Division Awards

Award recipient J. I. Harris’ work and goals as a psychologist in the VA Health Care System

A preview of J. I. Harris’ talk.
By J. Irene Harris

The theme of my talk will be “It Takes a Village.”  I will be talking about the fact that faith informs our relationships with one another and our decisions to help one another, pointing out ways that my faith values led me to pursue the types of research I have done.  I will also be talking about the type of spiritual distress that emerges when those in complex villages experience multiple moral contexts and are caught between mutually exclusive moral and spiritual values, as demonstrated in my research both in veterans with moral injury and with LGBT people.  I will end by thanking the members and leadership of the Div. 36 community for their role in dramatically changing the landscape and infrastructure of research in psychology of religion and spirituality while I have been in the field.

Author Bio

J. I. Harris, PhD, has worked for over 15 years as a psychologist and clinician-investigator in the VA Health Care System, most recently at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford Massachusetts. She is also an associate professor with the department of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Harris has an MS in education from the College of St. Rose, an MS in rehabilitation counseling from the State University of New York at Albany and a PhD in counseling psychology from Texas Tech University. Her research program has been focused on relationships between spiritual distress and mental health outcomes, especially as that relates to the phenomenon often called moral injury in combat survivors. She has over 40 peer-reviewed publications in the literature and has been the lead developer of a manualized intervention to treat moral injury in veterans now in use in many VA and Department of Defense settings.