From Mindfulness to Meaning: Implications for the Theory of Posttraumatic Growth

January 1, 2018
Psychological Inquiry

The article explores the relationship between mindfulness and posttraumatic growth (PTG). The authors propose that mindfulness, which involves non-judgmental awareness and acceptance of the present moment, plays a significant role in fostering PTG among individuals who have experienced trauma.

This article provides a commentary on a mindfulness-focused article written by Garland, Farb, Goldin, and Fredrickson. Mindfulness can facilitate the process of meaning-making, which is a crucial component of PTG. By being fully present and accepting of their experiences, individuals can engage in a deeper exploration of the meaning behind their trauma and find a sense of purpose and growth.

The article further examines the mechanisms through which mindfulness contributes to PTG. It suggests that mindfulness enhances cognitive flexibility, emotional regulation, and adaptive coping strategies, which are essential for individuals to navigate and make sense of their traumatic experiences.

Additionally, mindfulness cultivates a compassionate and non-judgmental attitude toward oneself, allowing individuals to approach their trauma with self-compassion and acceptance.

We must be careful to be 'expert companions' to those who are survivors of trauma so that we sensitively determine together with these persons when they are ready to take certain steps.
Dr. Tedeschi et al.

The authors also highlight the importance of integrating mindfulness-based interventions into trauma-focused therapies to promote PTG. They illustrate that mindfulness practices can help individuals develop a greater awareness of their inner experiences, build resilience, and facilitate the reconstruction of their meaning systems after trauma.

They also explicate that mindfulness interventions must be implemented with care, and while the model proposed by Garland et al. represents an important and testable contribution to the literature, the use of expert companionship and embodying a sensitivity towards trauma survivors’ readiness to engage, is an important component when using mindfulness practices.

Read the Article “From Mindfulness to Meaning: Implications for Theory of Posttraumatic Growth” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1047840X.2015.1075354

About the Authors