In this book, Calhoun and Tedeschi construct the first systematic framework for clinical efforts to enhance the processes they sum up as posttraumatic growth. Posttraumatic growth is the phenomenon of positive change through struggle with even the most horrible sets of circumstances. People who experience it tend to describe three general types of change: realistically stronger feelings of vulnerability that are nonetheless accompanied by stronger feelings of personal resilience, closer and deeper relationships with others, and a stronger sense of spirituality. Posttraumatic growth has only recently become an important focus of interest for researchers and practitioners. Drawing on a burgeoning professional literature as well as on their own extensive clinical experience, the authors present strategies for helping clients effect all three types of positive change--strategies that have been tested in a variety of groups facing a variety of crises and traumas. Their concise yet comprehensive practical guide will be welcomed by all those who counsel persons grappling with the worst life has to offer. -- from the publisher
"Calhoun and Tedeschi have written a masterful book that takes on the dialectic of traumatic experience: that strength and growth can emerge from and accompany terrible pain and loss. This important text succeeds in challenging clinicians to notice resilience and strength among their trauma survivor clients, while never turning away from or diminishing the horror and pain of personal trauma. The authors tackle a complicated and difficult subject with scholarly care and clinical sensitivity. They carefully avoid the potential pitfalls of naivete, insensitivity, and moralism while emphasizing the need for complex thinking about the long term effects of traumatic life events. The book has a clear, sensible organization that will make it valuable to clinicians at all levels of experience." -- Karen W. Saakvitne, Ph.D., Traumatic Stress Institute/Center for Adult and Adolescent Psychotherapy South Windsor, Connecticut; Co-Author, Trauma and the Therapist
"Drawing on their extensive experience as both researchers and clinicians, Calhoun and Tedeschi have produced a very readable and practical book for any clinician who works with clients struggling to cope with traumatic events. While acknowledging the negative aftermath of trauma, Calhoun and Tedeschi describe valuable techniques for encouraging posttraumatic growth in clients. Particularly helpful are the numerous case examples, homework assignments for both clinicians and clients, and an extensive resource list."
-- Patricia A. Frazier, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
"The Phoenix is the mythological bird who rises anew from the ashes of its own funeral pyre. In their work on posttraumatic growth, Calhoun and Tedeschi put flesh and feathers on our hazy outline of this ancient symbol of resurrection. By focusing on the possibility of positive transformation after trauma, the authors urge clinicians to think outside the box, to consider all the ways in which the overwhelming energy of traumatic experience can be refocused on accelerating the dynamic of health instead of illness and injury."
-- Sandra L. Bloom, MD, The Sanctuary, Horsham Clinic, Ambler PA; Author of Creating Sanctuary: Toward the Evolution of Sane Societies
Table of Contents:
Trauma and Growth: Processes and Outcomes
Case Examples of Posttraumatic Growth
The Process of Encouraging Posttraumatic Growth: An Overview
Helping Clients Develop New Views of Vulnerability and Strength
Helping Clients Make Changes in Relationships
Helping Clients Toward Philosophical and Spiritual Growth
Posttraumatic Growth: Issues for Clinicians
Resources for Clinicians and Clients