Grief Counseling Certification Blog on the Loss of War in Ukraine

War is the ultimate failure in dialogue.  Violence is never justified against another yet throughout history war has been used as a vehicle of violence against countless billions.  War in many cultures is seen as a punishment from above and a sign of sin.  The Horseman of War is one of the four riders of the Apocalypse spreading hate, violence and death in many of these cultures.  In others, war is attributed to the god of war.

Loss and grief from war is always extremely traumatic. It leaves death imprint and deep trauma to those who experience intense loss. Many suffer from PTSD. Please pray for Ukraine


Ultimately war comes from human beings because of greed, envy and hate.  It is an absence of reason and a cruel extension of diplomacy by force.  With it comes death, loss and suffering at a grand scale.  This is especially true for wars that disregard civilian life and human decency.   Ironically, war can be justified if for defense and it can also be carried out within a a code of conduct, but rarely does that matter, when even the “just” can fall to blood lust in battle.  War has no victors but only those who mourn the loss of life, property and future.

In Ukraine, war has again come to Europe.  Loss is everywhere at a traumatic level.   The loss is incomprehensible for the victims of the war.   The people and soldiers who experience the death and destruction are victims of war’s evil spell.   Many experience losses of children, spouses, parents, or pets.  Beyond the loss of family, many have lost their entire life savings, as well as future.  There is no house to return to due to the bombs, but only ash.  Within Ukraine there is also a loss of identity, where the nation itself fights for its very existence.

This type of death mark and traumatic loss will haunt the people of Ukraine for the rest of their lives, well beyond the calendar end of the war.   The scars, the trauma, the loss, and the horrendous destruction cannot be forgiven much less forgotten.   These poor souls who survive the physical pain will forever be haunted by the emotional and mental pain of this war.

The severe trauma of death imprint is one symptom which will cause a high level of PTSD within the general population.  The sound of the bombs and missiles, the rolling of tanks, and the sound of gunfire will haunt civilians and soldiers alike.  With no safe haven, these victims will suffer to come to grips with the unprocessed trauma that was witnessed in their own cities.  The death imprints of dead in the streets, bodies unburied, and the smell of the dead, will haunt adults and children alike.  The pure genocide of a town will imprint itself on the minds of so many.  Not only will the loss of loved ones and home be relived, but also the moment itself.

Furthermore, in any mass destruction, there will be a multitude of individuals who suffer from survivor guilt.  They will feel guilty they lived and a loved one did not, or they will regret what they did or did not.  This will haunt them as they relive the moments of the war.   For these civilians, the trauma may be far worst than for a soldier because war should never come to one’s home.

Total destruction of war leaves one asking why? The grief and loss of war is severe.  Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification


The mere thought of this also terrifies those from afar.  Mentally, most of Western Europe is witnessing the grief of refugees, while others witness the carnage on television.  This is creating a fear within the general population of earth of a potential great war, where what is occurring will happen throughout the world.  The anxiety and fear of a greater war ending in a nuclear holocaust between the West and Russia is awakening anxiety, anger, fear and grief.

This war is only to real not only for those who are suffering from it and fighting in it, but also those witnessing it from afar.  Seeing small children die, or civilian homes destroyed from missiles afar all awake a fear to everyone else.  Anyone with empathy can feel the pain but also the fear of sharing that experience.  Many are experiencing an anticipatory grief with fears of losing loved ones in a major conflict.  A once never conceived  idea of massive loss and pain is now potentially materializing for many people throughout the world.

This war will no doubt scar a generation.  Many will need counseling to deal with trauma, PTSD, and depression.  The type of loss and inhumane bombing taking place in Ukraine is not something one simply forgets.  It is not a type of loss that can be rationalized.  It is unnecessary and shocking.  It is an evil with no purpose perpetrating by an evil man.   This is the hardest type of loss for individuals to process.  The question of why and how?  Individuals will never fully understand why their lives have been torn away never to be the same.  Their lives are the things of nightmares.

Many from afar suffer anticipatory grief and the fear of nuclear holocaust.


These are the types of losses that war produces.  War creates such horrible and unimaginable loss of loved ones and homes and crimes against humanity that the human brain cannot fathom it.  The trauma is fragmented and never able to be processed in a healthy way.  Instead, the loss haunts and creates this horrible imprint upon those who experience it.

Grief Counselors and licensed counselors and other therapists will need to help individuals process the pain of loss well after the conclusion of this war.   This will be no easy task as many will remain depressed and numb to the cruel atrocities this war has created.  In addition to treating PTSD and depression, individuals will need treated for a variety of anxiety disorders and substance abuse issues that will result from attempting to escape the pain.   Crisis Counselors will have to help individuals find some hope, despite the horrible despair and suicidal ideas that may enter their minds.  How does one rebuild from this war?  The hopelessness will be very real in these souls and it will take well trained mental health care professionals to help these individuals find hope.

It will also take the rest of the world to give hope through time, prayers and financial donations to help rebuild lives.  Buildings can be rebuilt, but for others, loss of limbs, or loss of family cannot.  Some will never find the peace despite this aid but will have to learn to cope with the loss of a loved one, son, daughter, sibling, parent or dear friend, even a devout pet.

Please pray for Ukraine and peace in this world.


Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.

Christian Counseling Certification Blog on Just War and Putin’s Failure to Adhere

The recent war in Ukraine is an atrocity that screams to heaven for justice.  Vladimir Putin has disregarded all norms of civilized war and like the “Hitlers” before him has become an international war criminal hiding behind a large nation and army.  His war in Ukraine not only fails the standards of justification according to civilized nations and secular society but completely fails all standards of Christian conduct.

This is amazing since many right extremist Christians once hailed him as a good Christian man.  His own puppet regime church in Moscow quietly ignores his atrocities as he unfolds an unjust war in Ukraine and the true un-Christian mask is removed from the face of this dictator. Putin has no care for just war or anything remotely Christian and his behavior in past wars such as in Syria, Georgia, Chechenia and other regions also show the atrocities towards civilians and un-needed death that follows his immoral orders.

The just man and woman though ask questions how a Christian may take up arms against such monsters.  In WW2, millions took up arms against Hitler and were forced into bloody conflict.  Hence how does one retain Christian teaching of “Thou Shall not Murder” in response to unjust aggression.  It seems almost comical to call upon violence to stop violence within Christian teaching.  It seems contradictory but due to the fallen world we live in, we do not have the luxury of living in a white and black world and unfortunately, sometimes, force is needed to stop a greater evil.   This blog will review Aquinas’ theory on just war and also look to understand what it means to be a Christian during war.

What makes a war just? Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification


Self defense is a key concept.  One is always entitled to defend oneself within appropriate response as the matter dictates.  If one tries to assault another, oneself is entitled to resist and fight back, even if injury is incurred upon the aggressor.  The intent was never to hurt another person but to protect oneself.  The secondary result in defending oneself is the injury to the aggressor.  This falls within a remote and often unheard moral concept known as the Double Effect.  An action with good intention produces two ends, one good and one not good.  The good result is willed while the not good result is a byproduct.  Hence in self defense, one’s primary vocation to life which is self-preservation is undertaken.  In this endeavor, one seeks to preserve one’s life through appropriate force against an aggressor which results in one’s preservation but also the byproduct of injury to the other.

One often can become confused since Christianity if improperly interpreted produces a pacifism in all cases.   Christ did say to turn the other cheek and warned those who take up the sword will die by the sword.  Do these words contradict self defense and defense of the weak?  Christ never came as a political savior to the Jews despite the horrific treatment they received from the Romans.  Christ was a spiritual redeemer and presented no political doctrine.  What he intended to teach was how we deal with people in our daily life.  We are to accept wrong doing patiently from our neighbor.  We are to turn the other cheek rather than seek revenge.   We are not to take up the sword in revenge or fight with others over trivial things.

Christ, never presented self defense of Himself, in His holy passion.  He accepted the brunt of sin as the sacrificial victim.  It was His vocation.

This does not apply to closing one’s eye to cruelty in this world against the weak or self defense of ourselves.  As long as the intent is just and the force appropriate, then it is justified to help others with the use of force.  Sometimes helping one’s neighbor requires a rise of force.  Is this not true of the great Archangel Michael and his holy war against Lucifer?

Hence, the 5th Commandment rightly states, “Thou shalt not murder”, not kill.  The intent to kill is never primary but always secondary.  The intent is to defend oneself or others against great evil that causes greater harm if one would not act.

In case of WW2, we clearly see the allies response to Hitler as a just cause but lets review the criteria of just war from the Angelic Doctor, St Thomas Aquinas and apply it to both WW2 and war against Putin.

St Thomas Aquinas outlined the measures to justify force against an aggressor within Christian morality. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Program


  1. Aquinas points out that all violence against evil must be a last resort.  Diplomacy must be exhausted.  Other venues to avoid bloodshed must be examined before a defense is established.
  2. Aquinas dictates that the war must be pursued by legitimate authority against the opposing force.
  3. Aquinas requires the war to be a just cause.  Hence defense of oneself or others is a prerequisite for any violence
  4. Aquinas considers probability of success as also a notion, unless of course the war is for one’s very survival itself such as the case of Ukraine.
  5. Aquinas lists right intention as a key as well.  The intention is to restore peace and repel the aggressor.  Revenge is not sought but only justice
  6. Aquinas elaborates that proportionality be equal to the aggression.   Hence justice demands only the required violence to end the conflict and not punish beyond the initial offense of the aggressor.  This also mirrors modern laws which outlaw certain weapons.  This also includes mercy to surrendering combatants.
  7. Aquinas finally demands that the war and violence only be directed at military operations and not against civilians.  This mirrors modern day war which considers attacks on civilians to war crimes.

Like Hitler, Putin fails on every criteria.

Hence the WW2and today’s war against Putin is justified.  Christians must pray for an end of war, forgive their enemies, and promote peace, but if war is needed, good individuals must arise.  The quote attributed to Edmond Burke but truly stated from John Stuart Mill proclaims, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.   That is the rally cry to end pain and suffering when evil arises with the appropriate force of good Christian men and women to take up arms when history calls.


Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling



Wikiepedia: “Just War Theory”