This Resource Page is Dedicated to Helping You and Your Community to Understand and Explore the Concept of "Post-Traumatic Growth"

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What is Post-Traumatic Growth?

Post-Traumatic Stress

Refers to the behavioural, emotional, cognitive and physiological symptoms that are triggered after a traumatic event that often are experienced as negative and/or have a functional impact. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a clinically diagnosed presentation.

Post-Traumatic Growth

Post-traumatic growth refers to positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances.

Post-traumatic growth is not simply a return to baseline from a period of suffering; instead it is an experience of improvement (internal or external change) that is often deeply and/or personally meaningful.

Based upon the literature, it is comprised of the following features.

  • It can co-exist with negative psychological adjustment or with post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • It is not the absence of negative feelings or experiences.
  • Not everyone achieves, nor brings an intent or desire to achieve, post-traumatic growth. That is ok.
  • It can be an intent or aspiration one can bring to adversity, or something one finds spontaneously.
  • It does not need to be a goal that must be achieved to have positive post-trauma life outcomes.

Post-Traumatic Growth and Trauma-Responsive Practice

"Trauma-Responsive Practice" is an intentional relationship focused approach and set of actions where supporting adults, communities and systems understand and bring ongoing awareness to the unique needs and contexts of humans.

It brings a particular focus on trauma and adverse life experiences, and their behavioural, neurological, emotional, developmental, cognitive and social effects.

Through this awareness, trauma-responsive practice is a set of implemented actions (or expressed skills), across five key areas of intent (see here).

One key intent of 'trauma-responsive practice' is 'building capacity'. This is focused on strengthening an individual's capacity to thrive and achieve post-traumatic growth outcomes (if this is something they desire).

In short, we define trauma-responsive practice is an approach and set of actions that provides a healing and growth environment where post-traumatic growth outcomes are encouraged and supported (but at the control of the individual person).

Video Disentangling Post-Traumatic Growth

This video summarises key concepts of post-traumatic growth, as presented by Dr Ivan Raymond at the LBI Foundation Forum in November 2020.