Trauma does create post-traumatic stress, but it also can lead to extraordinary personal growth. On today’s Facebook Live, Heidi and I explored this idea with Dr. Richard Tedeschi, a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is also a licensed psychologist and helped originate the concept of post-traumatic growth (PTG), publishing  many academic books and articles on the subject.

Traumatic Times

All of us go through trauma in our lives to varying degrees. It can be the loss of a loved one, a life-threatening illness, injury, or other issue that puts us in a place where we struggle. The last few months have presented extraordinary challenges to working through trauma due to the elevated anxiety, stress, loss, and concern over both the coronavirus and other world events.

The Aftermath of Trauma

However, there is hope that you can move past the struggle with trauma and come out with greater meaning and purpose that then leads to personal growth. Think of it as a continual process because it may take years to progress. There needs to be understanding and change as you reconstruct yourself, your world, and your life.

Creating Post-Traumatic Growth

It can be daunting to want to move in and through the struggle and challenges. Yet, it’s important to do so in order to crate that personal growth. To address the stress and struggle, you can turn to calming strategies like meditation, yoga, and walking. You can also reach out t o those expert supporter who are there to provide coping mechanisms for you. This expert support can be anyone from friends and family to those in support groups.

Focus on the reason and meaning for continuing. This purpose includes what you still have t love for and how what you are doing can positively impact someone with a similar struggle. Others can benefit from the resiliency you develop or the best practices you’ve developed by reaching back to the trauma to understand what you used to move forward.

Watch Now

Watch the Facebook Live discussion on personal growth and trauma below:

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Gloria Horsley

Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She started "Open to Hope" to help the millions in the world with grief. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, The Grief Blog which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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