Change of Perspective

Musings on Writing, Reading, and Life Narratives

Fiction writers and literary critics speak of point of view. Social scientists are more likely to discuss perspective. But both of these terms refer to essentially the same construct: the consciousness behind the perception and narration of experience. Each individual’s point of view is unique, and point of view shapes the stories people tell to themselves and to others about themselves and their relationships with their environment. The same event narrated from two different perspectives will produce two different stories.

A change of perspective can expand our perception and reframe our thinking about our experiences. We can all benefit from an occasional change of perspective.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

A New Perspective on Trauma : Traumas can lead to spiritual growth:
From the Sun Herald of Biloxi, Mississippi, comes this article about the after-effects of trauma. We often hear about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). "There is, however, a flip side to trauma that mental health professionals only recently have begun to take a closer look at. It is called Post-Traumatic Growth, which is a fancy way of spinning an old cliche; 'That which does not kill you makes you stronger.'"

Richard Tedeschi, one of the first psychologists to use the term post-traumatic growth, identifies five main areas of personal growth after traumatic events that people talk about: "They are spiritual growth, improved sense of self, enhanced relationships, a general appreciation of the value of life and being set on a positive new life course or new life path."

The Sun Herald is also producing the Post-Katrina Mental Health blog.