“Trauma is hell on earth. Trauma resolved is a gift from the gods.”
—Doctor Peter A. Levine
Johnny Cash sang, “Love is a burning thing, and it makes a fiery ring.” I burn more today than last year. The post-traumatic growth practices I learned at Warrior PATHH gets most of the credit. Warrior PATHH (Progressive, Alternative Training for Helping Heroes) is a special program that helps veterans and first responders deal with the effects of our service in war and on the streets. We meditated our PTSD, depression, anxiety, and combat stress into remission twice a day—I poured my heart into a piece I posted last year about the lifelong friends I made at PATHH. You can read about that here.
We all just want to be loved. In fact, most decisions we make are based upon needing to be cared for and accepted. Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG) is a method of managing stress that focuses on personal growth after experiencing a traumatic event. Unlike other treatments that aim solely at managing the symptoms of stress, Post-Traumatic Growth helps survivors find new meaning and purpose in their lives after terrifying ordeals. This method has been not only effective in reducing symptoms of stress but also improving overall quality of life.
The American Psychological Association confirms that practitioners of PTG report higher levels of life satisfaction, increased resilience, and a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their lives. This is because PTG encourages individuals to re-frame the traumatic experience as an opportunity to bounce forward and develop, rather than seeing it as a setback.
Post-Traumatic Growth leads to increased social support and stronger relationships. As individuals who have experienced trauma often feel isolated and disconnected from others, PTG can help build connections and foster a close sense of community, like the bonds I formed at PATHH.
Overall, Post-Traumatic Growth is a powerful and effective method of managing the anxiety and panic that stress inflicts. Our Nation is in such a mental health crisis that the U.S. Preventative Service suggests making anxiety screening a normal part of an annual physical. America should consider PTG as a preferred
method of stress management for individuals who have experienced trauma. Talk to your mental health professional if you’d like to explore implementing PTG practices into your mental health journey. Also, take a deep dive with me into stories and healthy practices of survivors of unthinkable traumas. Listen to my podcast “Heroes For Hope: Thriving Beyond Trauma.” Each story has a wisdom that can change the cultural landscape by helping listeners make sense of their own struggles.
Episodes are found at: