The word “resilience” has come to mean many things to many people, both in the science arena and in our common layperson’s terms. So, how do we know we are really working on resilience with our teen clients?
How many times a day do you experience disappointment? It can be as simple as discovering Dunkin’ Donuts no longer carries your favorite toasted coconut donut to not getting a promotion. Maybe your child or spouse’s behavior has really let you down, or a serious health issue has been revealed in a friend or yourself. How long do you stay disappointed?
When I was growing up, my dad used to read me a funny poem about mythical town that was situated on a beautiful cliff. There was a very pretty valley below, and the townspeople would often go to scenic overlook. They weren’t terribly careful, though, because people looking over the valley kept falling off the cliff. The townspeople held a meeting to figure out how to deal with this serious situation. Half of the townspeople decided that the town should put up a fence, to stop people from falling. The other half of the town decided it was smarter to put a full-time ambulance in the valley, to help the people who were hurt. I tell this story at almost every training that I give on PTSD and trauma.