In past times, warriors who came home from battle had very specific rituals of healing and cleansing the spirit. The wisdom of our ancestors understood the toll that was taken on the spirit when engaging in combat.
Many believe we have forgotten this wisdom and that to engage in meaningful healing, all aspects of the warrior must be considered which include body, mind and spirit.
Books that may be of interest on this subject are:
At Hell’s Gate “A Soldier’s Journey from War to Peace”, Claude Ashin Thomas, Shambhala Press, 2006.
War and the Soul, Ed Tick, Ph.D., Quest Books, 2005
Websites that may be helpful:
Never Alone http://neveralonemilitary.com/ Never Alone is a nonprofit effort managed by Armed Services Ministry of American Bible Society. ASM exists to help meet the critical spiritual needs of our nation’s military by providing customized ministry programs and Scripture resources.
Operation Restored Warrior www.operationrestoredwarrior.org seeks to raise up wounded warriors to speak, share, and move with courage and certainty in order that those held captive to their life experiences may be released.
PTSD Anonymous http://www.ptsdanonymous.org/ – follows the general “12-step” framework which reflects the success of other established support groups across the country. As PTSDA grows, this framework will change to meet new challenges and the experiences of those running the program.
For some, the experience of military trauma causes deep conflict in their spirituality and past relationship to a God or Higher Power. The complementary version of a 12 step format is included in this site.
Reboot Recovery Spiritual Program www.rebootrecovery.com – REBOOT exists to address the often overlooked spiritual aspects of combat trauma. The programs speak to issues of identity, false guilt, forgiveness and building an environment of healing by connecting the hurting with the Healer.
Soldier’s Heart www.soldiersheart.net – developed by Edward Tick, Ph.D. and Kate Dahlstedt, MACP, provides a unique and comprehensive model to address the emotional, moral, and spiritual wounds of veterans, their families and communities. It offers a genuine healing and homecoming from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by developing a new and honorable warrior identity supported by community.