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The challenging journey from trauma to post-traumatic growth : Lived experiences of facilitating and hindering factors

The challenging journey from trauma to post-traumatic growth : Lived experiences of facilitating and hindering factors


Title: The challenging journey from trauma to post-traumatic growth : Lived experiences of facilitating and hindering factors
Author: Bryngeirsdóttir, Hulda Sædís
Halldórsdóttir, Sigríður
Date: 2021-10-28
Language: English
Scope:
School: School of Health Sciences
Department: Doctoral program center
Series: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences; ()
ISSN: 0283-9318
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/scs.13037
Subject: Sálræn áföll; Endurhæfing; post-traumatic growth; psychosocial nursing; public health; phenomenology; qualitative approaches; qualitative interviews; rehabilitation; trauma
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2871

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Citation:

Bryngeirsdóttir , H S & Halldórsdóttir , S 2021 , ' The challenging journey from trauma to post-traumatic growth : Lived experiences of facilitating and hindering factors ' , Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences . https://doi.org/10.1111/scs.13037

Abstract:

Background Many people experience psychological trauma during their lifetime, often negatively affecting their mental and physical health. Post-traumatic growth is a positive psychological change that may occur in an individual after having processed and coped with trauma. This journey, however, has not been studied enough. Aim The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore people's experience of suffering psychological trauma, the personal effects of the trauma and the transition from trauma to post-traumatic growth. Methods A purposeful sample of seven women and five men, aged 34–52, were selected whose backgrounds and history of trauma varied, but who had all experienced post-traumatic growth. One to two interviews were conducted with each one, in all 14 interviews. Results This study introduces a unique mapping of the challenging journey from trauma to post-traumatic growth through lived experiences of people who have experienced trauma as well as post-traumatic growth. Participants had different trauma experience, but their suffering shaped them all as persons and influenced their wellbeing, health and view of life. Participants described post-traumatic growth as a journey, rather than a destination. There was a prologue to their journey which some described as a hindering factor while others felt it was a good preparation for post-traumatic growth, i.e. to overcome difficulties at an early age. Participants described six main influencing factors on their post-traumatic growth, both facilitating and hindering ones. They also described the positive personal changes they had undergone when experiencing post-traumatic growth even though the epilogue also included heavy days. A new theoretical definition of post-traumatic growth was constructed from the findings. Conclusion The results suggest that the journey to post-traumatic growth includes a recovery process and certain influencing factors that must be considered. This information has implications for professionals treating and supporting people who have suffered traumas.

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