resilience reporter

resilience starts with information

Put down the self-help books. Resilience is not a DIY endeavour

When it comes to resilience, the self-help industry has it all wrong

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“Positive thinking and personal grit are helpful, Ungar argues, but nurture trumps nature every time: the real royal road to recovery lies in resource-rich, supportive social environments. It really does take a village.”

Michael Ungar is a professor of social work at Dalhousie University in Halifax, a family therapist and the Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience. In short, he is a world expert in the still mysterious quality that enables some individuals and communities to survive and thrive in the aftermath of trauma ranging from childhood sexual abuse to natural disasters. Ungar is also the author of Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success, which takes direct aim at what he considers an arrogant and victim-blaming self-help narrative. Positive thinking and personal grit are helpful, Ungar argues, but nurture trumps nature every time: the real royal road to recovery lies in resource-rich, supportive social environments. It really does take a village…

 

Put down the self-help books. Resilience is not a DIY endeavour

At a conference about resilience in Brisbane, Australia, I shared a stage with a charismatic speaker named Todd Sampson, who calls himself a “bodyhacker.” He had recently travelled the world training his very ordinary brain to be extraordinary, filming his miraculous acts of courage, endurance and mind control for a television series. People sat spellbound as he described, among other feats, climbing Mount Everest without an oxygen tank. “Our brains are powerful tools,” he told us. “Anyone with a little motivation can train themselves to do great things.”

Posing as an everyman in low-rise jeans and T-shirt, Mr. Sampson told us how we, too, could remake our minds, improve our resilience and perform heroic physical acts such as climbing a 120-metre chimney in the desert surrounding Moab, Utah, even leaping between two ledges – blindfolded.

Like everyone at the conference, I wanted to be inspired by Mr. Sampson, but watching his film crew document his astonishing feats, I knew that not one of us had a hope in hell of climbing a mountain blindfolded. It was all a bad…

 

Resilience course helps young lawyers to deal with stress

Life as a lawyer can be tough. While students are taught the required professional skills, historically they have not been equipped with what they need to help them cope mentally and physically with the job.

The ground-breaking “resilience” classes launched by Zoe Swan, the undergraduate law courses leader at the University of Brighton, are set to change this. Swan, who is also a health and wellbeing coach, suggests that the classes should be compulsory for all law students…

 

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