Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. William Buhrow


Prolonged and numerous deployments have caused military personnel to encounter a variety of stressors associated with combat. As a result, returning soldiers are commonly being identified as having posttraumatic stress disorder, which does not seem to fully account for the shame, guilt, negative self-cognitions, feelings of worthlessness, and sense of being unforgivable that veterans experience. The complexity of these issues is forcing health professionals to investigate alternative explanations. One explanation that has gained significant interest is the shame that is associated with the concept of moral injury. This study sought to investigate if a self-forgiveness intervention could moderate shame and PTSD symptoms in a sample of active duty service-members who had been diagnosed with trauma. The intervention group showed a significant difference from the control group at discharge in the self-forgiving feelings and actions subscale (SFFA), F(1,38) = 19.21, p