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About Resilience Training
The principles and skills of resilience training are taught simply and clearly, so that you can master them and apply them when you most need them. These principles and skills are drawn from the fields of traditional, positive, and complementary psychology.

Resilience Training follows the Stress Inoculation Training model, developed by renowned psychologist Dr. Donald Meichenbaum. This approach spends minimal time explaining concepts and maximum time in practice and skill mastery.

Although resilience training was originally developed to strengthen individuals in high-risk groups (e.g. police, firefighters, military), resilience training is based on the intriguing assumption that resilience can be built by nearly any individual in any walk of life.
An Innovative Approach
Resilience training offers a powerful alternative to reactive interventions such as crisis intervention and treatment. In the long run, it is far more effective to teach individuals coping skills that reduce the risk of developing mental disorders, while optimizing mental health and functioning. As pioneering resilience researcher Emory Cowen, Ph.D., has stated: Resilience “…vivifies an emerging paradigm shift in mental health, built around the intriguing possibility that psychological dysfunction can be better approached through prevention than by struggling, however valiantly and compassionately, to undo deeply-rooted damage” (Cowen, Wyman, Work, & Iker, 1995, p. 248). While resilience training covers important considerations for treatment of PTSD and other stress-related disorders, the primary emphasis in on prevention and coping during difficult times.

As much as possible, the skills taught are evidence based, meaning that they have been demonstrated in research to help a wide range of problems.
For Whom?
Anyone with a need or desire to build resilience. Resilience training often “trains the trainers,” who can then go and train others.
How Long?
Resilience training is flexible. It can be adapted to your needs and the time that you have available to train. Ideally, at least two to five full days of training allows time for participants to practice and master important skills. However, even shorter training periods can be very useful.
How Large?
Ideally, resilience training is best conducted in groups of twenty or less, sitting in a circle, to promote comfort, sharing, and team building. However, larger groups can also profit from resilience training.
Typical Resilience Training Topics
1. Resilience Overview
  What resilience is, why it matters, and how to get there.
  Course expectations.
  How to run small groups.
  Normalizing stress-related symptoms.
  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder—risk and protective factors. Trauma spectrum disorders.
  Self-awareness—being alert to symtoms and the need for intervention.
    Assessing personal resilience. A simple self-assessment gives participants an idea of where participants presently stand.
2. The Resilient Brain. Resilience starts here.
  Key structures related to mental health and functioning and their vulnerability to stress and aging.
  Brain plasticity: Increasing brain volume and functioning in the areas most critical to planning, deciding, remembering, and mood.
  Key strategies to optimize brain function and mood. New research on exercise, nutrition, sleep, drugs, medical conditions, oral health, medications, light, and lifelong learning.
3. Arousal Reduction
  The stress–related disorders (sometimes called the “diseases of arousal”) all share common symptoms of high arousal and reactivity, which are reduced by arousal reduction.
  The connection between heart rate and rhythm patterns and performance.
  Key calming skills—calm breathing, relaxation, centering and heart coherence, calm thinking.
4. Managing Distressing Emotions. Softening strong emotions that can degrade health and performance—including problem anger, fear, sadness, guilt, and grief.
  Defusing painful memories; confiding trauma and worries
  Rapid relief strategies for distress
  Managing distressing dreams, which can afflict even those without stress-related mental disorders for decades
  Mindfulness meditation
5. Thriving & Happiness
  Happiness is good medicine. Growing research shows that happiness strongly and inversely correlates with mental disorders. It is strongly linked to mental health—resilience, self-esteem, optimism, etc. What happiness is and why happiness may indeed be the single best indicator of mental health. Early studies indicate that happiness building might be as effective as traditional psychological interventions.
  How positive emotions increase our ability to cope with stress and solve problems.
  Growing happiness. Happiness skills and principles related to:
The key attitudes: self-esteem and optimism
Gratitude (grateful reminiscing and processing of troubled memories with gratitude)
Moral Strength
Long view of suffering
Spirituality and religion
Money: attitudes and management
Meaning and purpose
Social intelligence: sociability skills, socially intelligent families & leaders
Happiness meditation
6. Succeeding: Peak Performance and Adaptive Coping
  Active Coping, confidence, creativity & flexibility
7. Crisis Preparation
  Pre-crisis job performance training
  Preparing emotionally for crises (emotional inoculation for anticipated adversities)
  Preparing for post-crises stress symptoms—denial and the double-edged reality of trauma; recognizing the worst type of traumatic events and who is at greatest risk; normalizing and understanding post-traumatic symptoms, including dissociation; guilt; self-managed countermeasures
  Early treatment readiness to speed recovery and minimize long-term suffering and impairment. PTSD and co-morbidity. The healing, recovery, and growth process. Finding needed help, while doing all one can to help oneself.
8. Making a plan for life to practice and master resilience skills
9. Resources for building resilience
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