Friday, March 22, 2013
The Road to Resilience
Places to look for help
Getting help when you need it is crucial in building your resilience. Beyond caring family members and friends, people often find it helpful to turn to:
Self-help and support groups. Such community groups can aid people struggling with hardships such as the death of a loved one. By sharing information, ideas, and emotions, group participants can assist one another and find comfort in knowing that they are not alone in experiencing difficulty.
Books and other publications by people who have successfully managed adverse situations such as surviving cancer. These stories can motivate readers to find a strategy that might work for them personally.
Online resources. Information on the web can be a helpful source of ideas, though the quality of information varies among sources.
For many people, using their own resources and the kinds of help listed above may be sufficient for building resilience. At times, however, an individual might get stuck or have difficulty making progress on the road to resilience.
A licensed mental health professional such as a psychologist can assist people in developing an appropriate strategy for moving forward. It is important to get professional help if you feel like you are unable to function or perform basic activities of daily living as a result of a traumatic or other stressful life experience.
Different people tend to be comfortable with somewhat different styles of interaction. A person should feel at ease and have good rapport in working with a mental health professional or participating in a support group.
Continuing on your journey
To help summarize several of the main points in this brochure, think of resilience as similar to taking a raft trip down a river.
On a river, you may encounter rapids, turns, slow water, and shallows. As in life, the changes you experience affect you differently along the way.
In traveling the river, it helps to have knowledge about it and past experience in dealing with it. Your journey should be guided by a plan, a strategy that you consider likely to work well for you.
Perseverance and trust in your ability to work your way around boulders and other obstacles are important. You can gain courage and insight by successfully navigating your way through white water. Trusted companions who accompany you on the journey can be especially helpful for dealing with rapids, upstream currents, and other difficult stretches of the river.
You can climb out to rest alongside the river. But to get to the end of your journey, you need to get back in the raft and continue.
(If you haven't done so, you may want to take the following inventory to assess where you might be in your rebuilding resilience after your tragic loss of your child.)
~The American Psychological Association