Grateful For Post Traumatic Growth

first responder first responder family hope mental health post traumatic growth ptsd ptsi relationships trauma

National Mental Health Day and Thanksgiving Day land on the same week. This is serendipitous for our family. At the foundation of our gratitude list is Post Traumatic Growth.

Post-traumatic growth (PTG) developed by psychologists Richard Tedeschi, PhD, and Lawrence Calhoun, PhD, is a theory that explains this kind of transformation following trauma. It describes the positive growth people can see following an adversity and psychological struggle. "People develop new understandings of themselves, the world they live in, how to relate to other people, the kind of future they might have and a better understanding of how to live life," says Tedeschi.


 Post-traumatic Growth looks for positive responses in five areas:

  1. Appreciation of life.
  2. Relationships with others.
  3. New possibilities in life.
  4. Personal strength.
  5. Spiritual change.


We are grateful for our struggle through trauma as a first responder family. It has given us:

  • A closer family unit.
  • Deeper intimacy and connection. 
  • Courage to share vulnerably and receive the reward of being seen.
  •  Trust. We know we have each other’s back. We are in this together.
  • The opportunity to show up, do the work to heal, repair and thrive.
  • The ability to show our kids the power of a growth mindset and working through adversity.
  • The space to learn to communicate and not take anything personally.
  • A playfulness back in our home.
  • The chance to dismantle and rebuild according to our values.


What helped us achieve Post Traumatic Growth:

  • Asking for help.
  • Taking time off.
  • Simplifying life.
  • Setting boundaries.
  • Focusing on basics (sleep, nutrition, exercise). 
  • Leaning into our supports.
  • Medical and naturopathic care.
  • Individual and family counselling.
  • Education: Reading, Online Courses, Podcasts, Conferences.
  • Taking one moment at a time.
  • Daily gratitude list. 

If you are going through a dark season. Hang on to hope. The view is amazing when you arrive on the other side. Keep going. Know it is worth the hard work. Reach out for support. Be gentle with yourself. Let us know if we can help. You are not alone. 

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