Resiliency: A Key to Success

Resiliency: A Key to Success

Dr. Teresa M. Beck PhD, CTRS Annual URTA Conference March 31, 2017 (Click on faculty; scroll down under my name...

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Dr. Teresa M. Beck PhD, CTRS Annual URTA Conference March 31, 2017 (Click on faculty; scroll down under my name for link to presentation)

Ability to bounce back or cope in the face of adversity Bouncing back from problems and stuff with more power and more smarts (15 year old after a semester of resiliency training)


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Increased interest and research last 30 years Helped frame the study of development using a strengths model rather than a deficit or problem oriented model Resiliency and invulnerability are not equivalent

◦ Resiliency – ability to spring back from adversity; it does not mean one cannot be wounded – as the term invulnerability implies

Resiliency, once achieved may not always be present ◦ As one’s circumstances change, so can one’s resiliency ◦ Having resiliency includes taking action to address a stressful situation


Compensatory Model

Challenge Model

Protective Factor

Compensatory factor is a variable that neutralizes exposure to risk The compensating factor does not interact with the risk factor, instead it has an independent and direct influence on the outcome.


Risk (Stress)

Outcome (Competence)

Compensating Factor (selfesteem)

A stressor (risk factor) is treated as an enhancer of successful adaptation if it is not excessive. Too little stress is not challenging enough, and very high levels of stress render the individual helpless Moderate levels of stress, provide the individual with a challenge, that when overcome, strengthens competence


If the challenge is successfully met, this prepares the individual for the next level of difficulty This has been called “inoculation”

Protective factor is a process that interacts with a risk factor in reducing the probability of a negative outcome Works by moderating the effect of the exposure to risk, and modifying the response to the risk This model is the most widely studied of the resiliency models


Protective Factors ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

Caring and Supporting Relationships High Expectations Meaningful Participation Sense of Purpose and Future Social Competence Problem-Solving Skills Appreciation of Role Models Knowledgeable of Resources

TR Programs inherently provide these factors We as therapists, need to be more aware of these inherent factors and match them to the needs of our clients to facilitate the building of their resiliency


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School Connectedness Peer Connectedness Teacher Connectedness Positive Family-School Links Family Connectedness One caring adult outside the family Community Connectedness Religious involvement Helpful and positive thinking skills and attitudes Social Skills

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Skills and beliefs related to resourcefulness and adaptivity Emotional Literacy Healthy self esteem: A sense of personal competence Healthy self-esteem: Self knowledge

McGrath and Noble (2008)


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When youth become overwhelmed by adversities they face, the result is often depressed thoughts and behavior patterns Whether young people develop depression or resilience depends largely upon their feelings of powerlessness or capability

Feelings of powerlessness can be changed to those of capability – 5 building blocks of resilience

Trust Autonomy Initiative Industry (working willingly at a task) Identity

These 5 building blocks correspond to the 1st 5 developmental levels of life (Erikson, 1985)




Building Block


Supports around each individual to promote resilience Encouragement in developing the inner strengths of confidence, selfesteem, and responsibility Acquisition of interpersonal and problem solving skills




Autonomy Identity Initiative Industry

Grotberg (1999)

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Make connections Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems Accept that change is a part of living Move toward your goals Take decisive actions Look for opportunities for self-discovery Nurture a positive view of yourself Keep things in perspective Maintain a hopeful outlook Take care of yourself American Psychological Association


Life’s best survivor’s are are resilient, hardy, cope well with difficulties, and gain strength from adversity Research into the psychology of aging shows that psychologically resilient adults cope well with an aging body When they lose friends or loved ones, they express their feelings in an open and healthy way

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Work is very important to resilient adults –they are less likely to “retire” because they appreciate the benefits of doing important work People who live longer, blend life-long learning with working and leisure Events experienced as stressful, suppresses immune system functions, thereby increasing vulnerability to diseases and illnesses. ◦ Resilient older adults are more stress resistant, less likely to experience frequent anger

Resiliency can be developed and increased at any age


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Some caregivers are more resilient, hardy, and stress-resistant than others. Hold up well under pressure and even gain strength from the difficulties and strains Common factor is they fully embrace the challenge – instead of complaining, they immerse themselves in the circumstances to be dealt with and let it change their lives

Find meaning, purpose, and value in difficult circumstances Humans are born with the ability to be made better by life’s difficulties Accept and embrace what life has handed you Maintain a playful, curious spirit Constantly learn from experience


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Enjoy solid self-esteem and selfconfidence Have good friendships, loving relationships Express feelings honestly Develop open minded empathy Trust intuition Question Authority Deeply resilient people let themselves be transformed by their experiences



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Illinois Bell Telephone (IBT) Project Landmark study on how people handle stress at work 12 year study funded by Illinois Bell and the National Institute of Mental Health Followed 450 male and female supervisors, managers and decision makers at IBT through the deregulation of ATT

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1/2 of employees in sample lost their jobs 2/3 of sample broke down in some way ◦ Heart attacks, depressive and anxiety disorders ◦ Substance abuse ◦ Divorced, separated or acted out violently

1/3 of employee sample was resilient ◦ If they stayed at IBT, they rose to the top of the “heap” ◦ If they left, they started companies of their own or accepted strategically important employment in other companies


Three resilient attitudes which constitute “hardiness” ◦ Commitment ◦ Control ◦ Challenge

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View work as important Warrants your full attention, imagination and effort Stay involved with events and people around you even when the going gets rough See withdrawal from stressful circumstances as week Sidestep unproductive alienating social behaviors


Try to positively influence the outcomes of the changes going on around you Do your best to find solutions to workday problems Determine which situational features are open to change and gracefully accept those outside your control

See change as instrumental in opening up new, fulfilling pathways for living Face up to stressful changes, try to understand them, learn from them, and solve them Embrace life’s challenges, not deny and avoid them This expresses optimism toward the future rather than the fear of it.


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The higher your hardiness level, the milder your physiological arousal to stress (as measured by blood pressure, heart rate) Hardiness studied as a predictor of leadership behavior (role modeling, helping bring out the best in others, etc.) Nurses high in hardiness take fewer sick days and show less depression, anxiety, and burnout.

Courage and Motivation Denial and Avoidance ◦ If you stop thinking about it, it will go away ◦ Dwell on things which one has no control over

Catastrophic Reactions and Striking Out ◦ Overreact to change that decreases sense of support ◦ Overpersonalize workplace changes


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Insight Independence Creativity Humor Initiative Relationships Values Orientation

TR Treatment approaches ◦ Increases independence ◦ Increases creativity and initiative ◦ Increases social skills and ability to build relationships resulting in social competence ◦ Builds self esteem and self confidence ◦ Develops problem solving skills


Leisure Education Approaches ◦ Meaningful participations ◦ Sense of purpose and future ◦ Knowledge of resources and community connectedness ◦ Values Orientations and insight



Fergus, S & Zimmerman, M. (2005). Adolescent resilience: A framework for developing healthy development in the face of risk. Annual Review of Public Health, 26: 399-419. Grotberg, E. (1999). Countering depression with the five building blocks of resilience. Reaching Today’s Youth 4(1, Fall): 66-72 Maddi, S.R. & Khisgaba. (2005). Resilience at work: How to succeed no matter what life throws you. New York: MJF Books. CK.pdf

The Illinois Bell Telephone Study: How Hardiness Began. The road to resilience. American Psychological Association.

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