Post Traumatic Growth: Rising from the Ashes

Some people possess the gift of finding the light in the darkest moments. It is known as post-traumatic growth capacity. We will explore what we can do to improve this capability.

Post Traumatic Growth: Rising from the Ashes

Last update: June 24, 2023

Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the greatest philosophers and poets of the 19th century. In his masterpiece Thus spake Zarathustra, spoke of eternal return. This is the idea that time repeats itself in an infinite loop. So if we live well, we would like everything to repeat itself the same way.

However, if our lives have been turned upside down by pain, how can we be reborn? How can we build paths that we would like to follow again?

Psychology has often focused on defining bodies of clinical entities or disorders that require treatment. Indeed, psychology’s focus on the negative means that there is a tendency to pay minimal attention to the positive characteristics of being human.

Positive psychology takes a more optimistic view of human nature. As a result, concepts such as post-traumatic growth arose. We will explore this concept.

Although experiencing a traumatic event is one of the most difficult moments some people experience, it is an opportunity to become aware of and restructure the way we understand the world.


Woman thinking about her miscarriage
For post-traumatic growth to occur, new values ​​must be adopted.

The experience of trauma

As human beings, we possess extraordinary abilities to deal with adverse situations. Furthermore, some people are able to benefit so much from painful experiences that it could be said that, in a sense, they are advantageous to them. We are not saying that pain is potentially profitable (and, therefore, desirable), but that, as human beings, we have the magical ability to give it productive meaning.

Being born again means adopting new value systems. This involves changes of perspective and a renewed understanding of our surroundings. There is a multitude of research that argues that as humans, we can withstand the ravages of life with unusual strength. In fact, even in the face of extreme events we can emerge strengthened, resilient and psychologically unscathed. But how do we manage it?

Many survivors of traumatic experiences find ways in which they can benefit from their struggle with the abrupt changes the traumatic event causes in their lives..


How to be reborn

Coming out stronger from a really adverse situation means growing up. Post-traumatic growth is defined by Tedeschi as the positive change that human beings experience as a result of struggling with the vicissitudes of life, with the aim of reaching a higher level of functioning.

However, the learning or benefit produced as a result does not erase the experience of suffering. In fact, Tedeschi believes that post-traumatic growth coexists with pain. This might seem paradoxical and contradictory but, to experience post-traumatic growth we must experience both positive and negative emotions.

Post-traumatic growth is not just about maintaining previous functionality but somehow the event brings you to a better situation for the sake of deep existential meaning.


Red haired woman on her back thinking how to untie the knot of emotions
Post-traumatic growth coexists with pain.

The components of post-traumatic growth

While some of us find it difficult to identify positive elements in adverse situations, we know that there are three critical components to post-traumatic growth:

  • The challenges we overcome often make us feel stronger, with enhanced identities. In a good account of the traumatic experience, the reality that was vulnerable is not necessarily absent. However, we feel confident and confident that we can deal with any difficulties that arise on the horizon.
  • Changes happen in our interpersonal relationships. Our circles of support become more helpful, consistent, and loving. For example, families might strengthen their ties by working together to overcome difficulties they feel they share. From that moment on, the need to share and requests for help became more frequent.
  • There can be changes in our ideas of spirituality and philosophy of life. When we are born again, we appreciate more what we have. We can also clearly distinguish between the important and the secondary.

Research says it exists there is no consensus that posttraumatic growth remains stable over time. Rates range from three percent in people who have experienced a loss and are grieving, to 98 percent in women who have suffered from breast cancer.

It is important to remember that when we talk about post-traumatic growth we are referring to the positive change that a person experiences as a result of the struggle process that he undertakes after a traumatic event, which is not universal and that not all people who live an experience trauma finds in it benefit and personal growth.


You might be interested…

All sources cited have been thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography for this article has been deemed reliable and of scholarly or scientific accuracy.

  • Avils Maldonado, Pennsylvania (2013). Relacin entre post-traumatic growth, afrontamiento y rumiacin.
  • Poseck, BV, Baquero, BC & Jimnez, MLV (2006). The traumatic experience from the positive psychologist: resilience and post-traumatic growth. Papeles of the psychologist, 27(1), 40-49.

  • Poseck, B. V. (2006). Positive psychologist: A new form of understanding the psychologist. Papeles of the psychologist, 27(1), 3-8.

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