An Exploratory Study of the Story of Post-Traumatic Growth in Aboriginal Adults

  • Author / Creator
    Hawley, Kelty D.
  • Post-traumatic growth (PTG) is a phenomenon that describes how people grow in positive ways after trauma, surpassing their original level of functioning (Joseph, 2009). It is different from resiliency and coping, which can be characterized as “bouncing back” while PTG can be described as “bouncing forward” from trauma (Johnson et al., 2007; Poorman, 2002). According to Karmali et al. (2005), Aboriginal Canadians have a four times greater risk of severe trauma than the general population. This increased risk of trauma is largely due to the inter-generational trauma and devastating social impact of colonialism (Bombay, Matheson, & Anisman, 2011). It is surprising that with the high rates of trauma in this population, no research, to date, has examined PTG in this group. To begin to rectify this imbalance, this narrative-informed inquiry was implemented to tell the story of two Aboriginal adults’ stories of PTG. The Medicine Wheel was used as a lens to explore and describe the participants’ growth. From the data, six themes emerged: achieving clarity, seeking help from others, letting go, the importance of a spiritual connection, helping others, and a work in progress. Finally counselling implications of the study and directions for future research are presented.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.