There’s a book that has me hooked (and it’s not the Bible, though that Book definitely has me hooked). The book is called Posttraumatic Growth: Theory, Research, and Applications.
You see, I’ve experienced posttraumatic growth (PTG). And I have a theory about PTG.
I am not the only person to have a theory on this relatively new topic. The phenomenon is not new, but actively attempting to label and define the concepts and constructs is new. The study of PTG requires theory.
Theory needs to be researched with reliable tools to determine its validity. Only valid theories of PTG, when applied to individuals post trauma, could save a vulnerable population.
Except just like growth is not linear, the study of PTG will not become linear anytime soon. This brings me to a question we wrestle with.
Whose theory is right?
I don’t care whose theory is right from an “I’m right,” no “I’m right,” standpoint. Because I’m right.
(I’m rightly kidding right now.)
Every person with a theory on facilitating posttraumatic growth has a common goal. I may not articulate it perfectly, but the common goal is to help people recover and become more resilient after trauma. The goal is more than restoration to a previous level of wellness. The goal is to understand enough about PTG that we can cause it to happen.
Admittedly, we researchers and healthcare professionals cannot cause growth. Only God can do that.
But can we facilitate PTG? We sure hope so, and we are dedicated to this study of who, what, when, where, why (and definitely how).
Who experiences PTG? Perhaps we can learn from their stories and their demographics.
What exactly IS PTG? Perhaps commonalities will define the central beliefs here.
When does PTG occur and when does it not? Why does the growth happen, and does location even matter?
How? How? How?
Whose theory is right? Do we even have a theory that is right? We need each other, and I am hooked on the book.