Three authors of recent books who examine war trauma and healing from different perspectives  share their work and join our moderator in a discussion on the challenge that faces us all: to help our veterans come back whole to themselves, their families, and their community.

The authors are Mark Nickerson, LICSW, The Wounds Within: A Veteran, a PTSD Therapist, and a Nation Unprepared (Skyhorse Publishing, 2015), by Mark I. Nickerson and Joshua S. Goldstein.

This is an inside account of the iconic case of Marine Lance Corporal Jeff Lucey, a Belchertown MA vet whose battle with PTSD ended when he took his life after returning home from the early months of the Iraq War. Nickerson, an internationally recognized expert on trauma treatment who saw Jeff through his private practice, also examines the Lucey family’s decade-long campaign to improve a VA suicide prevention response that had failed Jeff and to end the stigma around military-related mental health issues. This book is a definitive account of combat trauma and a vital resource for military families and anyone who works with and cares about veterans. Visit


Robert Meagher, PhD, Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War (Cascade Books), by Robert E. Meagher.

Any serious critique of war, as well any true attempt to understand the profound, invisible wounds it inflicts, will be undermined from the outset by the unthinking and all-but-universal acceptance of just war doctrine. Killing from the Inside Out radically questions that theory, examines its legacy, and challenges us to look beyond it, beyond just war. The author, a Hampshire College professor and religion scholar, has directed and participated in a range of events and programs concerned with healing the spiritual wounds of war in veterans, their families, and their communities. This, his latest book, has been widely praised by leading therapists, military and VA chaplains, veterans, and active duty military. Visit

and Ed Tick, PhD, The Warrior’s Return: Restoring the Soul After War (Sounds True), by Edward Tick.

In spite of billions spent on psychological care and reintegration programs, we face an epidemic of combat-related conditions such as PTSD. With Warrior’s Return, Tick presents a powerful case for changing the way we welcome our veterans back from service and offers a vision and a path for transforming the wounds of war into sources of wisdom, honor, and growth. Tick draws on 35 years of experience working with veterans, lessons from cross-cultural wisdom and mythical archetypes, and proven psychology methods. His book is a resource to help families, caregivers, and veterans understand and cope with the life-changing effects of combat. Tick is a co-founder of Soldier’s Heart, an organization based in Troy, N.Y. (with an office in Amherst) that provides a comprehensive model to address the emotional, moral, and spiritual wounds of veterans, their families and communities. Visit

Moderated by Dr. Kathryn Basham,  LICSW, Ph.D. — in addition to co-directing the Doctoral Program at the Smith College School of Social Work.

Basham engages in research, writing, clinical social work practice and education related to the effects of deployment and combat stress on the re-integration of service members, Veterans and their families. She currently is working on an independent research project on a brief couple therapy approach for military and Veteran couples who work with licensed independent clinical social workers in the local community.  She has been appointed to three congressionally mandated committees with the Institute of Medicine at the National Academies of Science charged to explore issues related to enhancing the mental health treatment of military and Veteran families

Veterans, military family members, members of the helping professions, the Smith College Community and the general public all are invited.

Thursday, April 9 – 7 p.m., 

Seelye Hall,

#106, Smith College

Sponsored by the Smith College School for Social Work and the Veterans Education Project, Co-sponsors include: Central Hampshire Veterans Services, Soldier’s Heart, Western Mass. Veterans Outreach Project, First Churches’ Peace and Justice Committee, the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence Social Justice Committee, Wesley United Methodist Church Council, the Amherst Unitarian Universalist Society. An event for Veterans, military families, helping professionals and the general public Call 413-253-4947 for more information.