Question: Posttraumatic Growth
To prepare for this discussion, review Riverbend City: Grief and Family Systems. After viewing the Riverbend City media piece, read the scenario below.
Assume the role of a life coach that Judith has been consulting for support:
As we saw in the media piece, Judith has maintained a distance from the family. In reality, Judith is traumatized by her brother’s impending death because only he knew that she has a child she is parenting alone. She is afraid that his upcoming death will reveal that information and she will have to experience the critique of family members who knew nothing of this for the past 22 years. Living in California has assured her that her child with special needs and she can maintain a relationship, without the criticism of the family. Keeping this in the past has helped Judith and she quickly positioned herself as a religious opponent of Shirley and Sheldon in order to keep herself at a distance. Only Sheldon knew her secret and he never shared it with anyone. They have been very close and Shirley never knew about their weekly phone calls and his monetary support of Judith, who struggled financially for years.
Judith is concerned that Shirley, who has not accepted Judith, could discover her secret, if Sheldon were lucid enough to say something while lingering. She fears that if she visits, he might reveal her secret.
Judith decided to stay away until he passed, in order to preserve her secret. Judith is now going through the trauma of dealing with this and she has no confidante to share her own personal struggles with and ask for support. She has truly lost her best friend, unbeknownst to the rest of the family.
Complete the PTG Flow Chart Template, using the template provided in Resources.
(I Attached a copy of the PTG Flow Chart Template)
1. For each step in the flow chart, explain how that activity provides movement for Judith to growth from this trauma.
2. Add in assumptions; the way she analyzes the influences of culture, and explain how she eventually grows through this process.
Use the Weiss and Berger chart from your text (page 6), to provide information on ways in which Judith can be guided to self-reflect and draw on her strengths.
How will we know Judith has experienced PTG?
Copy and paste your chart with the explanation below it to demonstrate the steps she could take.
(Weiss, T. & Berger, R. (2010). Posttraumatic growth and culturally competent practice, p.6. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons) I attached a copy of the reading
This model of posttraumatic growth demonstrates life relationships and the process of growth through trauma.
unit reading:Resilience and Coping
As we are learning in this course, everyone approaches coping with loss from a cultural perspective that anticipates and delivers expected mourning practices and behaviors in the death of an individual. It is essential that service providers for any biopsychosocial need understand the views of clients and the need to support their efforts. Life transitions help us to move from one place to another, but the process can be frightening as we straddle change. The life story is changing and individuals have to create meaning out of the passage.
Individuals, families, and communities have a variety of support to offer the bereaved. Their presence, in unique ways, provides resources that will support the dying as well as those impacted by a death, hopefully avoiding complicated grief. Complicated grief is especially noted in individuals who have had challenges with attachment earlier in life. If individuals could not grieve or if there was traumatic grief, the chance of complications arises (Mallon, 2008, p. 65). Some of the features of this grief, according to Mallon, include inability to converse about the death or the person who died, strong recurrences of emotions, anger at the death, and an “inability to regain former competence, e.g. at work or in studies;” (p. 65). Thus, with the opportunity for grieving to be shortened, ignored, and extended, the focus on individual, family, and community support grows stronger.
Posttraumatic growth, identifies the power of traumatic instances to transform an individual and the person’s personality as well (Jayawickreme & Blackie, 2014). Tedeschi and Calhoun (2004) define this growth as a “positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with highlight challenging life circumstances,” (p.1). Combined with our knowledge of culture and the expectation that such an encounter leads one to a stronger life satisfaction overall, we can see that the knowledge of professional and personal support systems can enhance this growth for the benefit of the client as well as for personal development.
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Loss and grieving provide an opportunity to see this growth in action, especially considering unavailable or unrequested mental health support, educational or geographic limitations, and the communication challenges immigrants and those who are much older may possess. Loss and the possibility of growth from it can be found in various supporters, including clergy who have had a long-term relationship with individuals and families. Understanding how to avail oneself of such opportunities for support is essential. This is where socioeconomic limitations may prohibit engaging in services that may even be geographically distant from the individual.
Hospice, bereavement groups, compassionate friends, and other local organizations will be able to provide a part of the support needed. In this unit’s readings, you will be able to see how services can be delivered from mental health providers in conjunction with family and individual support as well as the role of posttraumatic growth in the processes. We will keep in mind that the services offered are just that—services. The need to fully comprehend the bereaved’s needs typically begins with the family and should impact all those who provide assistance in this time of need.
Harris, D. L. (Ed.). (2011). Counting our losses: Reflecting on change, loss, and transition in everyday life. New York, NY: Routledge.
Jayawickreme, E., & Blackie, L. R. (2014). Post-traumatic growth as positive personality change: Evidence, controversies and future directions. European Journal of Personality, 28(4), 312–331.
Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (2004). Posttraumatic growth: Conceptual foundations and empirical evidence. Psychological Inquiry, 15(1), 1–18.