Case Study of “Moral Injury”

Format Dutch Case Studies Project


  • Guus Van Loenen Vincent van Gogh Psychiatric Center in Venray
  • Jacques Körver Tilburg School of Catholic Theology
  • Martin Walton Protestant Theological University
  • Reijer De Vries Protestant Theological University



Case study, chaplaincy care, mental health, moral injury, Psalms, ritual


The case study “Moral Injury” traces care provided by a chaplain in a mental health institution to a former military marksman named “Hans”. Hans was in care at a specialized unit for military veterans with traumas. He sought contact with a chaplain “to set things right with God” and wanted the chaplain to perform a ritual to that end. The case study traces the care provided in conversations, in the reading of Psalms and in the construction and performance of a ritual.

Author Biographies

Guus Van Loenen, Vincent van Gogh Psychiatric Center in Venray

Guus Van Loenen is a chaplain with a Roman Catholic background, who has worked for 32 years in mental healthcare. He has been trained in pastoral psychology, ethics, psychodynamic counselling, interculturalization and supervision. He has a special interest in the relationship between psychiatry and mysticism.

Jacques Körver, Tilburg School of Catholic Theology

Jacques Körver is Associate Professor of Practical Theology and CPE Supervisor at the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology and Chief Editor of the Dutch chaplaincy journal, Tijdschrift Geestelijke Verzorging. His research topics include religious coping, the personality of the chaplain, chaplains and organizations, and theoretical underpinnings of chaplaincy.

Martin Walton, Protestant Theological University

Martin Walton is Professor of Chaplaincy Care at the Protestant Theological University. He chairs the academic advisory board of the Dutch chaplaincy association, VGVZ. His research topics include intercultural and interreligious chaplaincy care and conceptualizations of chaplaincy and spirituality.

Reijer De Vries, Protestant Theological University

Reijer De Vries is Associate Professor of Pastoral Care at the Protestant Theological University and staff member of the Centre for Prison Chaplaincy Studies (Tilburg). His research topics include (history of) lay pastoral care, pastoral theology (Eduard Thurneysen) and lay pastoral care and aftercare in prison chaplaincy.


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Drescher, K. D., D. W. Foy, C. Kelly, A. Leshner, K. Schutz and B. Litz (2011) “An Exploration of the Viability and Usefulness of the Construct of Moral Injury in War Veterans”. Traumatology 17(1): 8–13.

Litz, B. T., N. Stein, E. Delaney, L. Lebowitz, W. P. Nash, C. Silva and S. Maguen (2009) “Moral Injury and Moral Repair in War Veterans: A Preliminary Model and Intervention Strategy”. Clinical Psychology Review 29(8): 695–706.

Molendijk, T., E.-H. Kramer and D. Verweij (2016) “Conflicting Notions on Violence and PTSD in the Military: Institutional and Personal Narratives of Combat-Related Illness”. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 40(3): 338–60.

Van der Hart, O. (1983) Rituals in Psychotherapy: Transition and Continuity. New York: Irvington Publishers.

Van Loenen, G. (2005) Voor de geest staan. Zorg voor zingeving als taak van de geestelijke gezondheidszorg. Tilburg: KSGV.

Walton, M., and J. Körver (2018) “Dutch Case Studies Project in Chaplaincy Care: A Description and Theoretical Explanation of the Format and Procedures”. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy 5(2): 259–80.



How to Cite

Van Loenen, G., Körver, J., Walton, M., & De Vries, R. (2018). Case Study of “Moral Injury”: Format Dutch Case Studies Project. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 5(2), 281–296.

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