BLOG: Hope for Post-traumatic Growth

What Trauma Recovery Does to Your Close Relationships

By Beth Fehlbaum, Matt E. Jaremko, and guest contributors Preface Beth Fehlbaum and Matt E. Jaremko, co-authors of the forthcoming book, Trauma Recovery: Sessions With Dr. Matt, address some of what happens to folks as they go through trauma recovery. In this installment, Matt and Beth discuss what can and does happen to the relationships …

How Does One Identify an Experience as a Trauma?

By Matt E. Jaremko and Beth Fehlbaum Our title might sound somewhat nonsensical. Of course, if you have experienced a trauma, you will know it. However, admitting that you have experienced trauma may not be as straightforward as you might think. Folks can tend to underplay the extent to which they deserve care and attention. …

Giving Thanks for the Opportunity to Share a Message of Hope and Resilience with Trauma Survivors

Something I’m thankful for: my writing partner and the book we wrote together. I’m sharing the cover with you. It’s the first time it’s been posted publicly. My co-author, Matt, and I really like this cover because of the light coming into the group therapy circle: providing the light of hope in the face of …

Being Tender yet Tough with Veterans

As any subgroup of Americans, military veterans cover a wide spectrum of personality types and pre-service adjustment history. While there is almost universal agreement that veterans should be honored for serving, across the board admiration without constructive criticism may be unwise. Not every hero acts heroically all the time. Sometimes folks with adjustment difficulties need …

Perseverence + Resilience + Patience = Hope for Recovery

I sometimes say that my middle name is “Perseverence.” It could also be said that Resilience runs through my veins, which is, in part, why writing a book with Matt E. Jaremko–Trauma Recovery: Sessions With Dr. Matt: Narratives of Hope and Resilience for Victims of PTSD–is so gratifying, because it will help SO MANY PEOPLE. …

Fictional Characters

Meet Your Traveling Companions: the Members of the Thursday Night Therapy Group

  • Ashley, age 19, who was sexually abused by her stepfather from age 9 to 15; her mother displayed deliberate indifference to Ashley’s outcry for help;
  • Hunter, age 32, who awoke on the ground in the dark after a rain-wrapped tornado destroyed his mobile home, critically injuring his toddler daughter;
  • Felicia, age 34, who, at age 14, was nearly raped by her brother’s friend; twenty years later, she is still haunted by it;
  • Ben, age 20, who saw combat horrors in the Middle East and returned home a fundamentally different person;
  • Patty, age 47, who lost control of her car; her husband died when they hit a semi-truck;
  • Jake, age 30, an EMT who responded to a hate crime / shooting at a local church’s Wednesday night prayer service. The son of a preacher, Jake lost his faith as a result of what he saw.
  • Darrell, age 35, who served time in prison for armed robbery. When he was released, he entered therapy to seek solutions for the frequent rages that overtook his decision-making abilities.
  • Scott “Dr. Matt” Matthews, age 60-something. He’s conducted a general practice of clinical psychology for 40 years because he likes to build things. As a behavioral psychologist, he collaborates with his clients in building new personal histories that encourage/require healthier behavior and emotional management. The values he tries to let guide his professional endeavors are truth, toughness, tolerance and tenderness. Teaching others in the intimate setting of psychotherapy is sometimes a strain for him because he has never found ways to be consistently patient. It is in that domain that he lets his clients teach him.

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