The Unexpected Gift of Trauma

The Path to Posttraumatic Growth

Non-Fiction - Health - Medical
336 Pages
Reviewed on 01/16/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite

Dr. Edith Shiro details her five-stage model for post-traumatic growth in her book, The Unexpected Gift of Trauma, written in two parts. Dr. Shiro begins by explaining the terms surrounding trauma and provides an in-depth look at post-traumatic growth, keeping culture, generation, and neurochemistry in mind. The second part details her five-stage model and mentions tools and practices to help with healing and growth, obstacles, and ways you may continue to move forward with a healthy mindset. Dr. Shiro includes a post-traumatic growth inventory and hopes her readers will become stronger, making meaningful connections while growing from the trauma instead of despite it.

Her grandparents' experiences during wars shaped and hurt them physically and mentally, so Dr. Edith Shiro has witnessed post-traumatic stress in survivors of traumatic incidents for most of her life. While reminding readers that trauma is our response to certain events, she presents stories that will motivate individuals to try her process. Dr. Shiro combats myths about trauma and post-traumatic growth, preparing readers if someone focuses negatively on their process. The author explains trauma in a relatable way and includes conditional factors so everyone will feel positive about taking the first step in her model. After the first year of the pandemic, many news sources cited returning to a "new normal." After reading Dr. Shiro's work, I feel as though anyone who has completed the steps would evolve into a "new normal" as their post-traumatic growth brings new perceptions and a better sense of self-worth. Anyone who has been in a situation that resulted in trauma - either personal or generational - would benefit from reading The Unexpected Gift of Trauma.