NVAA 2000 Text

Chapter 6 Supplement Mental Health Needs

Section 1, Trauma Assessment and Intervention


Resilience has been defined as "the capacity to bounce back: to withstand hardship and repair oneself." The Wolins' Challenge Model of Resilience was conceptualized by examining a series of retrospective case studies about adult children of alcoholics but did not become addicted to chemicals. After careful examination and analysis of these studies, the Wolins identified a constellation of six resiliencies in individuals who rebound from troubled circumstances or events and resume usual activities with success. The constellation of strengths identified among individuals in their study included the following:

1. Insight. The mental habit of asking tough questions and giving honest answers, including reading signals from other people, identifying the source of the problem, and trying to figure out how things work for self and others.

2. Independence. The right to safe boundaries between yourself and significant others, including emotional distancing, and knowing when to separate from bad relationships.

3. Relationships. Developing and maintaining intimate and fulfilling ties to other people, including perceived ability to select healthy partners, to start new relationships, and to maintain healthy relationships.

4. Initiative. Determination to master one's self and one's environment, including creative problem solving, figuring out how things work, and generating constructive activities.

5. Creativity and humor. Safe harbors of the imagination where you can take refuge and rearrange the details of your life to your own pleasing, including creativity and divergent thinking; using creativity to forget pain and express emotions; and using humor to reduce tension or make a bad situation better.

6. Morality. Knowing what is right and wrong and standing up for those beliefs, including being willing to take risks for those beliefs, and finding joy in helping other people (Wolin and Wolin 1993).

Usually, resilient individuals know when trouble arises and they need help. They are motivated to make things better. They search for solutions, and they an form trusting collaborative relationships. To gradually regain confidence, a resilient person can identify specific jobs that they are successfully able to carry out within the limits of their disabilities (Biscoe 2000).

Back to Table of Contents

2000 NVAA Text
Chapter 6.1
Archive iconThe information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.