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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: Bryngeirsdottir, Hulda S.
Halldorsdottir, Sigridur   orcid.org/0000-0003-0629-4428
Date: 2022-09
Language: English
Scope: 17
School: School of Health Sciences
Department: Doctoral program center
Series: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences; 36(3)
ISSN: 0283-9318
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/scs.13037
Subject: Sálræn áföll; Endurhæfing; phenomenology; post-traumatic growth; psychosocial nursing; public health; qualitative approaches; qualitative interviews; rehabilitation; trauma; Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/3716

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Citation:

Bryngeirsdottir , H S & Halldorsdottir , S 2022 , ' The challenging journey from trauma to post-traumatic growth : Lived experiences of facilitating and hindering factors ' , Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences , vol. 36 , no. 3 , pp. 752-768 . 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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Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic College of Caring Science.

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