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Somatic Therapy and Resilience

Updated: Aug 28, 2022

What is Resilience? In short, it is a capacity to handle stress and change. It is not being numb to stress or unaffected, rather, it is the ability to recover and bounce back after a stressful situation.

How well do you respond to the unexpected? Some people seem to have resilience to stress, while others lack an internal capacity to withstand pressure and change.

Environmental, genetic, social and personal factors in combination, affect your ability to bounce back from stress. These factors can include personality type, attitude, self-concept, early childhood experiences, social support, culture, exposure to trauma, environmental factors such as toxins as well as medical and health. Over time the right combination can tip the balance and lower resilience.

Testing Your Resilience

There are 5 themes commonly explored in resilience questionnaires:

  1. Adaptability: This is your ability to pivot and improvise when necessary. It highlights your flexibility and ability to make the best use of feedback to direct your use of creativity, and utilization of innovative solutions to problems.

  2. Self-Control: This measures your ability to suspend judgement, make rational decisions, maintain composure, and respond (rather than react). What is your ability to cope with your emotions in the face of adversity?

  3. Self-Sufficiency: Your belief and trust in your own talents. People with a greater awareness of their own strengths, practice self-acceptance, and exhibit self-efficacy (believe in themselves) tend to be more resilient.

  4. Optimism: Your ability to maintain a realistic and healthy positive outlook despite your circumstances.

  5. Persistence: The never-give-up attitude. A capacity to stick with it long after others have quit. A willingness to continue working on something even after the initial excitement has worn off.

Ready to Try a Resiliency Questionnaire?

There are many questionnaires available to help you test your resilience level. Most assessments have between 25-100 self-report items. Questions tend to be about your behaviors, feelings, and reactions to situations. It is recommended that you complete a questionnaire when in as neutral of a state as possible, not to close to a stressful event or a series of events that may skew the answers.

Here are a few options:

A brief 30-item resilience inventory that measures your overall hardiness level. Your feedback report will compare your results to over 25,000 adults and provide practical tips and suggestions for how to effectively manage work and life stressors.

A quiz based on the four elements of resilience identified by Cary Cooper, professor of organizational psychology and health at Manchester University. The four elements are: (1) Confidence, (2) Social support, (3) Adaptability, and (4) Purposefulness. The 16-item scale is simple and easy to interpret.

How Somatic Therapy Can Help

Somatic Focused Resilience Therapy and Trauma Release Work

This body centered work has been the basis of Somatic Experiencing for nearly five decades.

Somatic Therapies help restore and build resilience by addressing nervous system dysregulation, healing trauma, healing developmental attachment issues and relieving stress induced maladaptive responses. It cultivates body centered awareness and uses resourcing to gently and effectively assist clients to recover, build resilience and live more fully.

Somatic (body-centered) Therapy uses a "bottom-up" approach, meaning centered on the body, one's felt sense and experience in the body and of the body. Traditional talk therapy utilizes a "top-down" approach which uses cognitive processing (thinking) to understand by making or finding meaning.

With Somatic work we don't rehash story, we don't try to think or find meaning or the why. Instead, we explore and use curiosity to notice and experience what is present as we explore the felt sense. This allows for completion of incomplete actions and reactions, it moves what was stored and enables re-connection to ourselves, healing of our nervous system, re-patterning of maladaptive survival strategies, giving us greater resilience and more. We gain resilience and feel grounded.

Ready to try Somatic Therapy?

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