Most of us at some point in our lives will be struck by major traumas such as the sudden death of a loved one, a debilitating disease, assault, or a natural disaster. Resilience refers to the ability to 'bounce back' after encountering difficulty. This book provides a guide to building emotional, mental and physical resilience by presenting ten factors to help anyone become more resilient to life's challenges. Specific resilience factors such as facing fear, optimism, and social support are described through the experiences and personal reflections of highly resilient survivors. These survivors also describe real-life methods for practicing and benefiting from the resilience factors. As resilience is the complex product of genetic, psychological, biological, social, and spiritual factors, the authors investigate resilience from multiple scientific perspectives. They synthesize the latest literature on the topic, describe their own research on resilience, and quote from their interviews with highly resilient people.
Steven Southwick is a recognized expert on the psychological and neurobiological effects of extreme psychological trauma. Dr Southwick is the inaugural Greenberg Professor of Psychiatry, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Resilience at the Yale University School of Medicine and the Yale Child Study Center, adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Medical Director of the Clinical Neurosciences Division of the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. He has worked with a wide range of trauma survivors including combat veterans, civilian children and adults with PTSD, and very high functioning stress resilient former prisoners of war and active duty Special Forces soldiers and Navy Seals. Dennis S. Charney is a world expert in the neurobiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. Dr Charney is the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York and President for Academic Affairs at Mount Sinai Health System. He has led pioneering research on the psychobiological mechanisms of human resilience to stress.
1. What is resilience?; 2. Optimism: belief in a brighter future; 3. Facing fear: an adaptive response; 4. Moral compass, ethics, and altruism: doing what is right; 5. Religion and spirituality: drawing on faith; 6. Social support: learning the tap code; 7. Role models: providing the road map; 8. Training: physical fitness and strengthening; 9. Brain fitness: challenge your mind and heart; 10. Cognitive and emotional flexibility; 11. Meaning, purpose, and growth; 12. The practice of resilience; Appendix 1: further information about posttraumatic stress disorder; Appendix 2: community resilience.