Finding a happier ending: The role of narrative in post traumatic meaning-making

Donna F. Henson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter explores the intersections of meaning-making, the narrative construction of identity, and story-telling as implicated in the experience of post traumatic recovery. Based on the view of human-beings as storytellers, the intent here is to explicate the idea that victim recovery, that living post-victimhood, may be best achieved through the recognition that recovery is both outcome and process. Toward this end, the chapter presents a critical review of literature drawn primarily from the fields of psychology and communication, centering on contributions across the domains of post traumatic growth and narrative. Despite the unavoidable conclusion that there is no neat formula for recovery post trauma, the chapter ultimately advocates for how an understanding of the story creation process may facilitate victims finding some resolution when living post-victimhood.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVictim victorious
Subtitle of host publicationFrom fire to phoenix
EditorsM-C Patron, S S Holden
Place of PublicationUnites States
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781634822381
ISBN (Print)9781634822169
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


Cite this

Henson, D. F. (2015). Finding a happier ending: The role of narrative in post traumatic meaning-making. In M-C. Patron, & S. S. Holden (Eds.), Victim victorious: From fire to phoenix (pp. 35-51). Unites States: Nova Science Publishers.