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The Art of Resilience and Positive Psychology

We all are going through tough times, yet some people seem to thrive. Some people have made a fortune selling protective gear, few have attained fame by helping those in need, some people seem to be quite productive despite everything going around. However, others have spent this time in self-pity, anger, and unwanted protests. With so much negativity around amidst the pandemic and social unrest, there is one thing differentiating the successful people - resilience!!

Resilience refers to the capacity of coping with whatever jinxes life throws at us. It's a mysterious (yet completely acquirable) quality that makes some people come back stronger and fitter than before even after being knocked out. We attribute it to high reserves of psychological capital. Some elements of this psychological capital are optimism and hope, but the one factor to look out for is positive thinking. It's entirely possible to train yourself to think positively and develop yourself into a more resilient individual. Here is how that can happen. 

The Development of Resilience

Some crucial characteristics of resilience include cognitive skills, the capacity of problem-solving, stress adaption, and the power of self-regulation. All these attributes get developed in early childhood under the influence of a supportive environment. According to Baumrind's categorization of parenting styles, authoritative parenting styles encourage the development of resilience as opposed to authoritarian, passive, and lassiz faire parenting styles. Our team also believes that stress adaption and self-regulation are two characters that can be developed in adulthood.

We recommend signing up for CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Theory in order to develop resilience in adults. Do you find yourself with trust issues and feel anxious at not being able to reach out to other individuals? Are you suffering from high levels of anxiety? Does this COVID situation and its ancillary side effects depress you? Do you find yourself unable to climb over the deep well of depression that you seem to have fallen into? 

If your answer is yes to any or many of these questions, then you do lack resilience in your life and need to build this life-saving personality trait. Psychologists tend to reiterate that resilience is the best antidote to depression, manic anxiety, and personality disorders as a resilient person is always able to look towards the horizon.

Strength-Based CBT and its benefits

Strength-based CBT works on a 4-step model, and it offers a practical roadmap for success. In the first step, the psychologist closely works with the client to look for sustainable positive strengths and attempt to remove any mental roadblocks that may be blocking their realization. In the second step, the strengths are channelized into general strategies, and a positive self-image is created using the client's language, metaphors, and images. The client is repeatedly urged to identify with this PMR. The third step is the application of PMR that looks for problem areas in the client's personality and detects ways to correct the same. 

The focus is always on positive self-analysis and boosting reserves of will power. The 4th step is exercised when the client goes through constructed behavioral experiments and learns to identify separate forms of strength. The client is then provided supporting material including flowcharts, imagery, etc. to build up the stores of resilience. This is a thoroughly professional process undertaken in the professional environment of our clinic, but in light of the COVID associated safety measures, we are offering a telephonic and internet-based CBT resilience-building course too that can be tailored according to individual client requirements.

Why is practicing resilience vital now?

As you analyze the global situation, you will find that the human race is going through a particularly trying phase. The pandemic has shattered economies, thrown people out of jobs, and forced people to be separated from their loved ones. There is a lot of negative imagery in the environment. That has caused a spurt in the number of suicides and increased the number of people seeking escape routes like drugs, alcohol, etc. 

The recent violent protests in the USA can also be linked to negative imagery. It is easy to understand why NOW is the most critical time to start positive thinking and practice positive reinforcement. Building resilience through our CBT approach will help build a strong positive image of yourself, one that even a global pandemic cannot break down. Instead of bowing down to the crisis, you will emerge stronger and fitter and find out new ways to reinforce your hope and optimism stocks.

Author
Dr. Neda Khodaparast Neda Khodaparast, PsyD, QME, is the founder and CEO of The Green Room Psychological Services Inc. in San Diego, California. Dr. Khodaparast earned her doctorate from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in Boston. She has over 15 years in clinical practice providing individual and couple therapy, as well as conducting forensic evaluations for personal injuries, civil cases, immigration evaluations, and pre surgical clearance psychological evaluations. She has also been conducting medical-legal worker’s compensation evaluations as a Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) Since 2014. Dr. Khodaparast specializes in utilizing psychodynamic orientation and focuses on treating trauma and PTSD including childhood sexual and physical abuse, sexual assualt’s survivors, war truama, as well as eating disorders, and adoption related issues. She appreciates the complexity of human’s psyche and understands the process and the importance of “meeting the patients where they at.”

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