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  • Is Post Traumatic Growth (PTG) Possible?

    Symptoms of Trauma and PTSD are painful. There are no two ways about it. But is it possible that post traumatic growth can happen?

    We all experience difficult events in our lives. Many of these experiences can be navigated with some support from loved-ones such as parents, other family members, friends, mentors, and others. However, many people experience events that lead to symptoms of trauma and PTSD. And while this often feels a bit like a death sentence, it can also lead to growth that can only happen because the difficult event was experienced. We certainly don’t mean to glamorize trauma and PTSD or appear to be insensitive. No, quite on the contrary. We believe you deserve growth, healing, and success even more because you had these painful experiences.

    EMDR  Trauma & PTSD

    What Is Post Traumatic Growth?

    Post traumatic growth is exactly what it sounds like: A person grows as a direct result of an experience that was traumatic. It happens when a person experiences a traumatic event that has negative psychological impacts on the person, who then finds that they grow as a direct result of this experience. This type of growth as a person is a process – it takes time. In other words, post traumatic growth cannot be forced, nor will a therapist rush through the process. Healing takes time, and so does personal growth.

    The Theory Behind Post Traumatic Growth

    The theory behind post traumatic growth is that you can experience positive psychological change as a result of adversity and challenging life experiences. This theory, developed in the mid-90s by psychologists Richard Tedeschi, PhD, and Lawrence Calhoun, PhD, shows how those who face events that the body experiences as traumatic can see positive growth down the road once healing has been put into motion.

    How to Recognize Post Traumatic Growth

    Therapists often use a number of ways to track post traumatic growth by using a variety of informal self-report scales, including the Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI). Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory looks for positive responses in five key areas: Appreciation of life, relationships with others, new possibilities for life, spiritual change, and personal strength.

    Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory: The Five Key Areas

    The following are five key ways in which post traumatic growth may occur:

    Relationships with Others

    Relationships are important at any time in your life. But, during difficult times the need for you to receive, and give, support is even stronger. Relationships are often deepened when two or more individuals share with each other about the joys and pains of life. People who experience post traumatic growth will often experience relationship growth as well—bonds that are forged in part because of the sharing of joys and pains in the relationship.

    Personal Strength

    Traumatic experiences can make you stronger. Now wait: As stated above, we are certainly not glamorizing trauma, but the truth is that difficult life experiences challenge you to build new knowledge, skills, and resilience. In fact, it’s quite common for people to look back after healing has occurred and be amazed at how well they handled the traumatic experience. This looking back is another way to deepen the new skills and resilience. This also often leads people to find that their personal strength helps them to become even better equipped for challenging, possibly even traumatic, future experiences.

    New Possibilities for Life

    People who have experienced traumatic events tend to become very good at adapting to life after the trauma. This is because old ways of seeing the world and old habits and beliefs often change after the trauma. This change often leads to seeing new possibilities for life, particularly when healing has taken place. New possibilities suddenly look a lot less scary and can be embraced with a new sense of confidence.

    Appreciation for Life

    After a traumatic event, many people develop new ways of noticing and appreciating previously overlooked positive aspects to life. These new ways of seeing the world and being in the world leads to new ways of seeing and acknowledging the fundamentals of living, such as noticing little and big ways in which you can experience joy through grand and extraordinary as well as the mundane and routine parts of life. This can lead to deeper appreciation for life.

    Spiritual Growth

    Spiritual growth does not need to be equated with religion in any way. In fact, personal growth often shifts people from religious fundamentals to a more spiritual lens of seeing the world, and being in the world.

    Spiritual growth can happen in a variety of ways, but often spiritual growth includes a period of reflection on matters greater than yourself—the type of curiosities that are often overlooked during day-to-day routines of life. As is the case with any parts of post traumatic growth, spiritual growth can be challenging as it scrutinizes core beliefs that were held prior to the traumatic experiences, and ways in which those beliefs have shifted as a result of the trauma.

    Begin EMDR Therapy in Winnipeg, Manitoba

    Through EMDR therapy in Winnipeg, personal post traumatic growth could be possible for you. Our therapists use EMDR therapy and Talk Therapy to treat trauma for PTSD. Working with one of our skilled Winnipeg therapists for EMDR Therapy or Talk Therapy could change your life in very positive ways, perhaps even in positive ways you have not yet imagined.

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