PTSD, resilience, and everything in between
Mapping the heterogeneity of responses to potential trauma.
Potentially traumatic events (PTEs) are unfortunately common. Indeed, surveys show that most people are exposed to multiple PTEs during the course of their lives. Until recently, however, responses to PTSs have been understood almost exclusively in terms of extreme psychopathology, such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In this talk, Dr. George Bonanno will describe his research over more than two decades demonstrating that responses to PTEs vary greatly and can be effectively captured by a small set of prototypical trajectories of outcome. Although, predictably, a small minority will show a trajectory of chronic PTSD symptoms, by far the most common trajectory, observed in a majority of individuals, is one of stable psychological health or resilience. Bonanno will also describe his research on predictors of the resilience trajectory and devote particular attention to various components of flexibility in coping and emotion regulation.
Dr. George A. Bonanno is a professor of clinical psychology and the director of the Loss, Trauma and Emotion Lab at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research and scholarly interests have centered on the question of how human beings cope with loss, trauma and other forms of extreme adversity, with an emphasis on resilience and the salutary role of flexible coping and emotion regulatory processes. In 2019, he received lifetime achievement awards from both the Association for Psychological Science (APS) and the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA).