Looking Beyond Self-Help to Understand Resilience: An Interview with Michael Ungar

Rescuers bring terrified animals to safety after Germany’s floods

The recent floods in western Germany not only killed humans and destroyed homes, but affected hundreds of animals. DW reports on the operations of animal rescue services and volunteers.

This Ahrweiler pensioner was very pleased her cat finally had food and medicine again

Sandra Bischoff, who lives in Cologne in western Germany, was getting ready for bed when she heard about the floods in the Erft valley. Her thoughts immediately turned to the animals in the area. The owner of three horses in a stable in Leverkusen, 22 kilometers (13 miles) from her home city, Bischoff is in frequent contact with other breeders.

As details surrounding the extent of the flooding emerged, Bischoff set about organizing a group of volunteers, comprising of her 70-year-old mother, her daughter Margo and friend Lisa Herbst. The group immediately set off in three cars, all towing horse floats, to the flood-hit area…

‘Out of control’: Greek wildfire rages through forest near Athens

Greek authorities have evacuated several areas north of Athens as a wildfire swept through a hillside forest and threatened homes near the country’s capital.

The fire, which started on Tuesday morning, is “out of control,” Dionysos mayor Yannis Kalafatelis told Greek radio.

The town located about 30 kilometres northeast of Athens is among those affected, along with neighbouring Stamata and Rodopoli…

Looking Beyond Self-Help to Understand Resilience: An Interview with Michael Ungar

Michael Ungar is the founder and director of the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University in Canada. He is also a family therapist and professor of social work. He has received numerous awards, such as the Canadian Association of Social Workers National Distinguished Service Award (2012), and has authored around 15 books and over 200 peer-reviewed articles.

“We know that people heal from trauma better by being back in stable relationships.”

Michael Ungar, Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University

Dr. Ungar’s work is globally recognized and centers on community trauma and community resilience. In particular, his work explores resilience among marginalized children and families, especially those involved with child welfare and mental health services, refugees, and immigrant youth.

His research is spread across continents and challenges our traditional notions of trauma and resilience. Analyzing people’s risks and available resources, he scrutinizes simplistic ideas of individual perseverance and grit in the face of trauma. Instead, he implicates the role of context, circumstances, and ill-suited services in contributing to people’s psychological suffering…

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