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Post Traumatic Growth Research Unit

Part of the School Health Promotion and Behaviour Research Group, the Post Traumatic Growth Unit (PTG) undertakes a range of research and consultancy projects around positive health and wellbeing interventions. The team also teach on the world-leading MSc in Applied Positive Psychology.

The posttraumatic growth research unit specialises in research pertaining to the experiences and facilitators of the phenomenon Posttraumatic Growth. The unit primarily focuses on the role of physical activity, sport and the body (embodiment) in the process and as a facilitator of PTG as well as other positive psychological interventions (e.g. mindfulness).

Members

  • Dr Hefferon, Kate
  • Dr Lomas, Tim
  • Dr Ivtzan, Itai
  • Dr Francisco Eiroa-Orosa
  • Hanna Kampman (PhD Candidate) 

PTG Projects

  • Posttraumatic growth and sport: The role of physical activity in PTG within UK Paralympians
  • Posttraumatic growth, Sport and passion: A longitudinal study with the English Institute of Sport
  • Posttraumatic growth and mental health: Understanding the role of boxercise in optimal mental health (Mind)
  • Posttraumatic growth and metastatic cancer: Penny Brohn Cancer Care
  • Posttraumatic growth and spinal cord injury
  • Posttraumatic growth and breast cancer: 5 year follow up
  • Postraumatic growth and travel: Challenging the concept of 'trauma'
  • Posttraumatic growth and offender rehabilitation

PTG Grants

2014: ‘Understanding mortality awareness and well being.’ University of East London Internship Scheme Award to M. McDermott and K. Hefferon.

2014: ‘Facilitating psychological strength: A positive psychological program to increase posttraumatic growth and wellbeing in cancer survivors.’ University of East London Research Fellowship to K. Hefferon and I. Ivtzan.

2012: ‘Promoting psychological resilience: a multi method evaluation of the Cancer Resilience Growth Programme.’ Research and Development Support grant. £3,920.00 to K. Hefferon and I. Ivtzan.

2009: ‘The role of physical activity in psychological growth following prostate cancer diagnosis: a collaborative study.’ Promising Researcher Award, £14,374.00 to K. Hefferon.

PTG Publications

Kampman, H., Hefferon, K., Wilson, M., & Beale, J. (2015). “I can do things now that people thought were impossible, actually, things that I thought were impossible”: a meta-synthesis of the qualitative findings on posttraumatic growth and severe physical injury. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne.

Hefferon, K., Murphy, H., McLeod, J., Mutrie, N., & Campbell, A. (2013). Understanding barriers to exercise implementation 5-years post Breast Cancer diagnosis: a large-scale qualitative study. Health Education Research, 28(5), 843–856. doi:10.1093/her/cyt083

Eiroa-Orosa, F. J., Tasqué-Cebrián, R., Fidel-Kinori, S., Giannoni-Pastor, A., & Argüello-Alonso, J. M. (2012). Crecimiento postraumático en pacientes supervivientes de quemaduras, un estudio preliminar [Post-traumatic growth in burn survivor patients, a preliminary study]. Acción Psicológica, 9(2), 47–58. doi:10.5944/ap.9.2.4103

Hefferon, K. (2012). Bringing back the body into positive psychology: The theory of corporeal posttraumatic growth in breast cancer. Psychology, 3, 1238–1242. doi:10.4236/psych.2012.312A183

Hefferon, K., Mallery, R., Gay, C., & Elliott, S. (2012). “Leave all the troubles of the outside world”: a qualitative study on the binary benefits of ‘Boxercise’ for individuals with mental health difficulties. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 5(1), 80–102. doi:10.1080/2159676X.2012.712995

Mapham, A., & Hefferon, K. (2012). “I used to be an offender — now I’m a defender”: Positive psychology approaches in the facilitation of posttraumatic growth in offenders. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 51(6), 389–413. doi:10.1080/10509674.2012.683239

Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2010). Transforming from cocoon to butterfly: the potential role of the body in the process of posttraumatic growth. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 50(2), 224–247. doi:10.1177/0022167809341996

Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2009). Posttraumatic growth and life threatening physical illness: a systematic review of the qualitative literature. British Journal of Health Psychology, 14(2), 343–378. doi:10.1348/135910708X332936

Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2008). The perceived influence of an exercise class intervention on the process and outcomes of post-traumatic growth. Journal of Mental Health and Physical Activity, 1, 32–39. doi:10.1016/j.mhpa.2008.06.003

PTG Books and book chapters

Ivtzan, I., Lomas, T., Worth, P., & Hefferon, K. (2015). Challenging positive psychology: embracing the dark side of life. London: Sage Publications.

Hefferon, K. (2015). The role of embodiment in optimal functioning. In S. Joseph (Ed.), Positive Psychology in Practice (2nd ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc. doi:10.1002/9781118996874.ch45

Faulkner, G., Hefferon, K., & Mutrie, N. (in press). Positive psychology in motion. In S. Joseph (Ed.), Positive Psychology in Practice (2nd ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Hefferon, K. (2013). The body and positive psychology: The somatopsychic side to flourishing. UK: McGraw-Hill.

Joseph, S., & Hefferon, K. (2013). Posttraumatic growth: eudaimonic happiness. In S. David & I. Boniwell (Eds.), Oxford handbook of happiness. UK: Open University Press.

Hefferon, K. (2011). Creating ‘positive bodies’: corporality in hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. In C. Martin-Krumm (Ed.), Handbook of positive psychology. France: Debouk Université.

Hefferon, K. (2011). Positive psychology and coaching. In L. Wildflower & D. Brennan (Eds.), Theories, concepts and applications of evidence based coaching: a users manual. USA: Jossey-Bass.

Hefferon, K. (2009). Growing from breast cancer: finding benefits from physical illness. Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.

PTG Conference presentations

Kampman, H. & Hefferon, K. (2015, June). “Find a sport and carry on”: posttraumatic growth and achievement in British paralympic athletes. Conference presentation, presented at:  UEL 2015 Research Conference 2015, UEL SportsDock (Docklands Campus).

Kampman, H. & Hefferon, K. (2014, July). “Find a sport and carry on“: posttraumatic growth and achievement in British Paralympic athletes. Poster presented at the 7th European conference on positive psychology. Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Hefferon, K. (2013, June). Corporeal Posttraumatic Growth. Paper presented at the World Congress on Positive Psychology. Los Angeles, USA.

Hefferon, K. (2012). The neglect of the role of embodiment in Positive Psychology. Presentation at the Canadian Positive Psychology Association Conference. Toronto, Canada.

Hefferon, K., Mallery, R., Gay, C., Elliot, S., & Painter, J. (2012). Feeling the power: Reviewing the physical and psychological benefits of Boxercise for individuals with mental health difficulties. Paper presented at the 6th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Moscow, Russia.

Walsh, D., & Hefferon, K. (2012). Reconnecting with the body: an exploratory analysis of Post Traumatic Growth (PTG) following Cancer Diagnosis. Paper presented at the 6th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Moscow, Russia.

Hefferon, K. (2010). Breast cancer, physical activity and well being: a large scale qualitative study. Paper presented at the 5th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Hefferon, K. (2009). The body and positive psychology. Paper presented at the International Positive Psychology Association World Congress, Philidelphia, USA.

Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2008). Understanding the experience of posttraumatic growth among breast cancer patients: the perceived influence of an exercise intervention on the process and outcomes of posttraumatic growth. Paper presented at the European Positive Psychology Conference, Opatija, Croatia.

Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2007). Posttraumatic growth and physical activity. Paper presented at the Department of Sport, Culture and the Arts, Strathclyde University, Glasgow.

Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2007). Understanding the experience of post-traumatic growth among breast cancer patients. Paper presented at the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Annual Conference, University of Bath.

PTG Invited Talks

Hefferon, K. (2014). Understanding posttraumatic growth. Presentation for the Canadian Positive Psychology Association International Webinar series.

Hefferon, K.(2014). Posttraumatic growth: Workshop. Presentation to PCI College, Dublin, Ireland.

Hefferon, K. (2014). The body and optimal functioning. Invited lecture for the University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.

Hefferon, K. (2014). Posttraumatic Growth: Beyond Resilience. Presentation to Keele University Lecture Series. Stoke-on-Trent, UK.

Hefferon, K. (2014). Positive Psychology, Physical Activity and Posttraumatic Growth. Presentation to Dundee Lecture Series. Dundee, Scotland.

Hefferon, K. (2013). Positive Psychology, Physical Activity and Posttraumatic Growth. Presentation to University of Toronto Lecture Series. Toronto, Canada.

Hefferon, K. (2013). Moving beyond resilience: Posttraumatic growth in the military. Presentation to the Defence Academy Master Lecture Series. Schrivenham, UK.

Hefferon, K. (2013). Posttrauamatic growth: Beyond resilience. Presentation to the University of Westminster Lecture Series.

Hefferon, K. (2012). Posttraumatic growth. Keynote presentation at the International Child Abuse and Neglect Conference. Leuven, Belgium.

Hefferon, K. (2010, 6 Oct). Growing from adversity, Presentation at Healthy Deaf Minds Lecture Series, London, UK.

Hefferon, K. (2010, January). Growing from breast cancer: finding benefits from physical illness, Presentation at the Penny Brohn Cancer Clinic. Bristol, UK.