Post Traumatic Stress Or Post Traumatic Growth? What Do You Chose? How to Start Healing

The people who have suffered from trauma are aware of its frightful side effects such as having flashbacks, disturbing memories, disturbing thoughts, or increasing anxiety. However, only a few people know about the post-traumatic growth. It is true that post-traumatic growth occurs when you try to view the trauma from a different lens, try to transform its meaning, and use misfortune to your advantage.

Post traumatic growth is described as the positive mental shift that occurs with time because of adversity. Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun described that after a trauma (any adverse experience), the psychological functioning increases in certain ways over time. Although post-traumatic symptoms could be very destructive and challenging, nonetheless, 90% of post-traumatic survivors experienced at least one post-traumatic growth advantage.

Q. What are the specific areas that can change after the adversity?

1. Relationships:

Researchers have found that adversity tends to increase the self-compassion and longing capabilities in relationships. Trauma survivors tend to value their close and sincere relationships through effective communication, building trust and empathy, and respecting each other ideas.

2. Increased self-esteem:

Post traumatic growth involves increased awareness and appreciation of one's personal strengths and capabilities; increased intelligence, deeper insight, and judgment; and gratitude. It also helps in recognition of one's vulnerabilities and limitations and accepting that. 

3. Changed meaning of life:

Many post-traumatic survivors experience changes in their life perspective towards a positive direction and having more productive life behaviours. Some people also experience spiritual growth. Trauma also helps in becoming more mindful and increases the ability to live in the present moment.  


Q. How do I to take a journey towards post-traumatic growth?

The following elements can help you move forward towards post-traumatic growth after facing any adversity in your life.

1. Experience your Emotions:

The first and the most important step is to acknowledge and experience the difficult and deeper emotions that arise because of adversity. Think of it as a difficult road in which you must travel before reaching your desired destination. Deeply experiencing your emotions without fear will help you move forward towards betterment and growth.

2. Finding your Personal Strengths:

The next step involves recognizing the personal strengths and capabilities that you posses. What strengths helped you to cope with stressors in the past? What personal qualities helped you to handle the trauma? If you recognize them now, nothing can stop you.

3. Finding New Meaning:

While adversity is also challenging and destructive, nonetheless, it is important to remember that nothing could change it. The important way of bouncing forward is to acknowledge deeply what you learned from the trauma. How did the adversity help you towards having a meaningful life and becoming a person with better values and goals in life? 

4. Finding a Safe Space for Self-Disclosure:

A safe space can help you to share your past story, process the difficult emotions - finding your personal strengths and reconstructing new meaning. The trauma needs to be released from the mind and body by sharing your story in a safe space in order to move forward in life. 


Often, it’s a matter of simply reaching out to a good professional therapist for your problem. If this blog resonates with you, schedule an initial appointment with Ayesha Adeel by clicking here or by emailing us at or calling us at 902.270.5822.

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