPCO  
California Care Coalition  
Brevard County Longterm-Care Symposium  
Arizona Geriatrics Society  
Greater Atlanta HPNA  
Prosecuting Attorneys of Michigan  
Wisconsin Department of Health


Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center  
Tomah Wisconsin Medical Center  
Tomah VA Medical Center
Columbus VA  
Coatesville VA Medical Center  
Columbus OH VA  
MidMichigian Health  
Palo Alto VA


Trainings in Europe

Unforgettable impressions and personal moments from the "Fallen Camarade Ceremony"  (USA 2019)

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When a soldier dies, family members, friends and colleagues lose a part of their heart.
Together we can lay down incriminating experiences from the past

The pain of loos is the same all over the world no matter which soldier from which troop or of which nationality dies. They all leave behind a huge gap. Often such losses are burdened with shame and guilt for instance with questions such as “why he and not me?”, “I should have prevented it”, “I was not able to say goodbye” etc. Not only a death of a beloved one can be incriminating. For example, also humanitarian commitments in disaster areas or fleeing from a familiar environment can change a human for the rest of his life.

Not only soldiers are affected
There are also people who themselves or within their family have suffered a severe destiny.  For instance, let’s think about at the “Verdingchildren” and their families. Here too, there are often unprocessed mourn, guilt and feelings of shame that burden. Mostly our specialists from hospitals, social institutions and our first responders are forgotten. Often, they all come to their limits and sometimes must put away unbearable. Our events are also designed for all these target groups. Together we try to lay down incriminating experiences, thoughts and also thinking about our deceased beloved ones, wounded comrades, friends and family members.

Are these events religious?
Our events are absolutely confession neutral (we do not favor any religious alignment). The events are usually carried out in co-operation with the police, fire department, sanitary, military, hospice, humanitarian and also NPO organizations. We are trained with a national known program from Deborah Grassman, which we now also offer to the German speaking parts of Europe.

Burnout and esteem
Often, people with burnout do not consider themselves or their commitment to be esteemed. Our especially aligned events and seminars give the possibility to close this valve.

To be able to forgive
A study on forgiveness, which the American Psychological Association has published in 2006, has come to the conclusion that forgiveness effectively has advantages. So forgiveness promotes physical and psychological health. It helps to reconcile offender and victim and it can also help to promote hope for conflict solving in the world. SOUL INJURY® shows with a few and comprehensive steps how a forgiveness process can be meaningfully accompanied. This knowledge can also be very well integrated into the work of restorative justice.

Facts on Swiss "Verdingchildren"

Until the 1960’s Swiss authorities took away and hired out (verdingt) ten thousand children from their families. Mostly they were handed out to farmers where they had to work like slaves. They were beaten, molested, raped, humiliated, had to sleep in the barn and were hungry. In 2014 a study from Switzerland could for instance document that “Verdingchildren”, caused by the early suffering due to the foreign placement, still suffer today. They found out, that many of the over 141 questioned cases are likely to suffer from a PTSD.
(Quellen: SRF und /Maercker, Krammer, & Simmen-Janevska, 2015)
"When I was only six years old a man came on a horse and wagon from Gondiswil and stopped at our farm. He cried at my mother: “ Come on, just give me the brat and he will finally learn how to work.” I will probably never forget this day and the rude voice of the man"
Albrecht Zaugg, Switzerland

Facts Germany
▪ Since the founding of the Bundeswehr in the year 1955, about 3200 military and civil members of the Bundeswehr have lost their lives in exercising their duty.
▪ Of the since 1992 sent members of the Bundeswehr to foreign commitments 110 soldiers died 37 fell due to external forces, 73 due to other circumstances.
▪ Round about 3100 Bundeswehr soldiers are momentarily involved in foreign operations (Stand 24. Juni 2019/Statistika). They operate together with soldiers of the alliance partners and friendly nations.

Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-07 um 092236jpg 
(Quelle Bundeswehr Berlin, 24.04.2019)

Facts USA
In the USA about 680'000 former war soldiers die yearly. Many of them have traumatic experiences which they carry with them until they die.  Special care and sensitivity is needed to accompany dying soldiers. In the USA there are various achievements that need to be fulfilled.
SOUL INJURY® offers the necessary trainings in the USA.

(Quelle: NHPCO National Hospice and Palliative Care Organisation USA, 2019)

Facts refugees
The numbers of people who flee from war, conflict and persecution were never as high as today. Mid 2018 there were 68,5 Million people worldwide in flight. In comparison in 2016 there were 65,6 million people and 10 years ago 37,5 million people. Specialized personnel that take care of traumatized people need sensitiveness.

(Quelle: Uno Flüchtlingshilfe Deutschland, 2019)


Congresses introducing Soul Injury in Europe

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Left: 16th World Congress of Palliative of the European Association for Palliative Care in Berlin, Germany
Right: Schweizerischen Tagung für Spiritual Care im Gesundheitswesen, Universitätsspital Basel