Yesterday, walking through the Mall in Rosebank, on the way to a business meeting, a familiar face passed by, stopped suddenly, turned around and asked: “Dr Moch?”
“Yes,” I answered, vaguely recognizing the person from a few years ago. Not an uncommon experience. “What now?” I thought to myself.
He responded spontaneneuosly: “I am a recovering addict. Clean for fthree years. Successful construction company. And started a halfway house for destitute female addicts, integrating them back into society, work, and relationships.”
And continued. “Life is going well.”
And he closed the discussion. “Thank you for all your help and lectures when I was in hospital.”
Quick handshake, spontaneous hug, a couple of pointed questions, then wished him well going forward. He went south, I went north. Back on track, more upbeat, to the scheduled meeting.
After a stimulating conversation at Motherland, with cup of coffee in hand, I began to reflect on trauma and the response to the shock to the system – physiological, mental, social, environmental.
And then the big questions: Why do some recover, others never do, and a few grow from the trauma?
Quick scribble on a napkin, and after a few iterations, a four part model as shown in this image below. Plotting functionality against time.
There are three major responses.
A. Post-traumatic stress disorder, with severe dysfunction in daily tasks i.e. no bounce back
B: Post-traumatic recovery, with the return to previous function i.e. “bouncing back”.
C: Post-traumatic growth, return to a higher level of functioning before the trauma i.e. “bouncing forward”.
Then a new idea, initiated by the brilliant Option B book of Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant:
D. Pre-traumatic growth, where healthy lifestyle choices and practices induces elasticity that absorbs shocks, but at a higher level of functioning.
Then this morning (post good sleep, post exercise, post superfoods breakfast) it hit me: that is what my online teaching platform is all about – Building Resilience before the shock of traumas of life; and if they have already hit, being able to grow from the experience.
Thus FLIP365 is about options C) and D). Post-traumatic growth and Pre-traumatic growth.
The Seven Adventures in Wellness builds resilience – the ability to bounce back and forward from adversity (traumas – read loss of loved ones, serious illness, long term unemployment, victim of violent crime, divorce, rejection by family….)
Incredible how chance encounters stimulate reflection and realization, pulling all the disparate components into a coherent thought structure.
Dr Jonathan D Moch
Special Expertise In Optimizing Brain Health
Upside: The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth.
YouTube Playlist Link. Dr Jonathan Moch