RAD & RESILIENCE
Written 2009. Updated April, 2014.
PREPARING ASSESSORS TO IDENTIFY RESILIENCE IN ITS MANY FORMS
This page draws upon the profound insights of Professor Violeta Bautista and her colleagues Action Research in the Philippines. Refer: Bautista, V., A. Roldan & M. Garces-Bacsal, 2001. Working With Abused Children - From the Lenses of Resilience and Contextualization. Save the Children Sweden, UP Centre for Integrative and Development Studies, and UP CIDS Trauma and Human Rights Program.
The Action Research identified and wrote up resilience themes and resilience processes used by very resilient homeless children in the Philippines. These Ways have been effectively passed on to other at risk children, adolescents, and adults who are not so resilient.
Below are a few of the themes that may be explored from a vast repertoire of Resilience Ways.
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING OF RESILIENCE WAYS IN GROUPS.
After trust building experiences, often attendees start with mapping their own resilience repertoire.
Modes of Resilience – Examples
o Body approaches to transforming:
o Moving, sensing, feeling, think
o Cause oriented
o Seeing issues as natural to life
o Knowing how to cope with life issues
o Issues help strengthen character
o Learning from experience
o Realistic and clear goals
o Personality related
o Inner strength
o Sense of humour
o Positive disposition
o Strong sense of identity
o Engaging in inner dialogue
o Articulating feelings
o Using all emotional states as guide to restore wellness
o Having a positive view of the future
o Exploring life’s possibilities
o Creating positive futures with others
o Result oriented
o Having happy disposition
o Flexibility and being able to transform states and change ways
o Task oriented
o Engaging in life-long learning
o A culture of continual improvement
o Participating in tasks
o Value laden
o Other centeredness
o Strong sense of spirituality
o Embodying loving, caring respecting and nurturing values
o Dedicated to responsibilities
o Sustained lovingness
o Spirit of voluntarism
1. Acceptance of and Adjustment to the Demands of Difficult Life Situations
The capacity to adjust to current life situation, no matter the difficulty, was an emerging characteristic of children who survived experience of abuse. The more resilient children were able to come to terms with their traumatic life experiences and also cope with the demands of their present situation.
2. Competent Functioning in the Presence of Major Life Problems
Abused children manifested resiliency when they were able to function competently in the presence of major life problems.
3. Learning from Life’s Adversities
The stories of children who were able to move on in life despite adversities showed their capacity to learn from life experience.
4. The Self as the Teacher and the Source of Valuation
Resilient children seemed to be those who were able to teach themselves and have an internal locus of valuation.
5. Forbearance and Not Making a Big Thing of Problems as Major Modes of Coping
Many of the children who showed strength and competence in dealing with life’s problems talked of forbearance as their common response to abuse and hardships.
6. Finding Happiness in the Midst of Difficulties
The ability to find happiness while they were in a dreary situation was a frequent theme in the stories of children who survived abuse.
7. Ability to Maintain Sanity in the Face of Traumatic Experiences
The more resilient children seem to have the capacity to take problems without losing their grip on reality.
8. Recovering from Past Wounds
Abuse leaves wounds which bring pain and bitterness. What was remarkable among some of the more resilient children in the study was their ability to recover from these wounds.
Exploring Resilience Themes – Examples:
o Accepting and adjusting to the demands of difficult situations
o Being other-centred
o Competent functioning amidst difficult contexts
o Finding happiness in the midst of adversity and difficulty
o Having an ethical mindset
o Keeping a good wholesome character amidst deprivation
o Keeping the self sane in the face of traumatic experience
o Learning from experience, context, and adversaries
o Recovering from past wounds
o Resisting temptations
o Seeing situation as temporary
o Seeing things in perspective
o The self as teacher and source of valuation
o Therapeutic construction of reality
Resilience Resources - Examples
o Ability to learn quickly
o Engaging with emotional flooding effectively
o Evolving a good peer group
o Evolving plans for the future
o Have folk that we can relate intimately with
o Having good things to look forward to
o Initiating action
o Learning and profiting from experience
o Learning from experience, especially learning ways that work
o Participating in action – personally and with others
o Talking to one’s self
o The gift of self-talk with a kind and caring voice
o Transparency regarding feelings including painful and aversive feelings
o Visualising good futures
o Volunteering to help in action
Resilience Coping Strategies - Examples
o Confiding in trusted others
o Dissociating from discomfort by concentrating on other things
o Looking at life positively
o Passing on resilience ways that work
o Physical activities, e.g. climbing trees
o Sharing stories
o Thinking through issues
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