The Psycho-Educational Practice of Mental Toughness in Dealing with Trauma

  •  Anna Van Niekerk    
  •  Hester Roets    


This study investigated whether an intervention program, which was developed within the psycho-educational field, could support traumatized people to increase their mental toughness. This program is based on the four components of mental toughness, namely control, challenge, commitment and confidence. A valid and reliable psychometric instrument, the Mental Toughness Questionnaire 48 (MTQ48), has been successfully used in both the corporate and sports psychology world to determine people’s mental toughness but has never before been tested in supporting traumatised people. Many corresponding aspects between mental toughness and trauma were discovered and used to compile a psycho-educational intervention program to support traumatized persons to develop increased mental toughness. An action research design was employed, where both qualitative as well as quantitative methods were used. Eight traumatized people participated in the research. The results of the study indicated that seven of the eight participants’ overall mental toughness increased after the intervention program, and four of the eight participants’ mental toughness components increased. All respondents indicated that they could better deal and cope with their trauma. The conclusion could be drawn that the psycho-educational intervention program, which was based on enhancing mental toughness, was successful in supporting the traumatised participants to increase their mental toughness. 

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