Angie Hart

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Angie Hart. Academic Professor of Child, Family and Community Health Child and Family Psychotherapist (National Health Service, working with schools and families) Adoptive parent of three children with complex needs. Resilience: Lets Get Real! . Professor Angie Hart. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Angie HartAcademic Professor of Child, Family and Community HealthChild and Family Psychotherapist (National Health Service, working with schools and families)Adoptive parent of three children with complex needs

Three kids Learning diffsGlobal developmental delayHearing impairmentAttachment disordersExecutive functioning disordersVarious other physical issues, bedwetting until teenage years, stealing etc.All went to special schools for most of their childhoodsSeparate foster homesTraumatic experiences in oneComplex and dangerous birth family ongoing relationship with birth mumAged 6, nearly 4 and 20 months


And just to really hammer home the point heres a load of flowers growing in inhospitable environments!3








Favourable experience of life

B. Resilience: Unexpected positive outcome

Unexpected negative outcome

D. Risk and vulnerability

(reference and downloadable copy: Capability and Resilience: Beating the Odds Edited by Professor Mel Bartley, published by UCL Dept Epidemiology and Public Health on behalf of the ESRC Priority Network on Capability and Resilience (2003-2007).

Resilience: Lets Get Real! Professor Angie Hart

4protective processes that are advantageous to those experiencing risk, but that have no influence on those in low-risk environments; promotive or compensatory processes that have an equally beneficial effect on children in both low- and high-risk environments; and a challenge model of resilience where the benefit of the process is dependent on the level of risk exposure(Ungar, 2011, p.2).


Another thing to turn me away from resilience, ....

Resilience has become associated with glossy nonsense. We can change our situation whatever.Positive psychology movement, started out as a plea to look at why and how people do change for the better, rather than why they dont now descended into some facilie stuff about how we can all transform ourselves. Seligman and Ehrenrich are polar opposites in the debate, with Ehrenrich launching an astonishingly well-publicised attack on Seligman. She developed cancer and found herself appalled by the self-help stuff out there exhorting her to think herself better. Oliver Burkeman comes along and nicely positions himself in the middle but still talking to a mainstream audience.A lot of this stuff is aimed at privileged people like me who have a bit of a bad hair day, real sense in which inequalities are absent from the debate

Pragmatic middle ground evidence that positive thinking carries benefits Fredrickson and colleagues, empirical study of peoples experiences following the terrorist attach of 9/11 written in 2003. suggested that cognitive broadening happens when we think positively means were more open to change and thinking about things in a flexible way. And physiologically our bodies feel better and our blood pressure etc. Lowers. On the other hand, some studies show that problem solving isnt necessary the best approach for everything. Sometimes forgetting about your worries and having a nice bath is great basis of the research on mindfulness meditation for e.g.

some interesting and useful things here at the conference if youre interested in enhancing individual resiliency skills in children Darlene Kordich Hall and colleague are presenting on their evidence based Reaching in and reaching out programme designed to specifically enhance the skills of very young children. Builds on the penn programme and it works. Great idea to start with little kids. (also some people here who have worked more specifically with very disadvantaged young people e.g. Celeste Simoes from Portugal on a research project which developed an intervention project enhancng resilience in adolescents with special educational needs. Check her out.

Lots of these programs in the UK that are available for all kids in schools. Penn resiliency teaches problem solving skills, empathic responses. SEAL programme, and in Scotland, Toni Nobles australian programme (bounce back) has been instigated. Penn needed adjustments for kids Im interested in.


Another big reason some of this positive psychology gloss is a bit dodgy is that it skirts round massive inequalities. Seems a bit trite, when you think about some of the peoples lives we are representing or embodying at this conference e.g. Marco Lus presentation on hidden child survivors of the holocaust, Eva Karaffova on adolescents with physical disabilities, Wassilis Kassis research on adolescents breaking cycles of intergenerational violenceCalre marriotts efforts to promote resielince in people who have expereinced childhood sexual abuse

But dont dismiss the positive psychology stuff totally, nor the focus on changing the individual make up of children. Its just that some of what you can do quickly with Penn programme universally takes a lot longer with particularly disabled and disadvantaged YP.e.g. Gettign a child to take responsibility for their actions. Can do this in 2 curriculum sessions with Penn getting YP into pairs and asking them to role play with their neighbour. With some of the kids I worked with, it might take three years of hard slog working on their core self, and also a range of other areas, alongside careful attention to the developmental process. We know from the work of Cohlberg and others, its no good trying to get a 15 child to feel morally wrong about nicking something from their mum if they are developmentally 5.


Believe in the almost impossible

Resilience: Lets Get Real! Professor Angie Hart

Lots of big reasons why things might go wrong. Structural reasons out there. Reasons to be cheerful. As citizens we have more power to make resilient moves on behalf of others than we might think. Believing in the almost impossible is a healthy place to be. Given their dreadful early starts, I didnt know for sure that my kids would be able to make proper relationships and learn at school. But I acted as if... Really using differnet aspects of resileince researsch to support them. The principles of emergence mean that over controlling approaches will not work well within complex systems that in order to maximise system adaptiveness, there must be space for innovation and novelty to occur. (Ramalingam, Jones et al. 2008, 21)

Sometimes, you do one little thing and other bigger things will happen.9Resilient approaches:The kinds of things we need to make happen (e.g. events, parenting strategies, relationships, resources) to help children manage life when its tough. Plus ways of thinking and acting that we need ourselves if we want to make things better for children.(Aumann and Hart)

Resilience: Lets Get Real! Professor Angie Hart

Adequate provision of health resourcesnecessary to achieve good outcomes in spite of serious threats to adaptation or development.Source: Ungar 2005b: 42911 Resilience is an emergent property of a hierarchically organized set of protective systems that cumulatively buffer the effects of adversity and can therefore rarely, if ever, be regarded as an intrinsic property of individuals.Source: Roisman, Padrn et al. 2002: 1216

'Resilience does not constitute an individual trait or characteristicResilience involves a range of processes that bring together quite diverse mechanisms' Source: Rutter 1999: 135 12Parents, carers and everyone in day-to-day contact with children and young people need a better understanding of child development, the causes of mental health problems and things they can do themselves to build resilience and deal with issues as they emerge, whatever age their child.

Source: CAMHS Review 2008

Our RT work fits in with camhs review aspirations13

Resilience: Lets Get Real! Professor Angie Hart

14Strands of Resilience ResearchIndividual attributesSocial factorsProcesses and mechanismsCultural contextChildren & young peopleAdults (Reich et al 2010)CommunitiesResilient practices (Aumann & Hart 2009)

Daud, Refugee children from Iraq. Some children who had a traumatised parent did as well as some of those who didnt. WHY?Good relationship with parents, prosocial, good relationship with peers and adequate emotional expression key to resilience in this cohort.16The risk factors and their consequences are widely known and routinely used in describing both research and programs...The sad truth is that far more is invested in research to understand the consequences of risk factors for young children and parents than in designing, testing, and taking to scale interventions that might change the all too predictable negative trajectories. Source: (Knitzer & Cohen 2007, p.358).

Concentrate the mind. Talk to your neighbour about the term. What are your doubts? Got none? If youre doing a presentation, does your talk really speak about resilience, or have you just bunged the word in?Ive been thinking about resilience now for about seven years. Get irritated some times, and confused, but overall find it useful. So talk in a nut shell is bother but....17Resilient Therapy (RT)(Hart & Blincow 2007)RT strategically harnesses selected therapeutic principles and techniquesOriginally developed in relation to children, families and young peopleNow exploring relevance beyond that (adults communities)Developed for use across contexts and by different practitioners, including parents and young people themselvesDesigned to work in people) as co-collaborators in the development of the methodology rather than as recipientsIs user-friendly and readily accessible