Drastic events can have a significant impact on your life whether it’s getting an illness, experiencing a burnout or depression, seeing an accident happen, going through a divorce, losing a job, losing job prospects, or other misery. It is often intense and drastic. But challenging times or misery can ultimately also completely transform the course of your life positively.
“Stronger through misery”. You may think this is an odd title. And yet it is possible.
Why would you always need to stay vulnerable or need to keep an eye on your limits after misery? It’s not necessary! You can grow and therefore emerge even stronger from it.
In science this phenomenon is called PostTraumatic Growth, another name for “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”.
In this book you will get to know the positive and hopeful ideas of PTG in an inspiring, recognizable and useful way. The book is suitable for anyone who is personally and/or professionally involved with misery or is simply interested in it.
Anja Jongkind (1953) and Greet Vonk (1964) have worked together within Et Emergo since 2013 and have developed PTG Coaching. They also give work- shops, lectures, inspiration sessions and training in the field of PostTraumatic Growth.
Anja has based her work on these principles in her practice as a therapist and as a coach for more than 40 years. Greet learned ‘the profession’ of Anja 20 years ago and conducted a scientific study regarding PostTraumatic Growth. Her research has recently been published in the scientific journal International Journal of Workplace Health Management.
Introduction | 9
metaphor: Have courage | 12
1. What is PostTraumatic Growth (PTG)? | 14
case: Ralph showed strong aggressive verbal behaviour | 24
2. Trauma is a subjective concept | 28
case: “Sir, you should be grateful if you make it to 60” | 33
3. What does PTG provide? | 36
case: Rogier had two burnouts | 40
4. What else does PTG provide? | 42
case: Erik was depressed for years | 47
5. Why is PTG so important? | 51
wisdom of life: Behaviour | 53
6. How do you achieve PTG? | 54
wisdom of life: Frustrations | 64
7. Knowledge prevents panic and despair! | 66
metaphor: From caterpillar to butterfly
The transformation process to your individuality | 70
8. Focus on the person instead of the complaints or the label | 72
case marijke: ‘FUCK IT!’ | 81
9. Managing emotions | 84
wisdom of life: Emotions | 98
10. PTG and vitality | 100
case: Miriam is highly sensitive and gifted, but she did not know that | 110
11. PTG and science | 114
wisdom of life: Patience and impatience | 120
12. How do you, as “the surroundings” use the knowledge about PTG? | 122
metaphor: Cycling with training wheels | 133
13. Knowledge about PTG in the workplace | 135
case: Toos had CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) | 143
14. PTG-Questionnaire | 146
metaphor: A dark and a bright room |156
15. Finally | 159
About the authors | 165
Stronger through misery ® | 167
Literature and websites | 169
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