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
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.
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
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
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
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 netzwerk-verdingt.ch /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
(Quelle Bundeswehr Berlin, 24.04.2019)
(Quelle: NHPCO National Hospice and Palliative Care Organisation USA, 2019)
(Quelle: Uno Flüchtlingshilfe Deutschland, 2019)