1st Edition

Lived Experiences of Resilience in Disaster Riding the Waves of Survival and Making Meaning

By Theresia Citraningtyas Copyright 2025
    144 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Capturing new waves of thought on resilience and recovery, Citraningtyas explores how people survive and make meaning in disasters by bringing together survivor experiences from natural disaster events in two vastly different cultural contexts.

    By presenting a holistic model of conceptualising people’s experiences of dealing with disastrous situations, this book transcends psychiatric approaches of trauma recovery. It includes analyses of harrowing and inspiring survivor narratives from the 2004 tsunami in Aceh and the 2003 Canberra bushfires, and elucidates both successful and not-so-successful ways in which survivors use metaphors to make sense of their experienced disasters, as well as their own lives, in order to cope. Through embodied metaphors to unravel different aspects of meaning-making following disasters, Citraningtyas provides insights into how culture can shape our experiences and responses to disaster, and brings forth deep commonalities in inherently human experiences.

    This book will appeal to researchers interested in understanding trauma resilience and recovery as well as mental health practitioners and disaster survivors.

    Preface: How disaster draws our attention  1. “Riding the waves” as a metaphor to illustrate different themes in lived experiences of disasters  2. Facing critical incidents: A critical analysis of stress, trauma and resilience  3. Rising with vs. struck by the waves: Survival, panic, or awestruck  4. Rising together: Building momentum for collective action 5. Staying afloat by letting go of control and attachments while keeping active  6. Letting it sink in: Accepting difficult experiences while finding comfort in order not to drown 7. Helping and accessing assistance: Supportive vs. challenging aspects of aid and interpersonal relationships 8. Creating meaning to integrate disaster into a life narrative Epilogue


    Theresia Citraningtyas is a Psychiatrist, Personality and Human Relations educator and the Vice Rector for Student Affairs, Alumni Relations, Partnerships and Entrepreneurship at Krida Wacana Christian University, Indonesia. She has a Master of Women’s Health from University of Melbourne and a PhD from Australian National University.