Moral Injury

In this Alumni Short Talk, Dr. Noël Lipana addresses the issue of moral injury. Moral injury often occurs when a person commits, fails to prevent, or witnesses an act that is anathema to their moral beliefs. This experience burdens an individual with guilt and confusion that can distort their self-identity and provoke a distrust of others. While many people are aware of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, not as many are familiar with the term moral injury. Dr. Lipana talks candidly about his experience in the military and how he was affected by moral injury. By helping others understand the effects of moral injury, he’s expanding the discussion about treating this trauma. (Recorded February 18, 2020, Annual CHDS Alumni APEX Workshop, Monterey, CA.)

About the Speaker

Dr. Noël Lipana operates Quiet Terrain, LLC, which uses performing arts to educate communities about moral injury and trauma. He earned his Doctor of Social Work at the University of Southern California in 2018, where he previously did work-study at their Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families. Dr. Lipana’s work on moral injury compelled The House of Commons, Ottawa Canada, to bring him before their standing Committee on Veterans Affairs to testify on veteran transition. He co-founded The Center for Post Traumatic Growth in Sacramento, CA, a 501(c)(3), and was a founding Board member and is the sitting Vice President of the David J. Drakulich Art Foundation. Dr. Lipana earned his Bachelor of Science from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996 and his M.A. from CHDS in 2011. He has served in various Air Force and Army units throughout his twenty-year career, including time in Afghanistan as a counter-IED specialist. Dr. Lipana medically retired from the service as a Lieutenant Colonel.

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