Throughout my own recovery, I've longed for a real experience of what's called today, Post Traumatic Growth. All along, beginning in 1994 with my first introduction to the concept of viewing recovery as a Hero's Journey, I've kept a mythological narrative (a story of recovery) running inside to help me find my way through to the end.
The story changed, dramatically along the way. The Hero's Journey is wrought with unexpected challenges, and much loss. As in any quest, the prize awaiting at the end of any recovery journey, is a full experience of wellness, and a return to the life trauma forces us for a time to leave behind.
Post Traumatic Growth in recovery is real, I'm living it. Though I've still a ways to go to complete my own journey to full wellness, for the first time along the path, I know I'm now confidently well on the way to being whole again.
Mythologist Joseph Campbell, a major influence in helping me to learn what was needed to grow through my experience with trauma, created the concept of the Hero's Journey to demonstrate that across cultures and civilizations, the structure of a journey appears in all the stories used to guide humanity through universal transitions of growth.
This concept appears in J.R.R. Tolkien's work. The Hobbit. Tolkien's myth's for all humanity, helped the author reconcile his trauma experiences from W.W.I.
"The Hero's Journey is a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development." ~ Hero's Journey
Post Traumatic Growth Research Group (UNC Charlotte Psychology Department) coined the phrase, Post Traumatic Growth:
"(PTG) is positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event. Although we coined the term post-traumatic growth, the idea that human beings can be changed by their encounters with life challenges, sometimes in radically positive ways, is not new.
The theme is present in ancient spiritual and religious traditions, literature, and philosophy. What is reasonably new is the systematic study of this phenomenon by psychologists, social workers, counselors, and scholars in other traditions of clinical practice and scientific investigation."
Beginning June 30th and originally running through the end of July, The Trauma Recovery Blog is hosting a free webinar, Transitions - Home From Trauma.
It is a series of three interviews with guests, Michele Rosenthal, author and PTSD survivor. Syd Gravel, also an author and PTSD survivor. And, Pat Solomon, film director - who too, understood his quest through completion of his film, Finding Joe, as a journey of personal growth through many unforeseen challenges.
The interviews will be posted for viewing, running through to the end of August now, with confirmation received today from Dr. Anna Baranowsky for a closing interview, which will be posted at the end of that month.
Please join us in celebrating return to life. Post Traumatic Growth is a very real potential outcome for those seeking wellness through recovery. It takes courage to heal, and we all have the courage to make it through the recovery quest.
All One Has To Do Is BELIEVE.
I hope this introduction to these two concepts can be as helpful to others, as they've been for me, finding my own way back home from trauma, through recovery.
This project honours all those still in recovery, and those of us who were unable to see the journey, all the way through.