Resiliency and Posttraumatic Growth: Cultural Implications for Psychiatrists
Resiliency is a common term that describes individuals’ amazing capacity for resistance. Its sibling term, posttraumatic growth (PTG), is less well known, however. PTG describes the positive psychological changes individuals will be able to notice in themselves in spite of a traumatic experience. Examples of PTG include statements such as, “Despite all the bad things that happened, I realize that I feel much more connected to other people now,” or “After what happened, I find myself focusing more on what is important to me and not what others want me to do.”
The resiliency concept has had many academic mothers and fathers, including Emmy Werner, PhD, (1929-2017; developmental psychologist at the University of California), and George Vaillant, MD, (born 1934; psychiatrist at Harvard University). The concept of PTG derives substantially from the work of psychologists Lawrence G. Calhoun, PhD, and Richard G. Tedeschi, PhD, from the University of North Carolina. Their cutting-edge research drew inspiration from ancient sources, including Greece and the Judeo-Christian Bible, as well as some of the teachings of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam that contain statements on the possibility of positive change through one’s own suffering….
How to Develop A Resilient Mindset
Many leaders are feeling unbelievably stretched and stressed beyond their limits, like tired rubber bands that no longer snap back. So how do you increase your elasticity so you can naturally return to a balanced state?
“It isn’t a question of if a leader and their team will face adversity, but when.” – Jenn Donahue an engineer and US Navy Captain
Resiliency is the elastic force we use to return to normal when stress and crisis stretch us out. Unlike rubber bands, though, that have finite resilience that can be exceeded and destroyed, as humans, we have the ability to build resiliency.
And we build our resiliency in times of crisis and stress through seeing these moments as opportunities to develop this critical leadership skill. By developing a resilient mindset, leaders can become more effective, calmer under pressure, and rebound faster from destabilizing challenges.
Before we can understand resiliency, we need to be aware of what prevents it. Dr. Martin Seligman, a leading researcher in psychology, describes characteristic mindsets that prevent resilience in his 3P’s model…