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Tuesday, 5 January 2010

SDS Debate: Are you using the Resilience Model yet?

Dear All

Happy New Year! I hope you have had a restful holiday period and are geared up for 2010!

I wanted to discuss with you some recent research in the Positive Psychology field.

Longitudinal research by Professor Emmy Werner over last two decades has firmly established that poverty, having substance dependent parents and being abused do not necessarily produce damaged children and adults.

Although the chances of damage are higher, a third of children studied showed no evidence of problems. Of the remaining two-thirds, psychological difficulties usually developed during adolescence but then markedly declined or disappeared in their 30s and 40s.

It appears that protective factors (or their absence) are much more important than risk factors in determining people's mental health and that the skills of "framing" and "reframing" are central in this.

Most significantly, it also appears that people can be taught such skills both before (as a protective measure) and afterwards (as therapy). The Penn Resilience Program (PRP) developed by Professor Marty Seligman, is just one application of its use which has been extensively evaluated over the last 16 years and has been found to significantly reduce a range of problems - from depression to criminality.

The forthcoming SDS workshops on Positive Therapy - - will be examining the question of building clients' resilience along with other practical applications from the positive psychology field. I am looking forward to working with you and am sure that these events will be stimulating for all of us.

However, I also welcome any of your thoughts on the topic prior to then. It will help us to shape the discussion on the course around the most practical issues as perceived by you.


Resilience: A Universal Capacity (2004)
Cardemil, E.V., Reivich, K.J., Beevers, C.G., Seligman, M.E.P., & James, J. (2007). The prevention of depressive symptoms in low-income, minority children: Two-year follow-up. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45, 313-327

Kind Regards

Paul Grantham
Consultant Clinical Psychologist

1 comment:

  1. Hello Paul

    Just a quick note, I was most interested to read this and my immediate thought was how framing and reframing works successfully with counselling with disabled people and how in a sense this also links to the Social Model of Disability which certainly builds resilience amongst disabled people who learn to embrace it.

    This may be an interesting link area for you?

    I am also hoping to look at developing counselling for parents of disabled children in my disability organisation in the near future and any thoughts you have on your courses which might address this work would be appreciated. Or any particular work in this field you are aware of.

    Kind regards
    D.N., Counselling Coordinator


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