Judith Rodin outlines five characteristics of resilience - awareness, diversity, integration, the capacity for self-regulation and adaptability [1]. And an individual or a community needs all five to be resilient. Sometimes real or perceived threats can seem innumerable, but boiling them down to these five principles can aid clarification. To illustrate, we'll look at these five principles in the light of Andrew’s experience.   Aware An individual needs to be

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5 RESILIENCE MARKERS2023-11-21T09:53:32+00:00


Some of us may be more vulnerable than others to adverse pressure because of earlier life experiences. Thankfully this need not mean that we have to throw in the towel when things get tough. Research indicates that a strong supportive adult relationship can effect a turning point and can have a significant beneficial effect on our ability to cope [1]. This may be from a partner, friend, a work colleague,

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BUILDING FOR BOUNCEBACK2023-11-21T09:52:49+00:00


“This is how sailors’ bodies are hardened against the sea, farmers’ hands are calloused, soldiers’ arms are strong enough for throwing javelins, runners’ legs are swift. In each case, what is exercised the most is the toughest.” (Seneca)   The devastation caused in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 may seem a world apart from the overwhelming situation facing a lawyer in central London. One involves an environmental disaster

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BOUNCING BACK2023-11-21T09:52:11+00:00


Daniel Siegel has illustrated the process of the anxiety response with the example of the hand [1].  It goes something like this: Hold your open hand in front of you, looking at the palm. (No! Don't just visualise it. Do it!) Fold your thumb across the palm of your hand and then fold the four fingers over the thumb. Your wrist and palm represent the brainstem, responsible for survival instincts

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BRAINY HANDS2023-11-21T09:51:21+00:00


Joseph LeDoux, Professor of Science at New York University, has written extensively on the phenomena of emotion and its function in the brain. He summarises the complex neural interactions that we experience in anxiety: Information about external stimuli reaches the amygdala by way of direct pathways from the thalamus (the low road) as well as by way of pathways from the thalamus to the cortex and then to the amygdala

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THE HIGH ROAD, THE LOW ROAD AND THE BEARS  2023-11-21T09:50:40+00:00


"A man's body and his mind, with the utmost reverence to both I speak it, are exactly like a jerkin, and a jerkin's lining; rumple the one, you rumple the other" (Laurence Sterne).   When we experience intolerable anxiety our minds and bodies react in a variety of ways. We may feel overwhelmed, like we're losing control, become easily angered, irritable and frustrated. We might begin to feel bad about

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RUMPLING JERKINS2023-11-21T09:49:57+00:00
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