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Title: Post-traumatic growth in people disabled by traumatic illness or injury
Author: Waft, Yvonne Louise
ISNI:       0000 0001 3549 9719
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis 'is about a phenomenon known as posttraumatic growth. This term refers to the way some people are able to grow psychologically through their experiences of trauma and its aftermath. The major theoretical model in the field is based on cognitive coping models emerging out ofthe field ofresearch and treatment ofposttraumatic stress disorder (Tedeschi and Calhoun, 2004a). This model fails to explain how posttraumatic growth is in any way different from coping and wellbeing, but asserts that there is a qualitative difference. There have been calls for more qualitative research, especially research°focusing on the narrative processes oiDvolved in posttraumatic ~wth. : I have used Grounded Theory to analyse the narrative accounts of six people disabled by traumatic accidents or illnesses who believe that they have experienced posttraumatic growth. This is a self selected group, targeted because they would have something to say about the phenomenon in question. My own position as a person disabled by trauma who has grown psychologically from this experience was an important consideration in how this research took shape. The analysis was very complex due to the rich and diverse data provided by the participants. The key themes to emerge were 'putting the trauma in its place', 'extemalising problems', 'reconstructing identity' and 'making meaning'. The model ofposttraumatic growth which emerged was strikingly similar to models ofNarrative Therapy (e.g. Monk, Winslade, Crocket & Epston (1997)) often used in family therapy and increasingly used in individual psychotherapy. The analysis reflects and further develops themes arising in the existing literature, bringing together a number ofaspects of existing theory. A narrative model of posttraumatic growth offers a potential therapeutic model to help people struggling after trauma and t~ facilitate future growth. This model needs to be elaborated in further research, particularly by including negative case analyses, and the potential for Narrative Therapy as a treatment for trauma survivors remains to be tested.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available