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Two-years of COVID-19

Many use this week as an a two year anniversary marker for COVID-19 but there is certainly no shortage of things to be worried about in the world. Like other anniversary markers, it is an opportunity to reflect, take stock, and think about the future.

While we are all familiar with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, generally defined as “A disorder in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event,” we may not know about Post Traumatic Growth. Developed in the 1990s by psychologists Richard Tedeschi, PhD, and Lawrence Calhoun, PhD, the theory of post-traumatic growth suggests that people can emerge from trauma or adversity having achieved positive personal growth.

Tedeschi and Calhoun’s Post­traumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) (Journal of Traumatic Stress, Vol. 9, No. 3, 1996), evaluates growth in five areas: appreciation of life, relating to others, personal strength, recognizing new possibilities and spiritual change. It’s not necessary or even typical to show change in all five areas, Tedeschi says. But growth in even one or two of those realms “can have a profound effect on a person’s life.” (Kristen Weir, American Psychological Association, Vol. 51 No. 4)

Whether you use Tedeschi’s model or some other questions, this two-year anniversary of COVID is not a bad time to reflect. How has it impacted you? What have you lost? But also, what have you gained and how do you want to live or practice differently because of what you have been through? Let’s hope for post traumatic growth for all of us.

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