Post-Traumatic Growth Requires Judgment

Events such as the bombing at the Boston Marathon remind us of many things; those in my Facebook feed seem to following in the footsteps of Mister Rogers, looking for helpers and taking solace in all the bystanders and first responders who came together to help the wounded. I hope for everyone involved that post-traumatic growth will outpace post-traumatic stress.

It may be worth noting that for first responders at least, the ideal of non-judging – of trying to be impartial about events and your reactions to them – may inhibit post-traumatic growth; a group of police officers who reported more attitudes were less likely to experience post-traumatic growth, suggesting we need to emotionally grapple with traumatic experiences to grow from them.

I hope that is also true for those who are mere, distant observers; it would be some comfort to think that if I’m going to struggle with mindful acceptance of news like this, that there might actually be a benefit to that failure.



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