Trauma and Positive Psychology

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To understand positive psychology and trauma, one must first understand what each term means. First, positive psychology is the study and focus on the best in human behavior. It is a fairly new perspective being observed and used by psychologists from all over the world. The goal of positive psychology is to study and promote conditions that can help people to achieve happy, healthy, and productive lifestyles. It is derived from research and theories from many areas of psychology and tying them together while focusing on the positive aspects of human behavior. What does it mean to be positive? Being positive is displaying affirmation, acceptance, or certainty toward an object, idea, or person.
“Trauma is used when describing emotionally painful and distressing experiences or situations that can overwhelm a person’s ability to cope” (John A. Rich, Theodore Corbin, & Sandra Bloom, 2008). Trauma could include deaths, violence, verbal and nonverbal words and actions, discrimination, racism etc. Trauma could result in serious long-term effects on a person’s health, mental stability, and physical body. Judith Herman, from Trauma and Recovery, said “Traumatic events are extraordinary, not because they occur rarely, but rather because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life” (John A. Rich, Theodore Corbin, & Sandra Bloom, 2008). Trauma does not involve the same experiences for everyone; each individual is unique in that they, and only they, can decide what is traumatic for them.
Before discussing what positive things can come from suffering a traumatic experience, one must first understand that negative things can arise as well. Trauma “shatters people’s basic assumptions about themselves and the world they live in. Thr...

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