Transforming from cocoon to butterfly: the potential role of the body in the process of posttraumatic growth

K. Hefferon, M.A. Grealy, N. Mutrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The diagnosis of cancer has the potential to elicit positive change (posttraumatic growth [PTG]) through the experience of trauma and adversity. However, psychology and clinical practices and most recently positive psychology have been criticized for their indifference toward the influence of the body on positive psychological functioning. The aim of this study was to broaden the understanding of PTG, including its process and outcomes, using interpretive phenomenological analysis. Ten female breast cancer survivors, from an already existing study, participated in an individual, open-ended interview. These were transcribed verbatim and analyzed for themes that reflected the women's experience of growing from adversity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-247
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Humanistic Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • post traumatic growth
  • body
  • mortality salience
  • psychology

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