The volume begins with a comprehensive discussion by the editors of the conceptual issues of posttraumatic growth, which they describe as both a process and an outcome. They see it as "developing out of a cognitive process that is initiated to cope with traumatic events that extract an extreme cognitive and emotional toll. These events that initiate posttraumatic growth have the quality of ‘seismic events’…on a psychological level." They point out that no single term has been used to denote the positive effects of trauma and propose to use the term "posttraumatic growth" for the phenomenon that different authors have called "positive psychological changes," "perceived benefits," "stress-related growth," "thriving," and "positive re-interpretation." They describe the types of growth outcomes in perception of the self (survivor versus victim, self-reliance, and heightened awareness of vulnerability), interpersonal relationships (self-disclosure, emotional expressiveness, compassion, and giving to others), and philosophy of life (priorities, appreciation of life, existential themes, sense of meaning, spiritual development, and wisdom). Important related concepts that may affect a person’s response to trauma are also discussed here, including resilience, sense of coherence, hardiness, stress inoculation, and toughening.