Following exposure to a traumatic event, many people experience distress and impairment. Accordingly, the majority of research investigating post-traumatic stress responses have focused on psychological symptoms and associated disability. Recently however, research attention has turned to those individuals who continue to show low levels of psychological symptoms and continue to function well, even after experiencing significant trauma and adversity.
For example, most studies conducted with refugee and post conflict groups have identified a substantial group who do not report significant psychological symptoms, even after exposure to war and persecution. This presentation reviews the literature on resilience following exposure to traumatic events, both in the context of broad trauma research, and studies conducted with refugees and asylum seekers. The implications for psychological interventions for refugees is also considered.