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Reconstructing Meaning After Trauma - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128030158, 9780128030363

Reconstructing Meaning After Trauma

1st Edition

Theory, Research, and Practice

Editor: Elizabeth Altmaier
Paperback ISBN: 9780128030158
eBook ISBN: 9780128030363
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 3rd January 2017
Page Count: 214
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Reconstructing Meaning After Trauma: Theory, Research, and Practice informs actual therapeutic work with clients who present with traumas or other life disruptions by providing clinicians with information on the construction of meaning. It includes material on diverse mechanisms of clinical change and positive-promoting processes.

The book covers identifiable treatments and specific lines of research in assisting clients in developing new meaning, such as posttraumatic growth (after sexual assault, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer, destructive natural phenomena, such as hurricanes, and refugee experiences), and finding benefit (in the context of loss—loss of health, or loss of a loved one).

Key Features

  • Addresses a specific treatment or line of research
  • Includes extended case vignettes at the beginning of each chapter
  • Describes the associated theoretical background for each method
  • Summarizes the research supporting each mechanism
  • Concludes with a discussion of future directions for treatment, research, and theory


Clinical psychologists who specialize in positive psychology, trauma, and spirituality

Table of Contents

  • List of Contributors
  • Introduction
  • Part 1. Foundations of Meaning and Trauma
    • Chapter 1. Making Meaning in the Wake of Trauma: Resilience and Redemption
      • When New Stories Are Not Needed: The (Surprisingly Common) Case of Resilience
      • But Many People Still Need to Make Meaning: The Problem of Sense Making
      • When Bad Things Result in Good Things: Benefit Finding in the Wake of Trauma
      • Community and Culture: Meaning Making Is Always Social and Local
    • Chapter 2. Meaning Violation and Restoration Following Trauma: Conceptual Overview and Clinical Implications
      • Janet
      • The Meaning Making Model
      • Clinical Implications
      • Summary
    • Chapter 3. With the Fierce and Loving Embrace of Another Soul: Finding Connection and Meaning After the Profound Disconnection of Betrayal Trauma
      • Introduction
      • Part I: Trauma as Betrayal and Disconnection
      • Part II: Institutional Betrayal
      • Part III: Meaning, Authenticity, and Connection
  • Part 2. Mechanisms of Meaning Loss and Restoration
    • Chapter 4. Gender and Meaning Making: The Experiences of Individuals With Cancer
      • Gender and Meaning Making: The Experiences of Individuals With Cancer
      • Cancer as a Traumatic Experience
      • Gender Differences in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Growth
      • Gender Differences: Reactions to Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
      • Relational-Cultural Therapy and Existential Therapy for Treating Individuals With Cancer
      • Case Applications
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 5. Forgiveness Therapy in the Reconstruction of Meaning Following Interpersonal Trauma
      • Forgiveness
      • Meaning Making
      • Forgiveness and Meaning Making
      • Forgiveness and Posttraumatic Growth
      • Interventions to Promote Forgiveness
      • Implications for Research and Practice
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 6. Spiritually Oriented Psychotherapy for Trauma and Meaning Making Among Ethnically Diverse Individuals in the United States
      • Empirical Connections Between Trauma and Spirituality
      • Empirical Findings About Spiritually Oriented Psychotherapies
      • General Process Guidelines for Using Spiritually Oriented Psychotherapy
      • Spiritually Oriented Approaches for Trauma with Religious Ethnic Minorities in the United States
      • Clinical Recommendations for Trauma and Meaning Making for Religious Ethnic Minorities in the United States
      • Conclusions
  • Part 3. Population Specific Applications
    • Chapter 7. Reconstructing Meaning After Sexual Assault
      • Case Vignette
      • Chapter Overview
      • Event Appraisal and Meaning Making
      • Violations of Global Meaning
      • Posttraumatic Growth: Positive Meaning Made
      • Interventions Addressing Meaning Making
      • Conclusions and Clinical Implications
    • Chapter 8. Growth and Meaning From Negotiating the Complex Journey of Being an Emergency Medical Dispatcher
      • Julia
      • The Work Role
      • Traumatic Reactions
      • Organizational Context
      • Sense of Coherence
      • Posttraumatic Growth
      • Organizational Support
      • Additional Coping Strategies
      • Some of Julia’s Growth
      • Summary
    • Chapter 9. Meaning Making Concerning Acquired Disability
      • Growth Models in Acquired Disability
      • Acquired Disability and Growth
      • Interventions to Facilitate Growth and Recommendations for Clinicians
      • Conclusions and Future Implications
    • Chapter 10. Expressive Arts: A Group Intervention for Unaccompanied Minor Asylum Seekers and Young Adults
      • Expressive Arts
      • EXA Groups and Reconstructing Meaning After Trauma
      • Stuck to the Memory of One Image
      • 65Million Refugees
      • The Therapeutic Factors of EXA Groups Working With Trauma Survivors Living in Exile
      • The Role of the Therapist
    • Chapter 11. Making Meaning After Combat Trauma and Moral Injury
      • Case Vignette Introductions
      • Overview
      • Meaning
      • Meaning Lost
      • Maladaptive and Adaptive Meaning
      • Factors Affecting Meaning Making and Loss
      • Clinical Implications
      • Concluding Remarks
      • Authors’ Note
      • Disclaimer
  • Part 4. Conclusion
    • Chapter 12. Meaning Making and Trauma Recovery
      • Recovery and Restoration
  • Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2017
3rd January 2017
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Editor

Elizabeth Altmaier

Elizabeth Altmaier, PhD, is Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations, College of Education, University of Iowa. Professor Altmaier’s research interests concern adjustment to and coping with challenging events and circumstances; her publications focus on cancer and its treatment, interpersonal offenses, and chronic illnesses. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Push back the dark: Companioning adults sexually abused as children (Wipf and Stock). Professor Altmaier is Fellow of the American Psychological Association. She is an active community volunteer, including serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Leaders, Believers and Achievers organization for at risk youth in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Affiliations and Expertise

Counseling Psychology Program, University of Iowa, USA

Ratings and Reviews