Socio-cultural contexts in trauma recovery and post trauma growth in women who experienced intimate partner violence: A social constructivist lens
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Trauma recovery and post trauma growth are two desirable outcomes of a traumatic event. Meaning-making and narrative development are two processes that support both trauma recovery and post trauma growth. The way in which we make meaning or develop stories about the events in our lives however, are governed by socio-cultural contexts. Social constructivism emphasizes that the way in which individuals think, feel, and act are engrained in her being early on by the social and cultural networks that surround her. Therefore, even though an individual may think that she is generating a thought or making a choice, these processes have already been influenced by socio-cultural contexts long before she learned how to speak or formulate a worldview. This study aimed to examine the lived experiences of women who have been through intimate partner violence, tracing their journey towards trauma recovery and post trauma growth, and trying to find how and the extent to which their journeys were affected by socio-cultural contexts. This study takes a social constructivist lens that emphasizes the effects of our socio-cultural environment on individual meaning-making, narrative development, and decision making post trauma. The results of the study indicate that socio-cultural contexts play a significant role in individual responses to trauma like intimate partner violence, and there are socio-cultural components that can facilitate trauma recovery and post trauma growth.
General Audience Abstract
When human beings experience adverse events in life, they can develop a traumatic response to the event. Traumatic response however, is just one possibility. Sometimes individuals who have been through events that have led to a trauma response can also experience resilience, recovery, and even growth. The way in which human beings respond is not only in their power but is also influenced by their environment. Socio-cultural contexts that surround us influence the way in which we make meaning of life events and develop stories or narratives regarding those events. This purpose of this study was to find whether socio-cultural contexts affected women who had experienced intimate partner violence in their meaning-making and narrative development, and how these influences played out in their decision making process post trauma. The study intended to find to what extent trauma recovery and post trauma growth could be influenced by socio-cultural contexts. Additionally, the study wanted to explore how professional counselors may contribute to survivor’s journeys. The results indicate that socio-cultural contexts deeply influence the process of meaning-making and narrative development, thereby affecting trauma recovery and post trauma growth. Additionally, results indicate that professional counselors can play an essential role in facilitating processes that lead to recovery and growth post trauma.
- Doctoral Dissertations