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Trauma doesn’t have to lead to a lifetime of weakness or hardship. In fact, trauma can lead to greater resilience and higher levels of achievement than we thought possible.
Dr. Randall Bell, widely considered the world’s top authority in the field of post-traumatic thriving, shares a process for not only surviving trauma but also thriving in the aftermath in his latest book, Post-Traumatic Thriving: The Art, Science, & Stories of Resilience.
“It can’t happen to me” is one of life’s greatest lies, he notes. But if or when it does happen, it’s possible to harness the emotional energy generated by the traumatic event — whether it was losing a loved one, surviving a natural disaster or being a victim of violence — and use it to heal and grow in entirely new directions.
“How do you take that energy from the trauma and tap into it to do something really remarkable that you wouldn’t have done otherwise?” asks Dr. Bell.
In Post-Traumatic Thriving, he shares stories of real people (many of them, like Leo Fender, are familiar) who have done exactly that, including:
• A deaf man with a glass eye invented the electric guitar and became a household name, remarkably wealthy and most importantly, happy.
• A convicted murderer took responsibility for the damage he caused, graduated with honors from college, became a minister and turned around the hearts of the most hardened criminals.
• A girl born with cerebral palsy landed the world’s first starring role on national television and spoke at the White House three times.
• A woman hid in a basement for years and lost her entire family in the Holocaust. She eventually found true love and paints stunning artwork.
• The sister of a murder victim helped millions of women in toxic domestic relationships.
• A woman’s car crash resulted in an addiction to prescription drugs, a divorce, a loss of her children and a cot in a homeless shelter. She has rebuilt it all back and more.
• A man set to go to the Olympics had his hopes dashed by Jimmy Carter and went on to build a worldwide business empire.
Dr. Bell juxtaposes outcomes of scientific studies with these stories to reveal common denominators among “thrivers.” He divides his insights into three sections: The Dive Stage, The Survive Stage and The Thrive Stage, and outlines a step-by-step process toward authentic healing.
As a socio-economist, Dr. Randall Bell has consulted on more disasters on earth than anyone in history. His clients include the Federal Government, State Governments, International Tribunals, major corporations and homeowners. Dr. Bell believes that “the problem is not the problem — the problem is how we react to the problem.”
Often called the “Master of Disaster,” Dr. Bell is squarely focused on authentic recovery and resilience. His research has been profiled on major television shows and featured in numerous magazines and the international media. More information can be found on the website.
I also will be interviewing the author on Chats from the Blog Cabin soon.