'Soul therapy' helps Florida veterans heal

- Veterans and families of veterans are transitioning, like a caterpillar to a butterfly.

"The same changes that goes through death, birth, and the changes after you've identified your soul injury, you're a changed person," said Marie Bainbridge of the non-profit Opus Peace.

The organization is helping veterans heal from soul injuries and also teaching veterans how to help their fellow comrades who may be suffering.

Vietnam veteran Bruce Gipson suffered from a soul injury and PTSD.  "Everybody kind of spit on you and your soul injury, you fight for your country you come back home and your country is against you so it hurt," said Bruce.

His wife convinced him to go to the fallen comrade ceremony last year, offered by Opus Peace. "It took an act of God," said Sue Gipson.

That's when Bruce's transition began.  

"I've been going to the VA for years and this one ceremony has done wonders for me," said Bruce.

In the ceremony, veterans are encouraged to write the names of fellow comrades on a rock. "When I put those names on the rock something just come over, it just helped me change and when I got back home, my family could see it," said Bruce. 

"He had made the comment that one aspect of the ceremony made more difference than many years of treatment for PTSD and I live with that change," said Sue.

The Gipsons want to help other veterans heal.  "Unmourned loss and unforgiven guilt and shame can keep  you from living your full whole life and teaching others to use the soul injury restoration program to help others move through that process," said Angela Sipe of Opus Peace.

Bruce believes in soul injury therapy.  

"I know there's other veterans out there that's hurting. I would like to get the message out to them," said Bruce.

The next fallen comrade ceremony will be held at the Franciscan Center in Tampa on February 20, 2019.

For more information about soul injuries and Opus Peace head to: https://www.opuspeace.org/About-Soul-Injury

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