Monthly Article Archives: April 2015

Resilience: The Common Underlying FactorRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

In all of my workshops and writings about the theme of resilience I have posed the question, “What has research identified as an essential factor in helping children to cope more effectively with adversity, to bounce back from hardships, and to become resilient?” As anyone who has read my writings or heard one of my presentations knows, the answer I offer is to have a supportive adult in one’s life, an adult who encourages you and reinforces skills necessary for effective adaptation. To capture the lifelong impact of this adult, I often refer to the late Dr. Julius Segal’s notion of a “charismatic adult,” defined as an “adult from whom a child gathers strength.” My colleague Dr. Sam Goldstein and I have expanded the scope of this definition by asserting that at all ages we benefit from having this kind of supportive person in our lives. The profound importance of having connections with other people who encourage and are present for us does not lessen when we enter our adult lives. When I highlight the power of a relationship in nurturing resilience, it is not unusual for participants at my workshops to question what is it that charismatic adults do

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