Supersurvivors: The Surprising Link Between Suffering and Success

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9780062267856: Supersurvivors: The Surprising Link Between Suffering and Success
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Starting where resiliency studies leave off, two psychologists explore the science of remarkable accomplishment in the wake of trauma, revealing the surprising principles that allow people to transform their lives and achieve extraordinary things.

Over four billion people worldwide will survive a trauma during their lives. Some will experience severe post-traumatic stress. Most will eventually recover and return to life as normal. But sometimes, survivors do more than bounce back. Sometimes they bounce forward.

These are the Supersurvivors—individuals who not only rebuild their lives, but also thrive and grow in ways never previously imagined. Beginning where resilience ends, David B. Feldman and Lee Daniel Kravetz look beyond the tenets of traditional psychology for a deeper understanding of the strength of the human spirit. What they have found flies in the face of conventional wisdom—that positive thinking may hinder more than help; that perceived support can be just as good as the real thing; and that realistic expectations may be a key to great success.

They introduce the humble but powerful notion of grounded hope as the foundation for overcoming trauma. The authors interviewed dozens of men and women whose stories serve as the counterpoint to the latest scientific research. Feldman and Kravetz then brilliantly weave these extraordinary narratives with new science, creating an emotionally compelling and thought-provoking look at what is possible in the face of human tragedy. Supersurvivors will reset our thinking about how we deal with challenges, no matter how big or small.

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The key to how ordinary people accomplish extraordinary things after traumatic upheaval

Many people suffer trauma in their lifetime. While some experience serious psychological consequences, like post-traumatic stress disorder and other afflictions, many are able to move on and overcome trauma's effects. Then there are those rare individuals who, in the aftermath of great tragedy and turmoil, reassess their priorities, redirect their focus, and accomplish extraordinary feats—they break records, win awards, and meet the seemingly unattainable goals they set for themselves.

These are the supersurvivors.

A leukemia sufferer who won an Olympic gold medal, a blind man who rowed across the Atlantic, a woman who survived genocide in Rwanda and went on to become a President Obama appointee: these are among the extraordinary men and women who moved beyond mere resilience. They radically deviated on their life path, transforming the worst thing to happen to them into their best success.

Renowned psychology researchers David B. Feldman and Lee Daniel Kravetz interviewed dozens of men and women to understand how these individuals pushed beyond their experiences to attain greatness. We discover why certain delusions can be healthy, why forgiveness is good for the body, and why reflecting on death can lead to a better life. And, perhaps counterintuitively, we learn how positive thinking is not always a strategy toward the good. Feldman and Kravetz weave the narratives of these supersurvivors with the latest scientific findings and clinical experience to elucidate how we can learn from their inspiring stories, offering hope that tragedy does not have to cause us to shrink from a full and adventurous life. Supersurvivors is sure to reset our thinking about how we deal with all our challenges, no matter who we are or what we have endured.

About the Author:

David B. Feldman, PhD, is among the top experts on hope in the field of psychology. An associate professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University, he has written for Psychology Today and the Huffington Post, published research in top scientific journals, and lectured around the world. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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9780062267863: Supersurvivors: The Surprising Link Between Suffering and Success

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ISBN 10:  0062267868 ISBN 13:  9780062267863
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