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Resiliency Hole in My Heart
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Resiliency Hole in My Heart


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Resilience can be defined as, “The capacity to spring back, rebound, successfully adapt in the face of adversity, and develop social competence despite exposure to severe stress.” This workshop will …

Resilience can be defined as, “The capacity to spring back, rebound, successfully adapt in the face of adversity, and develop social competence despite exposure to severe stress.” This workshop will focus on how to incorporate important strategies to create resilience into the work done by social service and helping professionals. We will take a closer look at the Kauai Longitudinal Study on Resilience and the protective factors that have been proved by research to make a difference in the lives of children and youth who are at risk of not succeeding. The workshop closes with an art activity involving multi-media that will allow participants the opportunity to strengthen their resiliency approach in working with clients.

Participants will:
• Learn about the findings from the Kauai Longitudinal Study on Resilience that establish the field of resiliency
• Discuss how to implement components of resilience into work with children and youth clients
• Experience an art activity that provides opportunity for reflection on specific clients and supports building resiliency in their work

Published in: Career, Health & Medicine

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  • 1. Hole in My Heart: How  Resiliency Work Heals  Children Sarah E. Kremer   ATR‐BC 
  • 2. Agenda •  Understanding Resiliency Theory •  ProtecCve Factors •  AcCvity! •  IncorporaCng Resiliency Strategies •  Self Resiliency Strategies 
  • 3. Mervlyn Kitashima  “Puka in my heart” 
  • 4. AcCvity! (Part One) 
  • 5. Every single person has   innate mental health,   innate resiliency,   innate common sense.   That is the core of their being,  that is what we need to connect with.  Benard from Kitashima, 2008 
  • 6. Resilience •  Capacity to spring back and  rebound •   Ability to successfully adapt in face  of adversity •   Possibility of developing social  competence despite exposure to  severe stress  Colby Rivkin & Hoopman  
  • 7. Kauai Longitudinal Study •  Werner & Smith studied cohort (210) of children from  Kauai, Hawaii •  Risk factors: poverty; perinatal health factors; low‐educated  mothers; familial alcoholism, violence, instability, discord,  mental illness •  Follow up surveys at 1, 2, 10, 18, 32, 40 •  Two‐thirds exhibited destrucCve behaviors in later teen  years ‐ chronic unemployment, substance abuse, and out‐ of‐wedlock births •  One‐third did not exhibit destrucCve behaviors – “resilient” •  Resilient children and families had traits different from   non‐resilient children and families 
  • 8. ProtecCve Factors •  CARING AND SUPPORT: Described someone to whom  they felt important, whom they felt knew them and  believed in them •  HIGH EXPECTATIONS: Had responsibiliCes, including  “required acts of helpfulness” •  YOUTH PARTICIPATION: Possess belief that odds can be  overcome and have some control over own future  Benard, 1991; Werner 1990 
  • 9. ProtecCve Factors •  Traits, condiCons,  situaCons, episodes  •  Appear to alter ‐ or  even reverse ‐  predicCons of  negaCve outcome •  Enable individuals to  circumvent life  stressors  Garmzey from Kitashima, 2008 
  • 10. ProtecCve Factors      Our findings and those by  other American and European  invesCgators with a life‐span  perspecCve suggest that these  buffers [protecCve factors]  make a profound impact on  the life course of children who  grow up under adverse  condiCons than do specific risk  factors or stressful life events.  They appear to transcend  ethnic, social class,  geographic, and historical  boundaries.  Werner & Smith, 1992 
  • 11. Resilient Child  Works well, plays well, loves well, expects well •  Social Competence •  Problem‐Solving Skills •  Autonomy •  Sense of Purpose/Future 
  • 12. AcCvity! Part Two 
  • 13. Sense of Hope and OpCmism [ProtecCve factors] offer us a more opCmisCc  outlook than the perspecCve that can be gleaned  from the literature on the negaCve consequences  of perinatal trauma, caregiving deficits, and  chronic poverty. They provide us with a correcCve  lens – an awareness of the self‐righCng  tendencies that move children toward normal  adult development under all but the most  persistent adverse circumstances.  Werner, 1992 
  • 14. Process  •  Long‐term systemic  change  –   Family  –   School  –   Community‐based  organizaCons  –   Workplace  •  Seeing youth as resources  •  Move from risk to  resiliency – beyond  therapy 
  • 15. Resiliency Ajtude  I see what is right with you,   no maier what you have done in the past,   no maier what problems you currently face.  Your strengths are more powerful than your “risks.”  And whatever risks, problems, or adversity   you are facing are steps on the road to bouncing  back ‐ they are not the end of the road!  Henderson, 1997 
  • 16. PosiCve Youth Development  Supports to help face challenges  and opportuniCes through  developmental stages  Asset‐based vs. deficit‐based  See youth as resources and  soluCons, not problems  41 Developmental Assets 
  • 17. PosiCve Youth Development  Competence  Confidence  ConnecCon  Character  Caring/Compassion  Services  OpportuniCes  Supports 
  • 18. RecommendaCons to Therapists •  Underscore strengths and lifelong capacity for  growth built on strengths rather than focusing on  weaknesses •  Honor history of hope •  Understand how surrogate relaConships can be  reparaCve •  Honor and recognize client as being successful at  surviving •  Honor helplessness of child while exploring any  sense of self‐preservaCon and wisdom  Higgins, 1994 
  • 19. Self Resiliency Strategies The best thing therapists can do to help  their clients the most is to love  themselves. When therapists really  love who they are, it’s easy for them to  teach that love to their clients… When  we’re willing to love and accept  ourselves, we can make changes.   Hay, 1989 
  • 20. Self Resiliency Strategies 1.  Believe in your ability to make difference 2.  Have vision of beier world 3.  Understand change is people process 4.  Create caring relaConships 5.  Believe everyone has innate capacity for mental  health and well‐being 6.  Elicit acCve parCcipaCon of those involved 7.  Be commiied and be paCent    Benard,, 1994 
  • 21. AcCvity! Part Three 
  • 22.     We, as human service  professionals, have a role to play  in the remaking of public policy.  We have the power to reject the  discourse of risk and undergird  our prevenCon efforts with a  paradigm based on youth  development and the discourse  of resilience. We have the power  to change our way of seeing – to  see health, to see strengths, to  see with respect and compassion,  and to engage our youth in  criCcal reflecCon and dialogue  and give them the opportuniCes  to work in communiCes that  honor their girs.   Benard, 1994 
  • 23. References/Resources •  Emmy Werner & Ruth Smith •  Bonnie Benard •  NaConal Resilience Resource Center •  Search InsCtute, Minneapolis, MN •  Cleo Eulau Center, Mountain View, CA 
  • 24. Thank You!