Posttraumatic Growth and Spirituality: The Journey to Becoming Beautiful People

  • Author / Creator
    Anna Victoria Garner
  • Posttraumatic growth is a phenomenon that is characterized by the significant personal changes and growth that an individual can experience after a traumatic event. This research contributes to the existing body of research on posttraumatic growth by deeply looking into the experience after trauma, gaining insight into the process of growth after trauma, and the role that a person's spirituality plays in their growth process. This research answered the question “What is the experience of growth in the aftermath of a traumatic event?” with a particular focus on how aspects of spirituality and religion affected their journey. Semi-structured interviews were given to a convenience sample of five co-researchers. This research uses the hermeneutic phenomenological method to analyze the experiences of growth after trauma. The picture of my co-researchers’ growth is consistent with existing research on posttraumatic growth. The process of growth involves a continuous journey, a series of choices, existential questioning, support, and acceptance. My co-researcher’s experience highlights the importance of their personal spirituality. Spiritual themes: suffering, openness, and meaning making, had corresponding active processes: existential questioning, acceptance, and daily application, that helped change the traumatic experience into growth. The primary implication of my research to psychotherapeutic practice and posttraumatic growth research is the role spirituality plays in the growth process. Further research should investigate how spirituality can be used as support for clients and how therapists can assist their clients in cultivating this important resource for growth.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • 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.
  • Language
  • Institution
    St. Stephen's College
  • Degree level
  • Specialization
    • Psychotherapy and Spirituality