I didn't know where this fits exactly but I guess the "friends" section is a good start. I heard this story on NPR's Morning Edition on Saturday and thought this is something good for the board. Hope this helps someone, I know it did me.
Emotional Training Helps Kids Fight Depression
Enlarge Allison Aubrey / NPR
Bryce Marcus is a fifth-grader at the KIPP Infinity School in the West Harlem neighborhood of New York City. His curriculum includes emotional development training that teaches him to replace negative thinking with more realistic and flexible thinking.
January 18, 2010
How many of us have caught ourselves thinking, "Ugh, this will never work out," or "How could I be so stupid?"
"There's a pretty common bias to think about the negative," says researcher Jane Gillham of the Penn Resiliency Program, a behavioral therapy program at the University of Pennsylvania.
Studies show that the habit of reacting negatively can lead to depressive thinking. "There's a lot of evidence that pessimistic thinking undercuts achievement and well-being," Gillham says.
If a person tends to see small disappointments as catastrophes or failures, they can become depressed or anxious. It's a common trick our minds can play on us, as children and as adults. But once thoughts are more aligned with reality, emotional responses can change for the better.
Gillham and her colleagues have developed a curriculum aimed at teaching middle-school students specific strategies to challenge these thought patterns and manage stress. It's backed by 15 years of research that shows the benefits of this strategy.
It's called resilience training, and it can be as powerful as taking antidepressant medicines.
Fifth-Graders Learn Resilience
At New York City's KIPP Infinity Charter School, in the neighborhood of West Harlem, resilience training is squeezed in after math.
The academic schedule is tight, and the students' days are packed with rigorous academics, but Tom Brunzell, the dean of students, says it's important for these fifth-, sixth- and seventh-graders to take time out for "Emotional Health 101."
"They're constantly looking for fairness in the world, and they're spotting unfairness in the world," he says. This can lead to a lot of hurt feelings, sadness, stress. Brunzell wants to give them tools to manage this.
In one session, he talks to the students about how "self-talk," the things you tell yourself, can lead to different feelings when disappointing things happen.
Brunzell hands each student a copy of the same cartoon strip. In the first picture, an angry coach is talking to a nervous player. The coach is pointing to a zero score, and he's unhappy.
Enlarge Courtesy of Jane Gillham, Lisa Jaycox and Karen Reivich
This thought-emotion worksheet helps teach kids how their reactions to a scenario can shape their feelings and how, to a degree, they can control these reactions. In this scenario, student Bryce Marcus has filled in the thought bubble with a positive way to interpret the situation.
In the second box, there's a picture of the player. A thought bubble over his head is blank. The students' job is to fill the bubble with what they think the boy is thinking, and then indicate one of three possible emotions associated with the thoughts: sadness, anger, or "I feel OK."
Student Alicia Echavarriato shares her interpretation of the situation first. "What I wrote in my thought bubble is this: Why is the coach so mean? His screaming makes me want to cry ... I think I have a tear," she says. To her, the coach's anger feels like a personal attack, which would make her feel sad.
To Anthony Ortiz, the scenario evokes anger. In his thought bubble, he wrote, "Man we lost — we let the coach down."
Finding New Ways To Look At Challenging Situations
But here's another way to see the same scenario. In student Bryce Marcus' bubble, he has written, "The coach can be mad ... I'll do better next time."
Bryce's player didn't take the coach's anger too personally. And he realized the situation wasn't permanent.
"What I want you to understand," Brunzell tells the students, "is that coach was being very negative in this cartoon. But you have a lot more control over your feelings than you think." He wants them to see that there is a strong connection between their "self-talk" and the feelings that result.
The kids nod their heads and seem to get it. But carrying these lessons from hypothetical cartoons to real life takes a lot of practice.
Anthony says that just the other day, he missed what he says was an easy problem on a math test. "You just think you're stupid automatically," he says. "That's the first thought, but you have to fight that away."
He's learned to stop and think about the real facts. Overall, his grade is pretty good. And if he tried harder next time, he would probably do better.
For the complete article and more information go here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122526518
Mrs Jones aka Josie
I want to add this: I had googled "Emtional Resilience" and came up with this article that really explains what Emtional Resilience is and how to cultivate it for good mental health. Here it is:
The Traits, Benefits and Development of Emotional Resilience Emotional Resilience Is a Trait You Can Develop
Updated: November 01, 2007
Emotional resilience refers to one’s ability to adapt to stressful situations or crises. More resilient people are able to "roll with the punches" and adapt to adversity without lasting difficulties; less resilient people have a harder time with stress and life changes, both major and minor. It’s been found that those who deal with minor stresses more easily can also manage major crises with greater ease, so resilience has its benefits for daily life as well as for the rare major catastrophe.
What Influences Emotional Resilience?
Emotional and physical resilience is, to a degree, something you're born with. Some people, by nature, are less upset by changes and surprises -- this can be observed in infancy and tends to be stable throughout one’s lifetime. Emotional resilience is also related to some factors that aren't under your control, such as age, gender, and exposure to trauma. However, resilience can be developed with a little effort. If you know what to do, you can become more resilient, even if you are naturally more sensitive to life’s difficulties.
What Are Traits of Emotional Resilience?
Resilience is not a quality that you either do or do not possess; there are varying degrees of how well a person is able to handle stress. Still, there are certain characteristics that resilient people tend to share. Some of the main characteristics are:
- Emotional Awareness: They understand what they’re feeling and why.
- Perseverance: Whether they’re working toward outward goals or on inner coping strategies, they’re action-oriented -- they trust in the process and don’t give up.
- Internal Locus of Control: They believe that they, rather than outside forces, are in control of their own lives.
- Optimism: They see the positives in most situations and believe in their own strength.
- Support: While they tend to be strong individuals, they know the value of social support and are able to surround themselves with supportive friends and family.
- Sense of Humor: They’re able to laugh at life’s difficulties.
- Perspective: Resilient people are able to learn from their mistakes (rather than deny them), see obstacles as challenges, and allow adversity to make them stronger. They can also find meaning in life’s challenges rather than seeing themselves as victims.
- Spirituality: Being connected to your spiritual side has been connected with stronger emotional resilience, especially if you're internally connected and not just going through the motions of attending services. (This doesn't mean that people who aren't spiritual can't be resilient, just that this connection has been found.)
As mentioned, emotional resilience can be developed. And because stress and change are a part of life, there are always opportunities to practice resilience -- the payoffs are significant. All it takes is an interest and commitment to the process, and a little information on how to develop and strengthen traits of resilience 1 .
Bonanno GA, Galea S, Bucciarelli A, Vlahov D. What Predicts Psychological Resilience after Disaster? The Role of Demographics, Resources, and Life Stress. 2 Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. October 2007.
Southwick SM, Vythilingam M, Charney DS. The Psychobiology of Depression and Resilience to Stress. 3 Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. 2005.
Spirituality: Being connected to your spiritual side has been connected with stronger emotional resilience, especially if you're internally connected and not just going through the motions of attending services. (This doesn't mean that people who aren't spiritual can't be resilient, just that this connection has been found.)
I really like this!
You're welcome Sylvia.
Just trying to spread some love.
I'm revisiting this thread for two reasons.
- After one week of searching, rescuers pulled a child from the rubble in Haiti on yesterday; the child raised its arms triumphantly to the cheers of onlooker
- I wonder why it is that children seem to display much more resiliency than adults?
I wonder why it is that children seem to display much more resiliency than adults?
Adults have been 'trained' over a longer period to pull the negative emotions to the surface, IMO. Children who have successfully dealt with adversity all their lives [like those in Haiti] have learned to make the best of any situation. Just my 2 farlings.
Thank you, Jeff.
I was so moved by that sight.
The little lamb was covered with debris and still smiling, unbroken and unbowed.
What a sight!
cultivating emotional resilience - sounds promising
Children are a .