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A Playbook for Post-Traumatic Growth

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How is it that two parents of children killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, school massacre were able to turn their heartbreak into something positive by founding Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing gun violence?

It’s difficult to imagine at a time of tragedy, but life-altering trauma can give way to meaning, spurring people to create enduring, beneficial outcomes for the greater good.This is what psychologists call post-traumatic growth (PTG) — positive psychological changes that occur as part of a healing process.

Researchers discovered that people who experience profound difficulties are more likely to experience PTG than they are to face post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which often brings intense anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, or intrusive thoughts.After a traumatic situation, people need time to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally.

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