ABSTRACT

As we progress through this life, we will inevitably encounter difficult times, necessitating the scientific understanding and applications of resilience and transformational growth research. This chapter will review the evidence supporting the possibility of individuals’ capacity to stand strong in the face of adversity, bounce back after trauma and even thrive alongside suffering. More specifically, this chapter will review the differing definitions and perspectives of resilience throughout the lifespan as well as current applied programmes aimed at fostering these skills. The second part of this chapter will deconstruct the concept of transformational growth following trauma, with a particular emphasis on PTG. Thus, the ‘dark side’ is conceptualised within this chapter as those adverse or traumatic experiences we encounter, across the lifespan, that can evoke great discomfort, fear, pain, distress

and confusion. However, when we engage with the ‘dark side’, there is great potential for growth, healing, insight and transformation. Thus, similar to the other chapters presented within this book, this one will argue that the ‘dark side’ contains the seed for a potential positive outcome, even when the path towards this outcome is testing.