Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Salina Renninger; Christopher Vye


The purpose of this dissertation is to better understand research regarding the application of posttraumatic growth (PTG), in conjunction with trauma models of therapy in individual psychotherapy and to disseminate this knowledge through a graduate student psychology workshop. A workshop was designed to educate students on PTG and how it can be evaluated and facilitated. Trauma is defined as events that threaten life or bodily integrity that results in fear, helplessness, or horror. Trauma is also defined as an emotional response to an event like an accident, rape, or natural disaster. This dissertation used an integration of these definitions. The negative impact of trauma incudes emotional, cognitive, behavioral, physical and physiological symptoms and consequences and is a common presenting concern in clinical settings. Trauma models reviewed include the self-trauma model, ongoing traumatic stress response, prolonged exposure therapy, and cognitive processing therapy. Understanding the complexities, sociocultural context, and process underlying PTG is important to helping clients regain self-concept and develop meaning following trauma. PTG is defined as positive psychological change experienced because of the struggle with challenging circumstances. Domains of PTG include changed self, changed relationships, and changed philosophy of life. The facilitation of PTG involves helping clients integrate the negative and positive impact of trauma and helping clients recognize growth because of their struggle trauma, not the trauma itself. The workshop educates about the negative and positive impact of trauma, existing trauma models of therapy, how growth is facilitated in individual psychotherapy and integrated with trauma therapy models of therapy.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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