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Moral injury en herstel

Een existentiële verkenning

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden moral injury, PTSS, verantwoordelijkheid, vertrouwen, veiligheid
Auteurs Joachim Duyndam
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper examines moral injury, in relation to recovery from this kind of psychic damage and to restorative justice. In recent research the concept is developed in distinction from the psychiatric diagnosis PTSD. Whereas PTSD is rooted in anxiety, as it occurs during or after life-threatening situations, people suffering from moral injury are disruptively affected by guilt and shame, in the slipstream of which they may be tormented by remorse, self-loathing, anger and self-disgust – with symptoms similar to PTSD. Unlike PTSD, however, the risk of moral injury is part of ordinary life. It may happen to anyone. Therefore, this paper takes an ‘existential’ perspective by relating moral injury to the fundamental human condition of relationality. Moral injury is interpreted as the disturbance of the responsibility, the confidence and the security that fundamentally sustain the human relationships to the world, to each other, and to oneself. One way of recovering from moral injury is through empathy, primarily performed by caregivers or chaplains who guide the morally injured, and consequently accomplished by the injured themselves, in a narrative way.


Joachim Duyndam
Joachim Duyndam is hoogleraar humanisme en filosofie aan de Universiteit voor Humanistiek, Utrecht.
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