Trauma reveals the roots of resilience


After September 11, a friend sent me the following quote from Hemingway, a gift I want to share it with you. "The world breaks everyone and afterward some are strong at the broken places." I cannot think of a better way to capture what our aim is than to say that through our work, we try to help our patients –and ourselves-- become stronger at the broken places. In the process of doing the work, we also sometimes discover amazing places that have always been strong and were never broken. Not so infrequently, in the course of dealing with tragedy, with destruction, with misfortune, and evil, we are taken aback by the miracles that we are privileged to witness. Steeled for the worst, we encounter the best. It is not only that some are strong at the broken places; it is also that, through trauma, others become strong, and discover they’re strong in ways they never knew. For sometimes trauma awakens extraordinary capacities that otherwise would lie dormant, unknown and untapped. Without the trauma, they would never see the light of day.






Diana Fosha

Original Work Citation

Fosha, D. (2002, April). Trauma reveals the roots of resilience. Constructivism in the Human Sciences, 6 (1 & 2), 7-15




“Trauma reveals the roots of resilience,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 28, 2020,

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