Posttraumatic Growth


“Human life will never be understood unless its highest aspirations are taken into account. Growth, self-actualization, the striving towards health, the quest for identity and autonomy, the yearning for excellence (and other ways of phrasing striving “upward”) must by now be accepted beyond question as a widespread and perhaps human tendency…growth is often a painful process”- Maslow

Posttraumatic growth refers to an individual changing in a radically positive way as a result of encountering a significant traumatic experience (The University of North Carolina, 2014). The concept of posttraumatic growth does not neglect the significance of the distress people have experienced. This does not mean that people will not suffer or that traumatic events are good (The University of North Carolina, 2014). At this time, you may not be in a place in your life in which you can connect with this concept just yet, maybe the tragedy is still too close. Just be patient with yourself as you work towards this process, it cannot be forced. But when you are ready for this journey, your struggle could provide you with endless growth and opportunities (Tedeschi, 2020).

The five dimensions of posttraumatic growth include:

  1. An individual facing a traumatic event and experiencing a sense that new opportunities and possibilities have emerged from this experience which were not present before.
  2. Experiencing a closer connection with others who have faced/are facing traumatic events.
  3. A realization of one’s strength due to what they have been able to live through.
  4. Feeling a greater appreciation for relationships and life as a whole.
  5. Feeling a deeper connection with one’s spiritual life, possibly creating a major change in their belief system.

This year has presented significant amounts of stress due to the pandemic and many other horrific events. It may be hard to imagine what good could come of these tragedies. Although at some point in time, we may be able to look back at what this difficult time has brought to us as individuals, communities, organizations, and nations (Tedeschi, 2020).

For instance, many of us have been in our home with our family much more than pre-pandemic. This may have allowed us to connect more with our family members and remember the importance of quality time together. Hopefully this awareness can continue as we move on, making our family connections more of a priority. Also, when we take things for granted, we become much more appreciative when we are able to have them back (e.g., going to large get-togethers, attending inside events, etc.). Finally, when traumatic events affect society as a whole, it can bring us to a place of compassion for others and give us a sense of humanity.

Resilient Retreat is here to support you in your journey of Posttraumatic Growth. We invite you to contact us at 941-343-0039 to speak with one of our Certified Trauma Professionals or email us at