Dominican University of California
 

Oral Presentations - Guzman 302

Presentation or Panel Title

How the Phoenix Took Wing: An Examination of the Humanities Canon as it Relates to the Psychology of Posttraumatic Growth

Location

Guzman 302

Start Date

4-23-2015 7:20 PM

End Date

4-23-2015 7:35 PM

Department

Humanities and Cultural Studies

Student Type

Undergraduate

Faculty Mentor

Gay Lynch, Ph.D

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

The investigation of posttraumatic growth as a psychological principle is giving researchers a new way to understand how it is that some people seem to thrive following events that are normally perceived as tragic and wholly negative. These survivors do not just bounce back from their tragedies; the researchers describe these people as “bouncing forward” – that is, the survivors report that their lives now are profoundly better than they were before the trauma. While the psychological research into posttraumatic growth is relatively new, the field of Humanities has conducted this same inquiry for several thousand years. For example, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger,” and Mythology offers the example of the phoenix, the legendary bird that is reborn from the ashes of its prior life. A review of the scientific literature on posttraumatic growth and examples of that selfsame ideal embodied within the Humanities will show the intersection of these two domains. My goal is to identify sources within the Humanities canon may potentially provide insight and inspiration to survivors and family members experiencing the acute phase of trauma, as well as the clinicians working with them in the recovery process. Ultimately, my research will demonstrate that the Humanities can help survivors, family members, and clinicians not only understand how to make sense of “what happened,” but provide fertile ground in which they might optimistically ask, “What’s next?”

Comments

Author Supplied Keywords: Posttraumatic growth, Humanities, monomyth, trauma, recovery, phoenix

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Apr 23rd, 7:20 PM Apr 23rd, 7:35 PM

How the Phoenix Took Wing: An Examination of the Humanities Canon as it Relates to the Psychology of Posttraumatic Growth

Guzman 302

The investigation of posttraumatic growth as a psychological principle is giving researchers a new way to understand how it is that some people seem to thrive following events that are normally perceived as tragic and wholly negative. These survivors do not just bounce back from their tragedies; the researchers describe these people as “bouncing forward” – that is, the survivors report that their lives now are profoundly better than they were before the trauma. While the psychological research into posttraumatic growth is relatively new, the field of Humanities has conducted this same inquiry for several thousand years. For example, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger,” and Mythology offers the example of the phoenix, the legendary bird that is reborn from the ashes of its prior life. A review of the scientific literature on posttraumatic growth and examples of that selfsame ideal embodied within the Humanities will show the intersection of these two domains. My goal is to identify sources within the Humanities canon may potentially provide insight and inspiration to survivors and family members experiencing the acute phase of trauma, as well as the clinicians working with them in the recovery process. Ultimately, my research will demonstrate that the Humanities can help survivors, family members, and clinicians not only understand how to make sense of “what happened,” but provide fertile ground in which they might optimistically ask, “What’s next?”