Transforming Conflict

Resources for Moral Trauma & Moral Resilience

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Get the Book
HOLDING ONTO AIR: The Art and Science of Building a Resilient Spirit
Holding Onto Air is the first book to illuminate the dual nature of loss — the science behind it and the art of transforming it.

With poignant wisdom and refreshing insight, trauma researcher and therapist (and triple heart attack survivor), Dr. Michele DeMarco, explodes traditional myths of resilience and shows what it takes to thrive through any of life’s challenges. DeMarco situates meaningful challenge and loss specifically in the context of “lost innocence,” and challenges common notions that we can think our way out of despair and back to a “normal” happy life when the unimaginable shatters it. Leveraging advances in emotion science, somatic psychology, neuroscience, and trauma, Holding Onto Air brings the body and spirit into the solution, as much as the mind, and so presents a truly integrated, “whole person” approach to building resilience. It also makes spirit accessible for anyone of any background or belief — or no aligned belief.

More than a rudimentary map for navigating grief and loss’ rocky terrain (with tired tropes and shop-worn strategies), DeMarco offers a unique and trusted guide for an arduous journey every human being will have to face — the realization of evil, pain, or mortality that occurs after a person experiences trauma.

Coming Fall 2023, by Berret-Koehler!

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Assessments & Inventories

Here you can find a couple of self-assessment tools. The Moral Injury Inventory can help you determine if your experiences, feelings, and behaviors may be related to moral injury. The Whole Soul Inventory assesses your moral strengths and areas for growth. Either (or both) can be a great place to start. They can also be useful to engage with down the road to see how far you've come.

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Gifts of Inspiration

FAQs & Information Sheets

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Download, Share, Pin

Quote Cards

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More Downloads

Inventories for Whole Soul Living

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Get the kit

Creative Arts Exercises

for Cultivating Moral Resilience

Creative Arts Exercises Kit

For when talking is too much

Moral pain needs to be expressed just as much as other emotions, like joy and love. But sometimes it can be difficult to communicate these painful experiences, especially aloud and to others; sometimes words simply aren’t enough. That’s where the creative arts come in.

The following creative arts exercises are a sampling of how to safely and creatively explore the beliefs, values, and experiences that may be contributing to your moral trauma and holding you back.

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Videos, Websites, Books, and Movies

Resource List

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Tips to reset your brain and body when everything feels impossible

Distress Tolerance Techniques


Real-time relief

These techniques have been adapted from science-backed, evidenced-based therapies that help to regulate strong emotions. They can be used whenever you find yourself feeling distressed, depressed, or overwhelmed. They can also be used to help you ground yourself during stressful moments in life generally.

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Articles & Posts

man and woman holding each others hands

Moral Injury and the Agony and Power of Love

At its core, moral injury is about trust and our sacred relationships.
man sitting on sofa
Moral Injury

Bouncing Back From Moral Injury

How neuroscience and somatic therapy helped a special forces vet find new life.
person sitting on top of gray rock overlooking mountain during daytime

6 Underestimated Drivers of Well-Being

Research shows these psychospiritual forces may be critically important for decreasing risk of illness and death and boosting overall health
two person in yellow, red, and black parachute under blue sky during daytime

How to Cultivate Moral Resilience

Moral resilience is the antidote for the powerlessness felt from moral distress.
Moral Injury

What Not to Say to Someone Dealing with Moral Injury

Knowing how to be present without overstepping boundaries can help a loved one.
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Publications by Topic

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We cannot recreate our lives going backward.
We can only reclaim our life moving forward.
-Michele DeMarco, from Holding Onto Air: The Art and Science of Building a Resilient Spirit

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