Routes to Posttraumatic Growth through Cognitive Processing

January 1, 2003
Promoting capabilities to manage posttraumatic stress: Perspectives on resilience
Often, the shattering of assumptions involves giving up dearly held goals that survivors had assumed they would be able to attain, as when a mother of a still born child is forced to give up dreams and expectations for the child's life.
Richard G. Tedeschi Ph.D. and Lawrence G. Calhoun Ph.D.

An area of psychotraumatology that has received growing attention during the past few years is posttraumatic growth. This is defined as a significant beneficial change in cognitive and emotional life beyond previous levels of adaptation, psychological functioning, or life awareness. These changes happen in the aftermath of psychological traumas that challenge previously existing assumptions about self, others, and future. This chapter summarizes some of the research and theory that has supported this concept, then turns to a discussion of how trauma is cognitively processed into growth.

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