Monthly Article Archives: September 2001

Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with the Impact of TerrorismRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

The horror of September 11, 2001 will be forever etched in our minds and hearts. Many people have written to me and I have also been interviewed by the media about how best to help children cope with the events of that day. I gave a couple of workshops at the end of last week, workshops that people did not want to cancel believing it was important for parents and professionals to get together to discuss such topics as hope and resilience. I found it comforting to have an opportunity to share my thoughts about these important themes at such a troublesome time. Several parents, educators, and mental health professionals spoke with me not only about helping youngsters deal with the terrorist attacks but also how they could deal with their own sadness and distress. I plan to share thoughts about this in my next newsletter. I wish to convey my prayers and wishes to all of those who lost loved ones in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Many years ago I lost a brother to terrorism; he was an officer in the Air Force. I know on a very personal level the impact of

Questions and Answers about ResilienceRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

In the May 14, 2001 issue of Newsweek, Dr. Sam Goldstein and I were interviewed about the topic of resilience. As a result of space limitations it was not possible for Newsweek to reprint all of the questions they posed nor all of our answers. We provided a link from our websites to the Newsweek article but that link is no longer functional. We have received a number of e-mails asking how to obtain the questions as well as our responses to the Newsweek article. Given this interest, my September newsletter contains the full set of questions posed by Newsweek and our responses to these questions. Question: Resilience seems to be one of those values taught more by experience, or exposure to some type of hardship. Is there a way of teaching children resilience without allowing them to be subjected to situations that parents may not feel good about? Answer: The term resilience has typically been applied to children who have overcome difficult situations such as abuse, neglect, poverty, or school failure and gone on to lead satisfying, successful lives. These individuals possess what we call a resilient mindset. Such a mindset includes some of the following features and skills:

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