By: Janelle Schlueter, MS, LPC, NCC, CCTP As a trauma-specialized therapist, I see clients who have survived severe trauma. When beginning to work with these clients, they commonly cannot imagine a mindset free from their trauma. Even more unimaginable is having a positive change to their life they would not have if they did not […]
By: Janelle Schlueter, MS, LPC, NCC, CCTP
As a trauma-specialized therapist, I see clients who have survived severe trauma. When beginning to work with these clients, they commonly cannot imagine a mindset free from their trauma. Even more unimaginable is having a positive change to their life they would not have if they did not endure the trauma. This is the concept of Post Traumatic Growth, the final stage in trauma therapy. Not only is achieving this stage possible, but it’s also a realistic goal of trauma therapy. Helping clients get to this stage is the most rewarding part of what I do!
What is Post Traumatic Growth
Post Traumatic Growth is a concept that has been part of trauma therapy for over 40 years. Many treatment models describe stages or steps to trauma treatment. One consistent thing across these models is when the client reaches the end of trauma treatment. They can look at the world with a new appreciation. This appreciation is made more significant due to the client having experienced trauma.
Possible Outcomes of Post Traumatic Growth
Post Traumatic Growth encompasses five distinct outcomes that are widely acknowledged. These include enhanced gratitude for life, improved interpersonal connections, the emergence of fresh opportunities, increased personal resilience, and spiritual transformation. While most individuals typically encounter one or two of these outcomes, many people actually undergo the experience of four or even all five of them!
Greater Appreciation for Life
This is the most common outcome seen with clients and typically signifies the end of the need for intensive trauma therapy. A client in this stage will be able to see the value in life and will not take life for granted. They will feel grateful to have survived rather than focus on how they were close to not surviving.
Clients experiencing this outcome will have healthier relationships. They will be more likely to advocate for themselves, set healthy boundaries as well as be vulnerable to building connections. This outcome is noted by the ending of unhealthy relationships and the investment into strengthening healthy relationships.
This outcome results in clients re-evaluating their goals towards what they want rather than what they feel they ‘should’ do. I see this in clients who chose a career path because it was what their family wanted, but after reaching post traumatic growth, specifically this outcome, they change career paths to ones they find more fulfilling. This outcome can also be finding new hobbies like getting tattoos, running marathons, or even skydiving.
This is another common outcome and is noted by the client’s significant increase in confidence and self-worth. It is expected that when a client is starting trauma therapy, they will struggle with confidence and self-worth. Watching a client gain confidence in themselves and discover their self-worth is nothing short of amazing!
Sometimes clients find themselves becoming stronger in their faith. Others may find themselves going on spiritual journeys to find a new faith. Some become more spiritual rather than aligning with one religion. This outcome is seen when a client notes the change in a positive direction and feels more fulfilled by their spirituality.
How to Accomplish Post Traumatic Growth
We’ve talked about what Post Traumatic Growth is, but how do you get there? Firstly, find a therapist who specializes in trauma-informed therapy and has experience in treating severe trauma. Secondly, make sure you and your therapist have the same goals of reaching Post Traumatic Growth. Thirdly, be patient. Trauma therapy takes time. Fourthly, be honest and vulnerable with both yourself and your therapist. If it’s not acknowledged, it cannot be addressed. Lastly, give yourself grace for the ups and downs of trauma healing!
Begin Therapy for Trauma in Katy, TX
If you are ready to begin Post Traumatic Growth, one of the therapists at The Center at Cinco Ranch can help! We provide mental health counseling, as well as other mental health services. To begin counseling in Katy, TX follow these three steps:
- Contact our office to set up an appointment or to learn more information
- Meet with one of our compassionate therapists
- Find ways to thrive through therapy today!
Other Therapy Services We Offer:
Here at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch, we offer counseling services for people of all ages in areas including counseling for kids, counseling for young adults, teen counseling, couples counseling, eating disorder treatment, men’s issues, women’s issues, anxiety treatment, depression therapy, trauma counseling, family therapy, and group counseling. Our therapists strive to post blogs regularly. We provide helpful information on a variety of mental health topics. To learn more about our therapists and our counseling services, please reach out to the Counseling Center today!