Resilience can be described as the ability to overcome adversity. Over a lifetime we deal with many challenges such as loss, disappointment, and external stress. We also face internal difficulties such as anxiety, sadness, and sometimes self-doubt and uncertainty. An interesting question for psychologists is why some people are more resilient in the face of such challenges compared to others. In other words, why are some of us able to “bounce back” from serious hardship while others have difficulty recovering from minor disappointments? Where does resilience come from?
Psychologists have found that certain characteristics are associated with resilience, and they can be developed and learned.
Emotion regulation skills
Emotion regulation can be understood as a set of internal and external processes that serve to modulate the occurrence, duration, and intensity of emotion.
Children and adults can learn strategies for emotion regulation. When we have good emotion regulation skills we are better able to cope with stress, as well as manage anxiety and depression. These skills are essential to building resilience throughout the lifespan.
Nurture healthy self-esteem and problem-solving skills
Helping children build healthy self-esteem is enormously beneficial for building resilience. When we encounter difficulties, our level of self-esteem may determine whether we feel we can handle the challenge or not.
When children learn and practice problem-solving skills they become more resilient as they begin to develop trust in their own abilities and the willingness of others to help them. Part of problem-solving for children is the ability to ask adults for help when a child feels uncertain or confused. When children understand that problems are solvable, they are more likely to engage in healthy risk-taking. This is when the child is willing to go outside of his or her comfort zone and try new things. Children who are more open to learning new things are also more likely to experience success and as they mature, they will develop the capacity for greater self-reliance.
Therapy for a more resilient child
In therapy, your child can learn tools to cope with anxiety and other intense feelings. As your child builds on the ability to manage strong emotions, he or she also develops the ability to meet the challenges that life presents. These skills become lifelong strengths that your child will take through adolescence and into adult life.
Contact the Center for Therapeutic Services & Psychodiagnostics
At CFTSAP, we offer diagnostic and therapeutic services for children and adults. We can also help your child learn and practice social skills and emotion management. If you would like to learn more, you are welcome to call and book an appointment or fill out the contact form and click Send.