“Post Traumatic Growth (PTG)” research at UNC Charlotte shows that trauma survivors do thrive similar to cancer survivors!

by | Mar 24, 2014

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

UNC Charlotte, Department of Psychology

What is Post-Traumatic Growth?  Quote from the Post Traumatic Research Group, Department of Psychology, UNC Charlotte…

“What is post traumatic growth? It is positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event. Although we coined the term post traumatic growth, the idea that human beings can be changed by their encounters with life challenges, sometimes in radically positive ways, is not new. The theme is present in ancient spiritual and religious traditions, literature, and philosophy. What is reasonably new is the systematic study of this phenomenon by psychologists, social workers, counselors, and scholars in other traditions of clinical practice and scientific investigation.”

Positive Psychological Change!  Quote from this Wikipedia website reference…

“Post-traumatic growth or benefit finding refers to positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances.[1] These sets of circumstances represent significant challenges to the adaptive resources of the individual, and pose significant challenges to individuals’ way of understanding the world and their place in it.[1] Post traumatic growth is not simply a return to baseline from a period of suffering; instead it is an experience of improvement that for some persons is deeply meaningful.[1]
This concept is part of the positive psychology approach.[2] It is commonly reported by cancer survivors.”

“I’ll show you!”  These were the words I said out loud and in self-talk as a child and young adult! These 3 words kept me moving forward even under some very tough circumstances.  Failure just was not an option for me.  As a child and young man, my family culture was all about failing. “Let’s kick him while he is down” was my perception of the predominate voice expressed most of the time while growing up as a post WWII and Korean War military kid…  All we ever heard was the negative side of everything and everybody, and we all drank the kool-aid every day.  Once I became old enough to think about my future, I told my Dad one day, “I’ll show you.”  And to this day at the prime age of 67, this positive attitude is as strong as ever…  And, once well on my way to success in professional life, I did show Dad big time that this kid could make it!  That being said, the personal side of my life was a big challenge for many years with considerable pain and consequences.  The baggage remains to a large degree and my journey of healing continues…  

Relative peace of mind is possible in life after trauma.  I am encouraged each day in my own life with increased awareness and mindfulness while highly engaged in making a difference for others.  I am grateful for all the support and for the work of institutions like the University of North Carolina for branding the “I’ll show you” theme as Post Traumatic Growth…

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story  Click to order e-book or paperback copy…
My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma Part 1…  Click to order e-book… $2.99!

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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