Trauma has always been part of the human experience, and traumatic events—both physical and emotional—can shake our very foundation and leave us forever changed. While we know more about the lasting neurological and physical effects of trauma than we did a decade ago, few people realize that experiencing trauma doesn’t have to sentence you to a lifetime of suffering and grief.
In this first book of its kind, renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Edith Shiro shares a powerful, five-stage framework for posttraumatic growth, a transformational process that helps you not just heal, but achieve growth and expand consciousness in the face of trauma. Inspired by her grandparents, who were refugees and Holocaust survivors, Dr. Shiro has dedicated her life to individuals, families, and communities facing trauma and its aftereffects. Developed over more than twenty-five years of research and practice, Dr. Shiro’s stages—Awareness, Awakening, Becoming, Being, and Transforming— provide a universal language and outline how trauma can be a catalyst for transformative growth.
Grounded in science and psychology, and filled with practical tools and takeaways, The Unexpected Gift of Trauma offers a bold a new definition of trauma, touching on individual as well as collective and intergenerational trauma. Dr. Shiro brings the power of posttraumatic growth to the forefront and reveals a groundbreaking new way to think about and heal from traumatic experiences.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Part I Understanding Posttraumatic Growth
1 The Framework 3
2 The Trauma of Everyday Life 15
3 What Is Posttraumatic Growth? 45
4 Floating Factors 71
5 The Intergenerational Legacy of Trauma 97
6 From Collective Trauma to Collective Growth 121
Part II Moving Through the Stages
7 The Stage of Awareness: Radical Acceptance 153
8 The Stage of Awakening: Safety and Protection 169
9 The Stage of Becoming: A New Narrative 193
10 The Stage of Being: Integration 219
11 The Stage of Transforming: Wisdom and Growth 233
12 Staying Elevated 265
Posttraumatic Growth Inventory 281
Psychological Well-Being Posttraumatic Changes Questionnaire 285