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Posttraumatic growth: helping clients overcome trauma

Author(s)Moran, Sena, Eileen Burker and Judy Schmidt
Title Posttraumatic growth: helping clients overcome trauma
Source Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling,2012, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp 12-20
Date 2012
Document type Journal article
Summary The purpose of this article is to educate counsellors about the difference between Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and to provide treatment recommendations. PTG is defined as positive psychological changes in response to a trauma, including improved interpersonal relationships, openness to new possibilities, a greater appreciation of life and increased personal strength. Coping strategies, including positively reframing events and religious coping are important in the development of PTG. It is suggested that counsellors who are assisting clients obtain PTG examine the types of coping mechanisms used by clients, such as through mindfulness and using certain mnemonic devices. Methods of narrative therapy are also explored, including therapeutic journaling and conversational mapping. The authors conclude that exposure-based techniques appear to be the most effective for treating PTSD and mindfulness techniques, cognitive interventions and journaling are also effective for treating PTSD and promoting posttraumatic growth.
Keywords Posttraumatic stress disorder; PTSD; posttraumatic growth; PTG; narrative therapy; coping strategies; exposure therapy; journaling.
Topic Psychological effects and treatment