Richard Tedeschi || The Science of Post-Traumatic Growth


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In this episode, I talk to Richard Tedeschi about post-traumatic growth (PTG). We dive into how Richard became interested in PTG and the findings from his many years of research. As a clinical psychologist, Richard emphasizes the lived experiences of individuals⎯acknowledging that trauma and transformative change are very context-specific. We also touch on the topics of cultural differences, personality, and Boulder Institute’s post-traumatic growth program.


Dr. Richard Tedeschi is professor emeritus of psychology at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He’s a licensed psychologist specializing in bereavement and trauma, and has led support groups for bereaved parents for over 20 years. With his colleague Lawrence Calhoun, he published books on post-traumatic growth, an area of research that they have developed that examines personal transformations in the aftermath of traumatic life events. Their books include Trauma and Transformation, Posttraumatic Growth, Facilitating Posttraumatic Growth, Helping Bereaved Parents: A Clinician’s Guide, and the Handbook of Posttraumatic Growth.



00:00:54 Richard’s interest in post-traumatic growth

00:04:05 Definition of post-traumatic growth (PTG)

00:06:01 Domains of PTG

00:10:02 Perceived change VS actual change

00:16:27 PTG as positive personality changes

00:20:42 Boulder Crest Institute’s post-traumatic growth program

00:26:01 Trauma as a disruption in the psyche

00:29:16 Richard’s roots in humanistic therapy

00:31:08 The subjective experience and response to trauma

00:36:43 Cultural differences in posttraumatic growth

00:40:24 Can posttraumatic growth and PTSD co-exist?

00:38:42 Post-ecstatic growth

00:44:50Catastrophe theory

00:46:07 The pandemic as a potential catalyst for growth

00:48:28 How to facilitate post-traumatic growth

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