Resiliency In Action: Practical Ideas for Overcoming Risks and Building Strengths in Youth, Families, and Communities

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9780966939439: Resiliency In Action: Practical Ideas for Overcoming Risks and Building Strengths in Youth, Families, and Communities
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This one-of-a-kind manual is an updated and expanded (with 50% new material) 2nd edition, which includes sections on The Foundations of Resiliency; Resiliency and Schools, Resiliency and Communities; Resiliency and Mentoring, Support and Counseling; Resiliency and Youth Development; Resiliency and Families; and Resiliency and the Brain. Foreword is by Peter Benson, Ph.D., President of Search Institute. The book is filled with research summaries on how to foster a resilient overcoming in the face of adversity, suggestions for practical applications of the research, examples of successful programs and practices, and individual stories of resilience in the face of abuse, trauma, crises, stress, and other adversity. Contributors include Emmy Werner, Ph.D., Peter Benson, Ph.D., Steve Wolin, M.D., Sybil Wolin, Ph.D., Bonnie Benard, M.S.W., Nan Henderson, M.S.W., and many other leading voices in the field.

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From the Publisher:

This book continues the mission of Resiliency In Action, Inc., began a decade ago, of challenging a widely accepted myth about people, especially young people, who experience risks, stress, trauma, and adversity in their lives. Contrary to popular opinion, the majority of these individuals do, over time, bounce back from their problems and do well. There is a growing body of scientific research from several fields that documents this fact and yields important information as to what can be done in everyday as well as programmatic interactions to facilitate this process of overcoming.

In 1996, a middle school teacher and two social workers, convinced that the extensive national focus on risks, deficits, and pathologies obscured this truth took one of the biggest risks of their professional lives. With only a few hundred dollars, but a wealth of conviction about the need to publicize and make practical the research findings of the self-righting capacity within all, Nan Henderson, Bonnie Benard, and Nancy Sharp-Light founded what became a pioneering journal on moving youth, families, and communities from risk to resiliency. Little did we realize that within three short years that publication, Resiliency In Action: Bouncing Back from Risk and Adversity--Ideas for Youth Families, and Communities, would gain an audience of subscribers in almost every state in the country, as well as in Puerto Rico, Canada, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Samoa, Israel, and Portugal.

The first edition of this book--which sold several thousand copies!--was a direct result of the enthusiastic response the journal received. The response to the book was even more enthusiastic than to the journal, so publishing books, as well as providing training, became the focus of Resiliency In Action.

Our goal in starting the journal ten years ago, and in publishing books now, was a simple one: Share the results of the numerous scientific studies that have emerged in the past two decades showing specifically how people of all ages, families, and even organizations and communities overcome risk, trauma, and adversity to go on to life success, and do this in a practical, reader-friendly format. We wanted to make the researchers themselves human through one-to-one interviews that included their heart-to-heart advice as to how to best foster resiliency. We also wanted to spotlight the many individuals and schools and community groups that are integrating the results of this research and finding significant improvements in emotional, behavioral, and academic outcomes. Finally, we wanted to share lives of young people whose personal stories represent the reality of resilient overcoming that is more common than not.

The hopeful information about the capacity for resiliency and how to foster it has been publicized in several other leading publications since we began Resiliency In Action. It has been the cover story in many national magazines in the past decade. Extensive examination of the resiliency framework has also appeared in journals for psychologists, social workers, family therapist, educators, and other youth-serving professionals during this time. In 1998, Martin Seligman, Ph.D., a resiliency researcher and then President of the American Psychological Association, stated that the entire field of psychology is moving away from the deficit approach to a strengths-based model. The Positive Psychology movement now has its own handbooks, manuals, and research grants.

Since the publication of the first edition of this book, the tragic events of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and other national and international traumas have pushed the concept of resiliency even more to the forefront of public awareness. Books, magazine articles, and media stories on resiliency have proliferated. We believe, however, the reason for the growing popularity of the resiliency approach to viewing ourselves and others is an increasing awareness best expressed by a resilient young man who had spent most of his life in dozens of foster homes enduring tremendous risk, trauma, and adversity. What helped the most, he said, were those people along the way who gave him the message, "What is right with you is more powerful than anything that is wrong with you."

The truth of this message, which has often been missing in the deficit-based models of the past, is at the heart of the growing embrace of the reality of resiliency and the resiliency approach. Resiliency In Action is dedicated to showing how to recognize, nurture, and utilize the "power of what is right" to transform the lives of children and youth, families, and communities. Our goal now is for readers to not only resonate with the truth of resiliency but also to use the research, strategies, and stories in this book as a springboard to increase resiliency in their lives and in the lives of those they care about.

One of the best ways to do this, we have been told by numerous educators who have successfully motivated and facilitated resiliency-focused changes in their schools, is to start a book study group. Evidently, even if just a few people get involved, such a group has enormous power to shift culture and practices. Undoubtedly, similar study groups formed in organizations and agencies would also yield such positive results. This book is uniquely suited for change-promoting study groups in that it contains three aspects of learning usually segregated: well-documented reports on the research base of resiliency, examples of "best practices" of implementing resiliency, and individual stories of resilient overcoming. Our hope is that readers of this book will join with others and explore together how the ideas, practices, and stories here can further fostering resiliency within themselves, their families, schools, organizations, and the larger culture.

From the Back Cover:

Help kids, families, schools, and communities bounce back from risk and adversity. This book shows you how to foster their resiliency.

Resiliency...is the ability to spring back from and successfully adapt to adversity. An increasing body of research from the fields of psychology, psychiatry, sociology, social work, and education is showing that the majority of children, youth, and adults can bounce back and experience life success and that resiliency is an innate self-righting and transcending ability within people, organizations, and communities.

This book is filled with information you need to know to move your family, your school, your community, and children and youth you work with from risk to resiliency. It includes: * Research findings on how individuals bounce back, with an emphasis on practical application. *Interviews and advice from some of the leading researchers. *How families, schools, and communities are using the resiliency information to make positive changes. *Stories of how youth who have been gang involved, drug involved, pregnant, or failing school have bounced back. *The connection between risk research, asset development, and the resiliency framework. *Many other resources.

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