Post-Traumatic Stress can seem only negative as someone starts to pick up the shattered pieces of their heart and rebuild their life. But, in fact, trauma survivors have been found to have many positives on their side. Post-traumatic growth is the idea that after someone has been through a traumatic event they are likely to see positives from their experience that leads to personal growth and change. They are able to have greater empathy and compassion for others because they have survived traumatic events and are in need of compassion and empathy themselves. Because the trauma victim has survived an event, or possibly repeated traumatic events they can feel more capable of conquering other difficult tasks. Their capacity to experience intimacy in relationship with God and others can increase as their walls of personal defense were destroyed. They can become more comfortable with intimacy as safe and healthy people surround them and build trust with them.
Post-traumatic growth is a helpful concept when caring for someone with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. As a caregiver, you can instill hope in the survivor by helping them draw on their tremendous strength that helped them survive their trauma and use it again to walk along the path of healing. Tap into their compassion and empathy they have for others and turn it onto themselves. This can be difficult as it is often easier to have more compassion for others than themselves as false guilt and shame enters in. They can begin to see themselves with God’s eyes and allow themselves room for healing.