What is Post-Traumatic Growth?

Post-Traumatic Growth and its impact on mental health Trauma can be life-changing, leading to a distorted worldview, a sense of betrayal, and an inability to feel safe. Trauma plays a role in the development of mental disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). On the other hand, post-traumatic growth (PTG) indicates the experience of finding new meaning. It can also create a deeper sense of appreciation for life after trauma. 

PTG explains a kind of transformation within us after trauma. The theory was developed in the mid-1990s by psychologists Richard Tedeschi, Ph.D., and Lawrence Calhoun, Ph.D. People who face adversity and endure psychological struggles often see positive growth afterward. 

Post-Traumatic Growth significantly impacts the following: 

  • Appreciation of life
  • Relationships with others
  • Personal strength
  • New possibilities
  • Spiritual change

PTG is not the same as resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back. However, PTG refers to when someone struggles to survive. As a result, a person ultimately finds new meaning and enthusiasm for life, beyond what existed prior to the trauma.

Factors that contribute to P.T.G:

  • Cognitive processing
  • Deliberate reflection
  • Perceived social support
  • Forgiveness
  • Optimism
  • Religion/spirituality

There is more research that needs to be done to explore the reliability of these factors. Regardless, PTG is an inspiring tribute to the gruesome challenges of human life. In the aftermath of the nightmare of trauma, you can awake with newfound strength, perspective and gratitude. You survived…now you THRIVE! 


About Grace:  Grace Kim is a Resident in Counseling providing services at the Woodbridge location and is a Qualified Mental Health Professional for Children (QMHP-C) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). Grace received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and her Master of Arts Degree with high honors in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from South University. 

With extensive experience in providing outpatient counseling services to children, adolescents, and young adults, she also has sufficient experience working with adult clients with longstanding substance abuse issues. She is an individual who has had her own share of mental health challenges and with the help of those around her, she has been able to overcome obstacles and barriers in her life.  To learn more about Grace, visit HERE

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