Coping with trauma: Narrative and cognitive perspectives

Rivka Tuval-Mashiach, Sara Freedman, Neta Bargai, Rut Boker, Hilit Hadar, Arieh Y. Shalev

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


The immediate period following a traumatic event is a crucial time in the survivors' process of recovery. During this time, a narrative of the trauma is generated and constructed, alongside a process of cognitive processing of the traumatic events. In the first part of the article we present the outlines of the narrative and cognitive attitudes to trauma; the second part will illustrate the developmental process through which the trauma narrative is shaped, in the stories of five survivors of a terror attack. We suggest that by analyzing three main components of the trauma narrative (coherence, finding meaning and self-evaluation), together with the equivalent cognitive attitudes, it is possible to evaluate the process of recovery, identify foci of difficulties in this process and pinpoint possible therapeutic interventions in the early stages after the trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-293
Number of pages14
JournalPsychiatry (New York)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004


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