'Sounds a hopeful note. Suffering need not destroy' – Terry Waite CBE
'A thorough and common-sense look at the psychology of survival' – Nature
What Doesn't Kill Us
The New Psychology of Posttraumatic Growth
What would you do if life as you knew it were to fall apart? And how would you recover? Surprisingly, psychologists studying the effects of trauma have discovered it can benefit us in remarkable ways...
For the past 20 years, the pioneering psychologist Stephen Joseph has worked with survivors of trauma. His studies have yielded a startling discovery: that a wide range of traumatic events – from illness, divorce, separation, assault and bereavement to accidents, natural disasters and terrorism – can act as catalysts for positive change. Boldly challenging the conventional wisdom about trauma and its aftermath, Joseph demonstrates that rather than ruining one’s life, a traumatic event can actually improve it.
Drawing on the wisdom of ancient philosophers, the insights of evolutionary biologists and the optimism of positive psychologists, What Doesn't Kill Us reveals how all of us can navigate change and adversity – traumatic or otherwise – to find new meaning, purpose and direction in life.