What is resiliencefoundry

Resilience has captured the imaginations of psychologists, psychotherapists and the self help movement in general.  Consequently there are now a number of working definitions of it.  The Merriam Webster dictionary definition says:

The ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens

The ability of something to return to its original shape after it has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc.

The aspect of resilience that makes it worth writing about for me is the “What doesn’t kill you makes you strong” factor.  Not that anyone would choose to have a traumatic experience, and the most traumatic experiences can seem irredeemably vile in the harm and destructiveness they wreak in the lives of those affected at the time.  But equally, those who recover seem to find some gift within their terrible experience that helps them to recover and to make some kind of meaning from their suffering.  There has been some research where this is described as “innoculated resilience”.

This to me is the kernel of the resilience experience.  Diamonds are formed under immense pressure.  People who experienced severe hardship sometimes comment that the experience has changed their outlook on life in terms of what’s important to them.

However resilience is often presented as a rare and magical gift, whereas research also seems to identify that most people will experience devastating trauma or loss in the course of their life, and most people will recover.

I want to explore how resilience is achieved by ordinary people.

In the most difficult times in my own life, other people’s stories were the only thing that breached the terrible isolation of deep suffering.

When you’re in the tunnel and there is no light, you don’t know if the light is blocked or too far to see or invisible around the corner.  The only thing to do is keep walking and listen for voices of others.