Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth: Healing from Loss and Trauma with Compassion, Clarity, and Courage


Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth: Healing from Loss and Trauma with Compassion, Clarity, and Courage

Linda Graham, MFT

People do learn and grow from meeting the challenges and adversities of the human condition when they have support, resources, and skills to do so. Practices of mindfulness, self-compassion, empathy, and forgiveness help shift the functioning of the brain out of contraction and reactivity into more receptivity, openness, the larger perspective. People can recover capacities that reduce the impacts of stress and trauma, recover inner stability, meaning and purpose, and move them into thriving and flourishing.


TATRA Training Services regrets to announce that Linda Graham will be unable to travel to Australia to present this workshop, due to travel restrictions and the unfolding situation with COVID-19.


Rather than attempting to postpone the workshop in this uncertain environment, we have decided to offer this training to attendees in a digital format. The workshop will be recorded and made available via our website all those who have already registered or who will register in the future. Registration will remain open at the early-bird rate.


Linda Graham is disappointed that she is unable to make it to Australia on this occasion, but she will be delivering the same workshop content in a digital format. Coronavirus and the logistics of event management have presented challenges for TATRA but we are doing our utmost to ensure that high quality professional development sessions continue to be delivered to you in a safe and comfortable environment.

People do learn and grow from meeting the challenges and adversities of life when they have the support, resources, and skills to do so.


Helping clients strengthen their capacities – innate in their brains – to cope with any level of adversity – from a series of small annoyances to the troubles and tragedies that break their hearts to the utter catastrophes that change their lives forever – is at the heart of the therapeutic process.


This training teaches clinicians the basics of harness the brain’s neuroplasticity to help clients learn more flexible and adaptive coping strategies and rewire negative coping patterns that block their recovery, learning and growth.


Clients learn the techniques that reverse the impacts of stress and trauma, shift the functioning of the brain out of reactivity, contraction, dissociation into more receptivity and openness to learning, help clients once again trust other people as refuges and resources, discern new options,  and deepen the meaning and purpose in their lives.  The direct measurable outcome is resilience.


Program Outline


What Resilience Is

  • Emerging definitions from behavioral sciences, modern neuroscience, the field of post-traumatic growth. Example from American Psychological Association:
  • Resilience is the process of adapting well  in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress.


How Resilience Is Developed…or Derailed

  • Relevance of modern neuroscience: resilience is a capacity innate in human beings becaue it is innate in the human brain.
  • Impact of attachment conditioning and trauma on the development of the brain and resilience…or not


Role of Neuroplasticity

  • Because the brain learns and rewires itself from experience, teaching clients the experiential tools that will strengthen the structures of the brain that support flexible and adaptive coping strategies, and rewire negative coping patterns that block their learning and growth – in ways that are safe, efficient, and effective.


Somatic Intelligence

  • Use body-based tools to help clients reverse the impact of stress and trauma on their nervous system, returning to an inner sense of safety and equilibrium, their natural range of resilience


Emotional Intelligence

  • Help clients manage disruptive emotions, deepen self-compassion and empathy, and cultivate the positive emotions that antidote the brain’s negativity bias and shift brain functioning from contracted survival responses to openness to learning and growth


Relational Intelligence within One’s Self

  • Cultivate the self-awareness and self-appreciation that help clients heal form toxic shame, retire the inner critic, and recover their inner well-being


Relational Intelligence with Others

  • Teach the relational skills – reaching out for help, communicating without shame or blame, negotiating change, setting limits and boundaries, resolving conflict, repairing ruptures, and practicing forgiveness -that allow clients to trust other people as refuges and resources in difficult times


Reflective Intelligence

  • Adapt practices of mindfulness to help clients identify dysfunctional patterns of coping and discern new choices of behaviour


Post-Traumatic Growth

  • Help clients apply evidenced-based tools to the five factors that predict genuine post-traumatic growth:
    • Acceptance of reality (and the consequences of what happened);
    • Resourcing with family, friends, friends, and community
    • Recognizing the positive in the midst of the difficult; finding the gifts in the mistakes
    • Writing a coherent narrative of the event within the larger life story
    • Appreciating the new opportunities and deeper meaning that emerges because of the difficulties, not just in spite of them.



Learning Objectives


At the end of the training, participants will be better able to:

  1. Describe the differences between stressors (external events) and stress (internal reactions to external events) and the differences between stress and trauma (an overwhelm of defenses against stress or external events)
  2. Apply techniques of memory deconsolidation-reconsolidation to help clients change how they perceive and respond to memories of past traumatic events.
  3. Utilize practices of self-compassion that help clients counter the harshness of the inner critic and inner toxic shame, deepen their self-acceptance of all inner parts and voices, and strengthen the inner secure base of resilience.
  4. Incorporate techniques to cultivate positive emotions that help clients antidote the brain’s negativity bias and shift the functioning of the brain from contraction and reactivity to responsiveness and openness to learning.
  5. Teach clients to use five body-based tools to regulate automatic survival responses and return the body-brain to its natural physiological equilibrium
  6. Teach clients three practices of guided visualization to create inner resources of resilience
  7. Identify 7 steps of mindfulness practice that allow clients to monitor and modify their responses to experience
  8. Use tools of written narrative and reflection to help clients find the silver lining or lessons to be learned from traumatizing events.
  9. Identify three common de-railers of resilience in therapeutic sessions
  10. Describe 5 factors essential to post-traumatic growth
  • APS: Activities do not need to be endorsed by APS. Members can accrue 7 CPD hours by participating in this activity
  • AASW: Members can accrue 7 CPD hours by participating in this activity
  • ACA: Members can accrue 5 CPD points by participating in this activity

A certificate of attendance will be emailed to participants following the workshop.