Yesterday Christy did a wonderful job introducing Post-Traumatic Growth to us. I highly suggest reading yesterday's blog if you haven't already done so.
Sometimes we'll experience a trauma so great it threatens our feeling of safety and security. It's not uncommon to develop Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) symptoms as a result of going through the trauma. While PTS can be painful, scary and debilitating, there can be hope on the other side, which is our topic this week, PTS: Post-Traumatic Growth.
How PTS Improves Relationships with Others
A largely significant way a person enters growth after trauma is by cognitively processing the event. This is how we can re-think about the event and challenge our beliefs. These beliefs can be about ourselves, others and the world.
It's not uncommon because of the trauma for us to have drawn unhealthy conclusions about ourselves/others/the world. Through challenging these beliefs and re-telling the trauma, we're able to cognitively process the event and come to more healthy conclusions about the event.
Naturally, this will improve our relationship with others. Sometimes, because of trauma, it's a natural conclusion to believe that others cannot be trusted. This can be a defense mechanism to help us survive the trauma and post-traumatic stress symptoms.
In the Post-Traumatic Growth stage, we may realize we've overgeneralized this belief to populations of people in our lives rather than individuals. Through this growth stage, we may begin to see there are individuals in our lives that are trustworthy, dependable and reliable.
This is only one example of how relationships can be improved, but there are many! Please keep reading this week as we discuss new possibilities, personal strength, spiritual change and an appreciation for life.
Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.