Monthly Article Archives: October 2015

Changing Mindsets about StressRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

More than 35 years ago I began to address the theme of resilience in my writings and workshops.  At the same time I became increasingly interested in the closely related concepts of stress and burnout.  This interest was prompted by several sources, including my own experiences of doubt and stress shortly after assuming the position of head of the school in the locked door unit of the child and adolescent program at McLean Hospital, a private psychiatric hospital, as well as by the accounts of stress I was hearing regularly in both my clinical practice and consultations. My perspective about managing stress is intertwined with my thoughts about resilience.  Several of my earliest website articles (April, May, and June, 1999) focused on the concept of “stress hardiness.”  This concept, based in great part on the work of psychologist Dr. Suzanne Kobasa, was prominently featured in a book I co-authored with my colleague Dr. Sam Goldstein about resilience in adults, The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life.    Kobasa defined three characteristics of what she labeled the “hardy personality,” possessed by individuals who experienced and responded to stressful events in a much healthier and more

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