Friday, June 29, 2012

Picks of the Week: Post-Traumatic Growth

A while ago I clipped an article from USA Today titled "Living with Combat Stress" which included a section titled "Changed, but stronger".  This concept, called "post-traumatic growth", focuses on the positive changes which result after a traumatic event.  If one turns to theology, the concept is framed as "spiritual transformation".  Part of my doctor of ministry studies included the course "Theology of Suffering" in which we studied Henri Nouwen's work, and spiritual transformation. Whether approached from a clinical or spiritual perspective, traumatic events have the capacity to foster life-changing positive outcomes.

The path to transformation was discussed in research published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress:"The degree of rumination soon after the event and the degree of openness to religious change were significantly related to Posttraumatic Growth. Congruent with theoretical predictions, more rumination soon after the event, and greater openness to religious change were related to more post-traumatic growth. Present findings offer some confirmation of theoretical predictions, and also offer clear direction for further research on the relationships of religion, rumination, and post-traumatic growth."

A Google Scholar search produces a lengthy list of research articles which focus on circumstances after which people experienced post-traumatic growth, e.g., war-time experience, medical trauma (e.g., cancer, brain injury), childhood abuse, and the terrorist attacks of September 11.

The Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory may be found in a self-scoring version online

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1 comment:

A Place of Hope for PTSD said...

That is really beautiful statement!