Trier (dpa) - people can go out of very serious life crises personally strengthened - that is the lucky researcher Michaela Brohm-Badry convinced. Although it is about fatal blows or catastrophes experienced first usually to overcome a trauma.

"In addition, there are about 60 percent of people who are traumatized, a developmental boost, a growth spurt," said the professor at the University of Trier of the German Press Agency. So there is not only "the post-traumatic stress disorder - that is, the involvement of trauma", but also the "post-traumatic growth" - which has hardly been discussed in German-speaking research so far.

In the US, researchers had dealt with this approach after the trauma of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 with nearly 3,000 dead. Since then, this research has grown internationally. Numerous empirical findings from cancer patients as well as from victims of fire, ship or violent catastrophes showed that "in addition to the burdened emotions, the suffering can also be followed by strengthening, positive emotions," said Brohm-Badry, who is also President of the German Society for Positive Psychological Research is.

Those who have overcome the trauma are "inwardly stronger and clearer" than before. "You experience a coherence with yourself and can much more clearly distinguish what is important and what is unimportant in life." Brohm-Badry (57) has gone through the process itself: In 2011, she had suffered a ruptured aneurysm (arterial dilation) in the brain and almost died. To the positive consequences of suffering experiences, Brohm-Badry has written a book, "The Good Luck," which has just come out. After twelve books this is their first popular science book.

"Post-traumatic growth is a process that takes time," says the Professor of Empirical Teaching-Learning Research. But one should not force it: "It comes naturally." For her personally, the change began after about a year. "That I suddenly had such a feeling, I am much clearer than before in my perspective on the world and the people." Since then they focus more on essentials in life - and take the liberty, "even something to burn. You do not have to take every opportunity. "

But why the "good" luck? Her book is not about the short-term happiness that you experience when you've made something. It is about another happiness: "To be consistent with yourself, to long-term, quiet happiness," said the scientist. One could of course find this without experienced trauma. "But pain seems to be a catalyst."

Book "Good luck"

Professor Michaela Brohm-Badry