The Role of Traumatic Events in Experiencing Faith, Spirituality and Existential Questions


  • Robert Cvetek, Ph.D. Catholic Faculty of Theology, University of Ljubljana


trauma, posttraumatic growth, spirituality, religion, faith


Research shows that severe traumatic and stressful experiences can have serious negative consequences for survivors’ psychological and spiritual health. On the other hand, research reveals the so-called posttraumatic growth that occurs after such events. Among important aspects of post-traumatic growth, authors describe positive changes in individuals’ spirituality, religion and faith. Numerous studies also show that spirituality, religion and faith can be of great help in recovering from trauma. Healing elements in these areas, which can be found in literature, are primarily finding or transforming the purpose and meaning in life, and finding control and helping to forgive people who caused those traumas. Although literature offers some findings about the characteristics of an individual or his environment which can turn his posttraumatic development into something useful, further research is necessary which would enable individuals to more easily transform the negative characteristics of trauma into spiritual and positive ones for an individual.






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