POSTTRAUMATIC GROWTH : ACHIEVING MASLOW’S ‘SELF- ACTUALIZATION’ March 22, 2017 11:45 am , David Hosier MSc

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs
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The concept of posttraumatic growth hinges on the idea that, although suffering trauma can be devastating, some individuals not only merely survive their traumatic experiences, but go on to achieve a higher level of personal development than they would have been able to obtain had these traumatic experiences not occurred in their lives.
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According to the psychologist Maslow (famous for his theory concerning the human hierarchy of needs), the highest level of human psychological need, and the hardest to attain, is what Maslow refers to as SELF-ACTUALIZATION. Below, I outline what he meant by this :
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MASLOW’S CONCEPT OF SELF-ACTUALIZATION :
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According to Maslow, very few individuals achieve ‘self – actualization’, but the characteristics of those who do are as follows :
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People who have attained self-actualization are, according to Maslow, those who
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– feel grateful for things many may take for granted
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– view problems as challenges
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– make independent judgments based upon own experience rather than due to culture / societal trends
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– are creative and original
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– have just a few close / intense friendships rather than many relatively superficial relationships
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– are comfortable being alone
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– have an acute sense of humour (though not the type of humour that hurts others)
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– are interested and curious about a wide range of things
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– are democratic
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– are nondiscriminating / nonprejudice / accepting of other people’s differences
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– are compassionate towards fellow members of society
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– are spontaneous
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– have the ability to derive child-like pleasure from becoming engrossed in simple activities
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– are self-accepting (including accepting their weaknesses and faults – therefore not defensive and not in need of presenting and hiding behind false social image of being artificial / superficial)
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– are authentic / true to oneself (as opposed to being unthinkingly and unreflectively conformist) / ability to resist and not be manipulated by social pressure
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– have a strong sense of reality
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– possess humanity
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– possess humility
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– have strong sense of purpose
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– do not expend useless energy worrying about relatively trivial problems
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– are focused upon personal growth and self – development rather than conventional and often hollow achievements such as wealth and status
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