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On Tuesday 9th February 2021 we were delighted to welcome over 150 professionals who joined us for our Moral Injury in Healthcare Settings online conference.  It was a great day with thought provoking and insightful presentations 

  • Moral Injury : Historical Context and Recent Innovations by Professor Edgar Jones
  • Moral Injury in Healthcare : What it is and why it matters  By Dr Esther Murray
  • Working with Shame, Guild and Disgust by Dr Kerensa Hocken
  • Understanding Moral Injury in the Experiences of Police Online Child Sex Crime Investigators by Professor Peter Lee, Dr Mark Doyle & Dr Kit Tapson
  • UK Veterans Experiences of Moral Injury by Dr Victoria Williamson 
  • Moral Injury : Early Screen & Help-seeking by Mr Perry Devlin 
  • Are racial inequalities in the application of Mental Health Law a source of moral injury? by Dr Deborah Morris, Mr David Gibbs & Dr Paul Wallang

And joining us live from the USA, Dr Wendy Dean spoke on Moral Injury : Why Words Matter

The feedback from our delegates was was also truly inspiring with 94% reporting that they would change their work based practice as a result of attending the conference and 100% of attendees reporting that they had learnt something new!

Here are just a few of the wonderful comments we received...

“Thank you for this fascinating and open-minded wide-ranging conference. I look forward to the next one if this may be possible.”   ...   “Thank you St Andrews”   ...   “Many many thanks for a very very interesting and informative day.”   ...   “Thank you, that was wonderful”


St Andrew’s Healthcare and the British Psychological Society are delighted to be jointly hosting a one day conference to bring together health professionals and the leading researchers in this field to explore conceptual and clinical issues relating to Moral Injury.

Moral injury is a relatively new construct that seeks to understand psychological, spiritual and behavioural sequela that can arise through engaging in, witnessing, failing to prevent or learning about activities that transgress the moral and ethical code of the individual.  Experiencing a ‘moral injury’ can cause significant and protracted psychological distress and its effects can be debilitating. It is associated with depression, PTSD, anxiety disorders, behavioural difficulties and suicidal behaviours. The profound impact on one's sense of self, spiritual connectivity, on trust and intra and interpersonal relationships have also been documented. Whilst the criteria for moral injury remain experimental, and it is not yet included in diagnostic systems, there is increasing acknowledgment that the needs of this population cannot be accounted for through current PTSD frameworks alone.

Moral injury has predominantly been explored in military populations, although more recently its relevance to past and currently serving police, paramedics, healthcare practitioners, veterinary practitioners, journalists and teachers has been explored.

The Conference

Using a combination of oral papers and panel discussion the conference will review current evidence and good practice examples. The conference will address assessment and treatment needs and explore conceptual issues in the relationship of Moral injury and PTSD.  New research and clinical approaches will be explored, including the application of moral injury to health professionals.

  • History and developments in Moral Injury, Professor Edgar Jones, Kings College London
  • Moral Injury versus Burnout, Dr Wendy Dean, Moral Injury of Healthcare 
  • Moral Injury in Police Officers working in CEOP, Professor Peter Lee, University of Portsmouth & Dr Mark Doyle, Solent University
  • Moral injury in Healthcare professionals, Dr Esther Murray, Queen Mary and Westfield College
  • Moral Injury in veteran populations, Dr Victoria Williamson, King's Centre for Military health Research & Mr Perry Devlin, Liaison Nurse, VMH-CTS
  • Working with Shame, Guilt and Disgust, Dr Kerensa Hocken, Lead Psychologist, Midlands Psychology Service
  • Are racial inequalities in the application of mental health legislation a source of moral injury?, Dr Deborah Morris, David Gibbs & Dr Paul Wallang

Meet Our Speakers

Professor Edgar Jones

  professor edgar jones

Professor Edgar Jones

Edgar Jones is a professor in the History of Medicine and Psychiatry at King's College London and a member of the King's Centre for Military Health Research. He also sits on the editorial board of the British Journal of Psychiatry and History of Psychiatry. Despite his academic background being in history, he has been researching and practising in psychology for over 2 decades and has had more than 130 publications. His research focuses largely around the psychological effects of modern war and conflict, focusing specifically on themes such as: the impact of traumatic experiences on wellbeing; moral injury and risk factors for radicalisation, PTSD and chronic multi-symptom illness resulting from military service.

In 2015 Professor Jones was recipient of a president's medal from the Royal College of Psychiatrists for making significant contribution to improving the lives of people with mental health disorders.

Dr Wendy Dean

Dr Wendy Dean  

Dr Wendy Dean

Dr. Dean left clinical medicine when generating revenue crowded out the patient-centered priorities of her practice. Her focus since has been on finding innovative ways to make medicine better for both patients and physicians through technology, ethics, and systems change.

Dr. Dean practiced for 15 years as an emergency room physician and then as a psychiatrist. After leaving clinical practice, she spent eight years in leadership positions, overseeing medical research funding for the U.S. Army, and as a senior executive at a large nonprofit in Washington, D.C., supporting novel strategies to restore form, function and appearance to ill and injured service members. She turned her full attention to addressing moral injury in 2019.

Dr. Dean is a regular contributor to Medscape’s Business of Medicine, blogs on Psychology Today, and continues to work in innovative fields with NASA, the American Society of Reconstructive Transplantation, and the Transplant Ethics and Policy Working Group at New York University Langone Medical Center.

Professor Peter Lee

  Prof Peter Lee

Professor Peter Lee

Peter Lee served as a Royal Air Force chaplain between 2001-2008 and then went on to teach ethics and also air power studies until 2017. He is now a professor of applied ethics and the director of security, risk research and innovation at the University of Portsmouth. He is also an expert advisor to the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones, a role in which his research and evidence is used to influence policy and decision-making. His research concentrates on the ethical and human implications of using drones and autonomous weapon systems in military, policing and wider security operations. He has been granted unprecedented access to two RAF drone squadrons for his research.

Most recently Peter has been collaborating with Mark Doyle to investigate 'Moral Injury and Belief Change in the Experiences of Police Investigators in Child Exploitation Units'.


Dr Mark Doyle

  dr mark doyle

Dr Mark Doyle

Mark Doyle is a chartered psychologist, lecturer and researcher at Solent university. Much of his previous research has focused primarily on child and adolescent mental health. His PhD in particular explored the risk of mental illness throughout childhood and adolescence by assessing childhood traumatic experiences and using structural equation modelling techniques. Other research interests include PTSD, the effect of trauma throughout the lifespan and revictimization of those who experienced childhood trauma.

Mark's current research projects include investigating the wellbeing of police investigators who investigate online child sex crimes, and the wellbeing of security staff who may have traumatic experiences as part of their job.

Dr Kit Tapson

Dr Kit Tapson photo  

Dr Kit Tapson

Kit is an experienced researcher at the University of Portsmouth and an accredited counsellor with the National Counselling Society. Her Ph.D. at the University of Surrey explored how young people who bully experience counselling. The focus of her research is upon health and wellbeing, particularly amongst marginalised and disenfranchised populations. Kit is currently researching moral injury and trauma as experienced by online child sex crime investigators.

Dr Esther Murray

  dr esther murray

Dr Esther Murray

Dr Esther Murray is a chartered and registered health psychologist and senior lecturer in Health Psychology at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University. She has a background in training NHS staff in communication skills and also using psychological interventions for cardiac care. Her research now centres around social inequalities in health, wellbeing of medical students and doctors and doctor-patient communication. She also has an interest in chronic pain and how this can impact doctor-patient communication.

Esther has recently developed a strong research interest in moral injury in healthcare professionals, especially those who work in emergency settings such as paramedics. Recent publications include Moral Injury and Paramedic Practice; Are Medical Students in Prehospital Care at Risk of Moral Injury? and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Emergency Medicine Residents: A Role for Moral Injury?

Dr Victoria Williamson

  victoria williamson 2

Dr Victoria Williamson

Victoria Williamson is a postdoctoral research associate who joined King's College London back in 2016 after completing her PhD at the University of Bath. In 2019 she was also elected to the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS) Future International Leadership Group. Since working at KCL she has been coordinating research focusing on mental health and wellbeing of military personnel, including PTSD, recovering from trauma and moral injury.

Victoria has published several research articles this year, including 'Confidentiality and Psychological Treatment of Moral Injury: The Elephant in the Room' and 'The Impact of Trauma Exposure and Moral Injury on UK Military: A Qualitative Study'.

Mr Perry Devlin

  Perry Devlin

Mr Perry Devlin

Perry has been working at St Andrew's Healthcare as a mental health nurse for over 9 years and now holds the position of Clinical Liaison Nurse. He supports military veterans with complex mental health needs, taking a biopsychosocial approach and offering therapeutic support for complex mental health needs and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Perry is currently studying for an MSc in Global Military Veteran and Family Studies at Anglia Ruskin University, which he hopes will help him develop a more diverse approach to military veteran mental health. He has a strong interest in moral injury and is keen to use research and evidence from this field to help him on this endeavour.

Dr Kerensa Hocken

  kerensa hocken

Dr Kerensa Hocken

Dr Kerensa Hocken is a senior psychologist and clinical lead for the Sex Offender Treatment Programme at HMP Whatton. She is also Director at Freedom Psychology LTD, a company that offers interventions and psychological support to people who are at risk of committing sexual offences, as well as volunteering as a trustee and being a co-founder of Safer Living Foundation. This charity was established in 2014 to conduct and evaluate initiatives helping to prevent further victims of sexual crime. Kerensa is also a member of two other organisations that aim to prevent sexual abuse.

Kerensa's recent research publications have included:

'Using Personal Narratives to Humanise People with Pedophilic Sexual Abuse'

'Compassion and Acceptance as Interventions for Paraphilic Disorders and Sexual Offending Behaviours'

Dr Deborah Morris

Deborah Morris Pic  

Dr Deborah Morris

Deborah is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and leads the St Andrew’s developmental and complex trauma research programme, which focuses on the needs of marginalized sections of society. During her career she has worked clinically with adults with complex personality disorder, neurodevelopmental, forensic and mental health needs in community, assertive outreach, crisis, residential and inpatient settings. Deborah has previously worked in professional and clinical lead positions. Her research interests and publications include; treatments for personality disorder, intellectual disabilities, developmental trauma disorder, intimate partner violence, gendered approaches to trauma and trauma care, adverse childhood experiences, complex trauma in marginalised populations and the physical health impact of exposure to trauma.

Mr David Gibbs

David Gibbs  

David Gibbs

David Gibbs is a trainer and consultant on race and mental health. He also serves as a Magistrate in Birmingham and Hospital Lay Manager. As an Expert by Experience consultant he works with University of Birmingham Department of Psychology and formerly Common Awards (University of Durham) on race and inclusion. He has a wealth of experience facilitating reflective workshops in race and Whiteness, including for the DIvision of Clinical Psychology of the BPS. As a trainer he leads sessions on Foster Care and Mental Health. He has also written a number of articles and blogs for Clinical Psychology Forum, Liberation Psychology and National Survivor User Network.

Dr Paul Wallang

Paul Wallang v2  

Dr Paul Wallang

Paul Wallang is a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, Honorary Senior Research Associate at University College London and Associate Medical Director for Research and Innovation at Andrews Healthcare as well as the organisational lead for outcomes and value. He has a longstanding interest in outcomes and the implementation of value based healthcare and is working on a range of projects at the cutting edge of technology such as machine learning and precision medicine to develop and deliver truly holistic treatment and rehabilitation.