Sad woman sitting on the sofa with depression

Activities & writing prompts for coping with moral injury


Create a responsibility pie chart

Use this technique if you experience emotions like guilt, shame, or anger around “who’s to blame” for a challenging event or situation. 

  1. Make a list of all possible factors that contributed to the challenging situation, even if you think they are only one percent responsible. 
  2. Roughly estimate a percentage of how much responsibility you can assign to each factor (or piece of the pie). 
  3. Assign yourself responsibility once you’ve listed all other factors. 

After you’ve considered all other factors, is there as much blame left for yourself as you initially thought?

Connect with gratitude

Gratitude can counteract many of the negative emotions we experience. Take five minutes each day to identify three things you feel grateful for. 

Writing prompts

You can also try one or both of these writing prompts:

  1. Similar to the responsibility pie chart described above, write a short letter describing the challenging event or situation and all the factors that lead up to it. Pay attention to which factors were in your control and which factors were not.
  2. Morally challenging situations can lead to feelings of shame, worthlessness, or a loss of trust in yourself. To challenge some of those feelings, make a list of things you like about yourself. What makes you feel worthy, valued, and proud?