The Value of Resilience
What is resilience? In terms of physical objects it means bounciness, springiness, the capacity to return to its original shape. For instance, if we squeeze a rubber ball it resumes its shape once we let go. In human beings resilience is the ability to return to normal functioning after having been “squeezed” by something painful, scary or upsetting.
Where does it come from, this valuable ability? Are we born with it? Is it genetic? Can we learn it? Can it be harmed or decreased by too many bad things happening? Can it be nurtured, developed, expanded? (Yes it can be increased, and more on that later…)
Some of those questions may be debatable. Let us start with what we know can have a negative effect on someone’s resilience. Too many bad things happening too close together can knock someone down and impact their ability to bounce back. Injuries, illnesses, and losses can have this effect. Given time to recover and support around us we can often return to our normal state. Without that time and support we may feel our ability to bounce back diminishing.
What can be done about this?
Small wonder that Applied Metapsychology International (AMI) has a major focus on Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR)! If traumatic events can decrease our ability to live well and to bounce back from negative events, clearly the means to resolve trauma is important to our optimum survival.
Let us take an imaginary case when someone has lost a loved one, been in a serious car crash and lost a job, without time and needed support to recover between events. What can we do? We can employ TIR and related techniques to resolve the traumatic stress from each of these events.
Here is where things get really interesting. Doing the work of resolving trauma potentially accomplishes three things:
- Of course the negative effects of the bad experience melt away as a client ready for TIR does this work. It is a distinct feeling for most people, the sensation of pain being released, tension draining away.
- Secondly, we often experience an “ah ha!” moment when we reach the end point of each technique, something that occurs as a new realization or clarity about what happened. There is a strong connection between trauma resolution and personal growth. (See for instance this article: http://www.appliedmetapsychology.org/research-publications/articles/applied-metapsychology-therapy-or-personal-growth/)
- Third, as we complete each piece of work in viewing painful or upsetting events, we not only free up the attention that was tied up in these events, but we also gain an increasing certainty that we can overcome negative effects from past events and emerge triumphant. This is resilience.
Doing the work to resolve our issues then does not just amount to fixing something, but rather can actually build resilience, strength and certainty of self. Trauma resolution in itself has great value, even if that was all that occurred. In fact, it pays much bigger dividends. It is work well worth doing.
To find further information, see TIRA home page and Life Stress Reduction info page
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