What is Post-traumatic Growth: The Journey from Adversity to Growth
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is estimated to affect around 1 in 3 people who go through a trauma. While awareness of this has grown, what’s not so well known is that going through adversity can also act as a catalyst for personal growth. On the other side of trauma people can sometimes discover a silver lining, that there are unexpected benefits in the negative event, that we are better than we were before. What doesn’t kill you really can make you stronger. This is known as Post-traumatic Growth (PTG).
What is Post-traumatic Growth explores the science behind post-traumatic growth, answering frequently asked questions about the subject, including.
- What is trauma and what is post-traumatic stress?
- What is meant by post-traumatic growth?
- How do you cope positively during and after trauma?
- How can you strengthen your resilience to keep going?
- How can you grow from adversity?
The combination of the Q&A approach, real-life case studies and a range of practical resilience-building strategies guides you gently on the journey from adversity to growth, showing that it’s possible to emerge from the shadow of trauma with wisdom and wellbeing, a deeper sense of meaning and fulfilment in life.
One of the key models of PTG suggests that there are five main types of ‘benefit’ that people experience and it’s estimated that around 90% of trauma survivors will have one of these.
Greater personal strength: People who have come through major stressful events often talk about feeling more alive and having a deeper understanding of themselves. They know who they really are and what they want in life. They have grown through the experience – older, wiser and stronger.
Closer relationships: Trauma is just as much a test of our relationships as it is of ourselves. You discover who your true friends are. There is a greater sense of closeness and authenticity in the relationships that survive. You may experience the kindness of strangers that is the very hallmark of humanity.
New appreciation of life: Adversity can throw things up in the air and lead you to question life, to alter your worldview and find a fresh appreciation for life. This is particularly the case for anyone who’s faced serious illness.
New priorities and possibilities: Trauma is a watershed with a sense of life ‘before’ and ‘after’ the trauma. As your life changes so do your priorities. You may want to abandon your old life and feel motivated to do something that’s meaningful. Trauma brings endings but with those come new beginnings.
Spiritual development: Going through trauma can trigger spiritual growth as people emerge from their ‘long, dark night of the soul’ and connect with the religion of their youth or are drawn to a new one. This spirituality can also take a secular form – a faith in the power of love or a deeper connection to nature.
Find out more:
- What is Post-traumatic Growth is part of the #WhatIs series, published by Watkins Media.
- Review on Positive Psychology News.
- Book talk from the launch at Watkins Bookshop in London. Plus a short clip of the above.