Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 343–350 | Cite as

Spirituality and Resilience in Trauma Victims

  • Julio F. P. Peres
  • Alexander Moreira-Almeida
  • Antonia Gladys Nasello
  • Harold G. Koenig
Original Paper


The way people process stressors is critical in determining whether or not trauma will be experienced. Some clinical and neuroimaging findings suggest that posttraumatic stress disorder patients experience difficulty in synthesizing the traumatic experience in a comprehensive narrative. Religiousness and spirituality are strongly based on a personal quest for understanding of questions about life and meaning. Building narratives based on healthy perspectives may facilitate the integration of traumatic sensorial fragments in a new cognitive synthesis, thus working to decrease post-traumatic symptoms. Given the potential effects of spiritual and religious beliefs on coping with traumatic events, the study of the role of spirituality in fostering resilience in trauma survivors may advance our understanding of human adaptation to trauma.


Religiousness Spirituality Resilience Trauma Stress PTSD 


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Copyright information

© Blanton-Peale Institute 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julio F. P. Peres
    • 1
  • Alexander Moreira-Almeida
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Antonia Gladys Nasello
    • 1
  • Harold G. Koenig
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Neuroscience and Behavior, Institute of PsychologyUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.School of MedicineFederal University of Juiz de ForaJuiz de ForaBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  5. 5.Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical CenterDuke University School of MedicineDurhamUSA

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