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Posttraumatic growth as a process and an outcome: Vexing problems and paradoxes seen from the perspective of humanistic psychology

Joseph, Stephen

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Abstract

The aim of this article is to discuss the concept of posttraumatic growth (PTG) from the perspective of humanistic psychology. Research findings in PTG have posed what seem to be challenging theoretical questions. Questions that seem perplexing or paradoxical to mainstream research are: whether PTG is a normative process, if it is better described as personality change, what its relationship is with PTSD, if PTG is the same as resilience, if PTG is illusory, and finally, if PTG is actually adaptive. These six questions, I would argue, only seem perplexing or paradoxical when the lens through which they are being examined is the same as when studying illness. There are important differences in how the humanistic growth paradigm approaches the topic of PTG compared to the illness ideology. In this article, I discuss these questions from the perspective of Joseph and Linley’s (2005) organismic valuing process (OVP) theory of growth following adversity. Seen from the humanistic psychology tradition of OVP theory, PTG represents a normative affective-cognitive process of real change toward constructive personality development that leads to resilience and adaptive functioning. I hope to position the topic of growth following adversity more clearly within the field of humanistic psychology and to set a new nonmedicalized research agenda for researchers and clinicians.

Citation

Joseph, S. (2019). Posttraumatic growth as a process and an outcome: Vexing problems and paradoxes seen from the perspective of humanistic psychology. Humanistic Psychologist, https://doi.org/10.1037/hum0000156

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 25, 2019
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Aug 5, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 1, 2021
Journal The Humanistic Psychologist
Print ISSN 0887-3267
Electronic ISSN 1547-3333
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1037/hum0000156
Keywords Applied Psychology; Social Psychology
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/2390966
Publisher URL https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-49233-001?doi=1

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