Facilitator Reproducible Self-Assessments, Exercises, & Educational Handouts
Building resiliency is critical in the life of teens. It is currently called a host of other names including hardiness, psychological resilience, emotional resourcefulness, and mental resiliency. Regardless of the name you choose, resiliency is the ability of a teen to interact with the environment, handle stresses that occur, and bounce back from these stressful events. It is the process by which well-being is promoted and protection factors are activated against overwhelming feelings of stress. Teens that have developed resiliency are able to bounce back from the negative impact of difficulties.
Resiliency can be thought of as a skill that allows teens to:
• manage life’s challenges, stresses, changes, and pressures effectively
• cope with and adapt successfully to adversity
• bounce back to a balanced state after facing a major disruption in life or career planning
The Teen Resiliency-Building Workbook contains five separate sections to help participants learn more about themselves and how to build the resiliency which will enable them to thrive in times of adversity, change and stress. They will learn about the importance of building resiliency skills to turn change and stress into opportunities and challenges, to live life zestfully, and to take positive actions in order to live their lives with less stress.
Teens have an innate ability to demonstrate resiliency as they build resiliency skills into their lives. Resilient people are able to adapt successfully under adverse circumstances such as poverty, mental illness, disasters, terrorism, physical or psychological trauma, parents’ divorce, parent’s job loss and financial problems, family members in prison, loss of a loved one, peer pressure, physical or sexual abuse, self-induced pressure to achieve in school, or a lack of safety. Resiliency, or a positive behavioral adaptation, is critical when people encounter any type of trauma.
Research shows that resiliency offers protection from distress and illness in the face of change or adversity. The presence of high levels of resiliency is associated with these factors: high level of happiness, self-esteem, sense of energy and vitality, optimism, self-reported health, sense of meaning and direction, and a low level of depression.
Teens that are resilient …
• work hard at school work and study because they enjoy it and want to achieve
• react in optimistic ways
• see problems and difficult situations as challenges
• take positive risks and actions
• think of changes as natural
• go with the flow
• have a high self-esteem, self-confidence, self-concept and sense of self
• thrive under challenging situations
• believe that they can influence events and their reactions to events
• recognize that with good stress comes growth
• have hope for their future
• overcome obstacles with confidence
• create goals and work at accomplishing them
• possess a keen sense of control over their life
• bounce-back from disappointments
Research also indicates that resiliency can be built through skill development by enhancing communication, developing an optimistic outlook, building a greater sense of control, creating a more realistic sense of self, and learning how to effectively deal with change. The purpose of this workbook is to provide teens with the requisite skills they need to manage their emotions and to develop and maintain resiliency.
The five sections of the book include:
• Optimistic Outlook Scale helps teens identify how optimistically they view and live life.
• Sense of Control Scale helps teens explore the extent to which they believe they have control over what happens in their lives.
• Sense-of-Self Scale helps teens explore the strength of their self-esteem, self-confidence and self-concept.
• Ability to Bounce Back Scale helps teens increase their ability to bounce back and recover from a setback.
• Change Management Scale helps teens become aware of how well they deal with change, and develop the skills necessary to accept change.
By combining reflective assessment and journaling, participants will be exposed to a powerful method of combining verbalizing and writing to reflect on and to solve problems. Participants will become more aware of the strength and weaknesses of their resiliency and find ways to build and enhance their hardiness.
“This book speaks clearly and wisely to middle and high-schoolers. With the right counselor, or professional leader, I envision extremely positive outcomes for those involved with the thought-provoking scales and follow up journaling and discussion pointers.” -Eileen Regen, M.Ed., CJE
This workbook is also available in PDF eBook format, making it simple to store on your computer or mobile device, and to access with a PDF viewer. The PDF format also allows you to easily print copies of the activities and worksheets during therapy and counseling sessions.
Teen Resiliency-Building Card Deck
Need a creative way to start your session? Use the Teen Resiliency-Building Card Deck. The open-ended questions will break the ice and stimulate conversation. Use them alone or in conjunction with the corresponding page in the book.