A Fresh Chapter

Post-Traumatic Growth


A Fresh Chapter
What is Post-Traumatic Growth?

In the 1980s, two psychology professors from the University of North Carolina, Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun begin researching a new field of study – post-traumatic growth. Through their research with prisoners of war and other people who had experienced traumatic incidents, they saw how events that were outwardly bad, even horrific, had spurred survivors towards positive life changes. In “Upside – The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth” by Jim Rendon, he writes:

As Tedeschi and Calhoun spoke to more and more people, they began to see that traumatic experiences certainly did cause suffering, but suffering was not the end of the change wrought by these events. Suffering, in fact was part of a much larger experience. It proved to be a catalyst that pushed people to find new meaning in their lives. As Tedeschi and Calhoun dug through existing research and interviewed more than six hundred trauma survivors, patterns began to emerge…Eventually they determined that people were reporting positive change in one or more of the following five distinct areas as a result of their trauma:

  1. Increased inner strength
  2. An openness to new possibilities in life
  3. Closer and often deeper relationships with friends and family
  4. An enhanced appreciation of life
  5. A stronger sense of spirituality
How A Fresh Chapter Transforms Adversity Into Growth

Whether as a patient or a caregiver, cancer can strip you of the life you had dreamed of and leave you in a place of fear, uncertainty, and struggle. At A Fresh Chapter, we believe that if we can help people acknowledge and explore some of the darker emotions of cancer (fear, isolation, depression, sadness, and anger) – while giving them a community to grieve with and an opportunity to simultaneously discover renewed purpose and perspective – we can change the paradigm of cancer care.

By helping people identify the resilience and strength they have gained because of adversity, we give them a chance to channel this dark experience into creating more light in the world. After cancer, there is less to fear. It’s no longer as important to follow the status quo in the same way and it’s easier to say yes to new opportunities. Join us as we help people who have faced cancer realize their new capacity to become leaders and change-makers in their families and communities. Let’s help them feel seen, valued and capable. Let’s remind them that the adversity of cancer has not broken them, but rather given them the strength to grow. Let’s support them in making the very most of the life they have left – however long or short that may be.

Since I returned home from my U.S. Odyssey experience, A Fresh Chapter has sparked an interest in volunteering for me. I have committed to a local hospital and am volunteering at the gift store a few hours a week as well as volunteering in the woman's (breast center) each week. I had never volunteered before my trip with A Fresh Chapter and I am so grateful for these new opportunities to connect and give back. — Maureen, 2016 U.S. Odyssey Tribe
Get Involved With A Fresh Chapter Today

A Fresh Chapter offers purpose and possibility for anyone who wants to get involved. Whether you are interested in participating in a program, making a donation, offering your time or experience, or partnering with us to make the program available to even more people – we want you as part of our tribe.

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