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Exploring Post-traumatic Growth (PTG)



Post-traumatic Growth (PTG) is a theory explaining a psychological transformation individuals experience after a traumatic event or life crisis. According to the research on Post-traumatic Growth, the human spirit has a remarkable capacity to endure and grow more robust in the face of adversity. Therefore, Post-traumatic Growth is a positive psychological change that occurs in the aftermath of traumatic experiences. These changes include a profound shift in worldview, self-perception, and relationships, leading individuals to develop new insights, values, and life purposes.


Research on Post-traumatic Growth suggests certain factors increase individuals' susceptibility to post-traumatic Growth: A strong sense of self, good social support networks, and the capacity to engage in adaptive coping strategies are more likely to experience PTG. Additionally, the severity of the trauma, the ability to reframe the event's meaning, and one's openness to personal growth play significant roles in fostering PTG.


Post-traumatic growth does not deny or minimise individuals' suffering and challenges during traumatic events. Instead, Post-traumatic Growth posits that adversity can unintentionally yield changes in understanding oneself, others, and the world.


Post-traumatic Growth is different from resilience. Resilience emphasises adapting and adjusting to adversity, hardship or trauma. Post-traumatic Growth is a transformative change that emerges from psychological struggle or shattered belief. Resilience is the process of adapting to challenges, while post-traumatic growth refers to the positive changes the individuals experience as a result of the crisis or trauma.


Research identifies five key areas as a guide on whether and to what extent someone has achieved growth after a traumatic experience:


  • Appreciation of life

  • Relationships with others

  • New possibilities in life

  • Personal strength

  • Spiritual or existential change


Post-traumatic growth often happens naturally. However, counselling and psychotherapy play an essential role in facilitating Post-traumatic Growth. Through the counselling process, individuals learn to see that there is a possibility for growth in themselves. Post-traumatic growth usually emerges after the individuals have experienced some form of emotional healing from their traumatic experience through counselling or psychotherapy.


Restoring Peace is a private mental health centre which provides counselling and psychotherapy services for anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and various mental health and relationship challenges. Our clients include children, youth, adults from various social, cultural and religious background. For more information, please visit www.restoringpeace.com.sg or WhatsApp at +65 8889 1848. For periodic updates, we invite you to join our telegram group, https://t.me/restoringpeace.


Keywords: trauma, growth, healing, resilience, transformation, psychotherapy, counselling


Sources:

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2016/11/growth-trauma


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