Toward Whole-Person Recovery: Spiritual Transcendence, New Meaning, and Renewed Self-Relationship After Traumatically-Acquired Physical Disability
The acquired physical disability population has been widely overlooked in research surrounding trauma, when in reality, a disabling injury or illness traumatizes a person entirely. Humans are emotional, psychological, spiritual, and embodied, so trauma to one area impacts each of the remaining domains. In the literature surrounding resilience after traumatic occurrence, however, researchers have seldom explored the acquired physical disability population. Concerning adjustment to trauma at large, researchers name several forms of enacting resilience. Amongst said methods, three in particular become salient: forming a cohesive narrative, meaning-making, and accessing spiritual transcendence. However, researchers have yet to examine each of these areas of resilience in the context of a broken body and subsequently impacted self-relationship. Furthermore, each of these areas of resilience have yet to be examined in connection to one another and remain a less comprehensive picture as a result. This lack of synthesis is problematic because bodily trauma shatters a person’s experiential sense of who they are and how they relate to the world. From that point on, they literally carry the trauma forward in their altered physicality. The author of this critical literature review examined the strengths, weaknesses, and missing points of connection in each of these areas of the literature. The current examination is supplemented by an illustrative example of a traumatic, disabling incident that called for an integrated understanding of self-relationship and personhood for renewal in recovery. In sum, this review of the current literature and accompanying illustration demonstrates why an integration of these elements of resilient recovery deserves examination in the literature surrounding the acquired physical disability population.
PSYD in Clinical Psychology
People with disabilities, Disability studies, Spirituality, Psychology and religion
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