Thursday, October 14, 2021

Frazier Skeptical of 'Post Traumatic Growth'

Headshot of Dr. Pat Frazier
Many have heard of the term Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but what about Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG)? “Finding growth in the aftermath of post-traumatic stress disorder, a recent article in the Star Tribune, explores this phenomenon. The article cites a review published in the Journal of Affective Disorders that found about half of the people who had experienced traumatic events reported a “moderate-to-high growth response.” While this "growth experience" isn’t a flip side to trauma, some theorize that it can be important to acknowledge how trauma can be a catalyst for positive change. Patricia Frazier, PhD, Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, has spent her career studying stress and trauma. In regard to PTG, she is skeptical about the prevalence rates in survivors in research studies. Although she acknowledges that it is a very appealing notion, the research support is not as strong as the popular belief. Frazier also warns against putting expectations on people that they should grow from trauma. Also, when support providers try to come up with positives, it can be perceived as minimizing and unhelpful.

Composed by Flora Pollack, communications assistant.