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Image of CDP Presents: The Moral Cost of Responding to COVID-19: Identifying an

CDP Presents: The Moral Cost of Responding to COVID-19: Identifying and Addressing Moral Injury in Healthcare Personnel and First Responders

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Sonya Norman |  Wyatt Evans |  Michelle Kelley |  Paula Domenici |  Shira Maguen
1 Hour 30 Minutes
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Given the current pandemic and concerns about moral distress experienced by individuals on the frontlines, the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) will convene a group of experts to discuss strategies for identifying and addressing moral injury. The goal is to bring leaders in the field together to share ideas and recommendations about how behavioral health providers and communities can support individuals at risk for experiencing distress from exposure to COVID-19-related ethical challenges. Panelists will share knowledge based on working with and researching moral injury in Service members and Veterans and other populations and brainstorm ways to apply it to healthcare providers, first responders and the National Guard.  The latest research, interventions, and resources will be discussed. 


Target Audience: For behavioral health/healthcare providers who treat military personnel, veterans, and their families.


Instructional Level: Introductory

Learning Objectives 

1. Appraise the concepts of moral injury and moral distress and how they manifest
2. Evaluate the current state of research and treatment for moral injury
3. Develop initial strategies for assessing and assisting individuals exposed to COVID-19-related moral challenges


This activity is approved for 1.5 continuing education credits (CEs)


The Center for Deployment Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Center for Deployment Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


American Psychological Association (APA)

The Center for Deployment Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Center for Deployment Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.



Sonya Norman Related seminars and products:


Dr. Sonya Norman is Director of the PTSD Consultation Program through the Executive Branch of the National Center for PTSD and  Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Dr. Norman served on the 2017 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline committee for PTSD. Dr. Norman’s primary areas of research are in psychotherapies that treat PTSD and common co-occurring disorders and in treating common problems faced by recently deployed Veterans.

Wyatt Evans Related seminars and products:


Wyatt R. Evans, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist with the VA North Texas Health Care System and in private practice in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He also supports DoD-, VA-, and NIH-funded research in the areas of trauma-focused treatment, moral injury, and resilience enhancement. Dr. Evans is certified in Prolonged Exposure and trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD. His also has expertise in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and has developed programs for utilizing ACT to treat moral injury, enhance resilience, and facilitate posttraumatic growth. Among Dr. Evans’ ongoing projects are an ACT-based workbook, The Moral Injury Work, for supporting healing among those affected by moral injury and a program development study of an ACT-based training to enhance resilience among military Special Forces trainees. 

Paula Domenici Related seminars and products:

Ph.D., Psychologist


Paula Domenici, Ph.D., is a licensed counseling psychologist working as the director of Civilian Training Programs at the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.  She oversees all civilian courses and training programs, and develops and presents workshops on deployment-related topics for military and civilian clinicians across the country.

Dr. Domenici specializes in war-related trauma and the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.  She also worked at the National Naval Medical Center, treating Navy personnel and Marines returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in the outpatient behavioral health clinic and inpatient casualty care unit.

Earlier in her career, she was an American Psychological Association Congressional Fellow at the Office of Senator Hillary Clinton, as well as a staff psychologist at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center. She is a co-author of two books, Courage after Fire: Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and Their Families; and Courage after Fire for Parents of Service Members: Strategies for Coping When Your Son or Daughter Returns from Deployment. 

Shira Maguen's Profile

Shira Maguen Related seminars and products:

Shira Maguen, Ph.D. is Mental Health Director of the Post-9/11 Integrated Care Clinic and Staff Psychologist on the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Clinical Team (PCT) at the San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS), and Professor in the Dept. of Psychiatry, UCSF School of Medicine. Dr. Maguen was appointed to and served on the Creating Options for Veterans' Expedited Recovery (COVER) Commission. She is also the San Francisco site co-lead for the VA Women’s Practice Based Research Network (PBRN) and Director of the SFVAHCS PTSD MIRECC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. Dr. Maguen completed her internship and postdoctoral training at the National Center for PTSD at the VA Boston Healthcare System after receiving her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Georgia State University. She is involved with both the research and clinical components of the PTSD program. Her research interests fall under the umbrella of PTSD, moral injury, and suicide, and include risk and resilience factors in veterans, with a particular focus on female veterans. Dr. Maguen was the recipient of a VA Health Services Research and Development Grant that examined the impact of killing in veterans of war and moral injury. She has four additional grants that examine a novel treatment for veterans who have killed in war; trauma-related eating problems in female veterans; the effectiveness of evidence-based treatments in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans via natural language processing; and the effectiveness of a behaviorally-based treatment for insomnia (BBTI) in primary care. She recently completed a grant that examines PTSD and co-morbid conditions in OIF/OEF female veterans, and one that examines mild TBI and PTSD in OIF/OEF veterans. Dr. Maguen is the author of over 125 peer-reviewed publications, most of which focus on veteran mental health. She also works in a clinical capacity within the Post-9/11 Integrated Care Clinic and treating veterans with evidence-based treatments for PTSD. She supervises research health fellows and other trainees in evidence-based treatments for PTSD, and provides mentorship for trauma-focused research fellows



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