Moral Injury and Suicidality across the  Dissociative Spectrum: Effective Treatment using EMDR Therapy

April 14-15, 2018

Location: Soldier Center, Clarksville, TN

Frequently veterans with moral injury, enhanced by shame and survivor's guilt, suffering with complex PTSD with dissociative episodes say . . .

                                      "Suicide is always an option" and
                                      "Staying alive is more difficult than dying!"

Dr. Hurley, the presenter, reviews how veterans with moral injury and complex PTSD frequently struggle with suicide ideation.  Veteran responses related to moral injury,  and complex trauma frequently include altered states of awareness (dissociative episodes) - creating the storm for a dissociative suicidal act.  


         - clinical characteristics affiliated with complex PTSD, the dissociative spectrum, and moral injury and their
            interactions which create compound symptom clusters.

        - discuss the impact of chronic shame on moral injury, dissociation and suicidality.

         - identify and manage dissociative exhibitions across the spectrum during EMDR therapy processing.

        - the evolving concept of moral injury, including shame and guilt, and its impact in suicidal ideation. 

        - approaches to effectively treat moral injury with EMDR therapy.

        - working with suicide ideation among the veteran population while offering effective trauma resolution/hope
           with EMDR therapy.

        - the effective use of EMDR therapy's client-centered model in addressing complex trauma issues and resolving
          moral injury and suicidal ideation issues.


E. C. Hurley, PhD

This workshop is designed to assist clinicians in developing a level of clinical competency in these critical area.  Participants will gain an understanding of these issues in order to provide effective treatment with clients as many  regularly struggle to live each day. 

Training objectives include:

1. Gain an understanding of the clinical issues involved in working with complex trauma both combat and military sexual assault.

2. Review the dissociative spectrum in treating complex trauma populations with suicidal ideation and moral wounds.  

3. Discuss the concept of moral injury (MI) as a centuries old human experience of shame, guilt and violation of one's values addressed and treated by theologians/religious leaders, moral philosophers, and mental health providers through the centuries.  The effective application of EMDR therapy in the treatment of MI will be presented.

4. List the signs and degrees of suicidual considerations, theoretical models and effective interventions.

5. Explore case studies from veterans with C-PTSD, dissociative exhibitions with moral injury, who discuss their repetitive suicial attempts while describing what therapists said to them which was counter-productive as well as helpful to their will to live.

Registration forms will be available and poster here shortly - check back to this site.

“The issue of suicide is an American public health crisis, but among veterans, we know it‘s an even bigger issue. And so we’ve deemed reducing veterans suicide our highest clinical priority,” said Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin."

Registration Form for Workshop April 14-15

Since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) E. C. Hurley, PhD - a retired Army Colonel of 30+ years - has worked with military personnel and veterans from these wars who suffer with various psychological wounds including PTSD and moral injury.  Reports indicate 20 veterans per day commit suicide.  The demand has been so intense that some veterans report calling a national suicide hotline and being placed on hold due to the demand.  A number of veterans say to Dr. Hurley, "Suicide is always an option" and "It is easier for me to die than the struggle to stay alive."  Some veterans treated by the presenter note they struggle with moral injury wounds, complex PTSD symptoms and while in dissociative conditions attempted suicide 2-3 times. 

The Presenter integrates his background including doctorates in Clinical Psychology and Pastoral Counseling with 30 years of military duty to address this critical need.  Dr. Hurley is the Founder/Director of Soldier Center, a community based psychotherapy center in Clarksville, TN with a staff of eight full-time therapists who treat military personnel, veterans and their family members.