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How can we bridge the gap between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Post Traumatic Growth?
Post-traumatic growth or benefit finding refers to positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances. Growth does not occur as a direct result of trauma, rather it is the individual's struggle with the new reality in the aftermath of trauma that is crucial in determining the extent to which posttraumatic growth occurs. Characteristics of PTG include greater appreciation of life, changed sense of priorities, warmer, more intimate relationships, greater sense of personal strength, and recognition of new possibilities or paths for one's life and spiritual development.
In contrast to resilience, hardiness,optimism, and a sense of coherence, PTG refers to a change in people that goes beyond an ability to resist and not be damaged by highly stressful circumstances; it involves a movement beyond pre-trauma levels of adaptation
So how can we help those who have suffered trauma find a path that leads to growth and how can we prepare people, young soldiers for example, that will likely experience trauma to lessen the effects of PTSD?