Post-traumatic growth

As a peer supporter, it is inevitable that things will happen in your work with others that will open up old wounds from your past. Many of the courses in the Academy talk about the importance of self-care. In your work as a peer supporter, we urge you to be sure you have your own supporters (friends, family, peers, spiritual counselors, professionals, or others you know) – people you trust who can help you through those inevitable times of revisiting old wounds.

Resilience is a person’s ability to overcome adversity. Most of us have heard of post-traumatic stress disorder. But many of us have also experienced post-traumatic growth, which is an awareness of all that has been gained through one’s struggles with adversity.

This short video introduces resilience and post-traumatic growth.

A peer supporter’s greatest gift is the ability to share from personal experience not only the struggle, but what has been gained. That is what gives hope to others.

In your practice of self-care, be sure to include people who can support you and encourage you to recognize post-traumatic growth in yourself and others so that you can continue to give that gift to others.

Rita Cronise / VC Coordinator


3 thoughts on “Post-traumatic growth

  1. Jay Gilpatrick January 10, 2017 / 3:08 am

    I’m an individual who has schizo-affective disorder. While I still have paranoid thoughts, I recognize the changes I have been through. Except for my therapist, I usually no longer let on to others what my paranoid thoughts are, unless I am telling what I’ve been through to help other people who have a mental illness. That is a connection that will always remain among myself and the people I serve in my job. I see this connection with others every day at my job.
    My job title is Rehabilitation Practitioner and I became a Certified Peer Specialist last December. I help people to set and reach their goals in life whatever they may be. It ranges from finding an apartment through finding volunteer work and much, much more. Living, Learning and Socializing. Another part of the agency I work for finds people jobs. I also lead groups about Quality of Life and writing about positive experiences.
    I worked outside of mental health as an engineer for 15 years after I finished 2 and 4 year degrees in college. I was laid off the last job I worked at. Then I found by accident my new home; a Psycho-social club that became a Clubhouse that Became a Recovery Center. I found friends and learned life lessons at each stage.
    A class at the Recovery Center about the book, “The Secret” By Rhonda Byrne taught me about beliefs, karma and love. When a job opening became available for an activities specialist I applied, was interviewed and hired. A few months later I was promoted to Rehabilitation Practitioner at the Recovery Center. The changes were coming fast at that time. I developed a more positive attitude on life also. I made room in my life for a girlfriend, met her, and a few years later married her. I started going to church every week. I joined a social justice committee. I’ve been happily married for four years now at age sixty-seven.
    Changes do happen in life if you want them to happen. I learned to be who I am by practicing how to be who I wanted to be. It can start with a change in language. It can start with a change in attitude. It can start without realizing change at first. There are many ways to start. It can start one day when you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, but you get up and start anyway.


    • inapsrita January 11, 2017 / 11:09 pm

      Thanks for writing and sharing the things you’ve found helpful – especially the shift toward being who you want to be.


  2. WisdomWithin January 17, 2017 / 4:48 pm

    I love the term post-traumatic growth. So meaningful. However we come to it, and make it our own. Congrats on your certification and continued success on your journey!


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