As human beings, we have the incredible ability to be resilient to life’s challenges. Traumatic experiences in our lives can help us learn and grow, allowing each of us to find strength and increase our level of functioning, despite experiences of adversity. I wanted to take the opportunity to teach a principle related to “Post Traumatic Growth” in how we can discover new possibilities in our lives after experiencing trauma.
The outcome of developing new possibilities in life after trauma can be better defined as we consider that these experiences can sometimes result in someone developing new interests, participate in new activities, or perhaps embark on significant new paths in life. To demonstrate what I mean, I want to share some examples of individuals who have discovered new possibilities in their lives through post-traumatic growth.
For example, I have worked with several women who have had traumatic births. The result of these experiences was an increase of panic, anxiety and fear about their baby and about being a “good mother.” These traumatic experiences impacted their ability to bond with their baby due to their hyper-vigilance, lack of confidence and worry. After working with them, these women were better able to understand their trauma and learn from their experiences, realizing that it literally changed the course of their lives. Each of these women are now working on taking this experience and finding ways to give back to other women experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety, something they had never considered before.
A second example was a woman who had experienced physical and sexual abuse. Women who go through this experience live in a state of constant fear, yet feel helpless and immobilized to change their circumstances. In working with her, we focused on ways she could empower herself, identify the things that she was doing that perpetuated the problem, and gave her tools to gain a stronger sense of self. As she grew from this experience, she was able to, over time and a lot of hard work, emerge from this experience a stronger, more confident woman. She began working with other women who were also going through abuse and provide them with hope and healing as she shared her own story of hope.
Traumatic events do not have to negatively define our future. They actually have the capacity to change us for the better as we learn and grow from these experiences, creating new possibilities for our future. We can become stronger and be resilient to the challenges of life.
I hope this has been helpful! Thanks for reading!