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A developmental framework for enhancing resilience in adult survivors of childhood abuse


Author(s)Orbke, Samantha and Heather L. Smith
Title A developmental framework for enhancing resiliency in adult survivors of childhood abuse
Source International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, March 2013, Vol. 35, Issue 1, pp46-56
Date 2013
Document type Journal article
Summary In this paper the authors discuss the concept of resilience and the contributors to resilience in various stages of life. For children the presence of a supportive relationship with an adult is most likely to assist in developing resilience and conversely, the most consistent threat to a child'​s resilience is maltreatment by their primary caregiver. For adolescents factors external to the family are more important and when building resilience in adolescents there is usually a focus on assets, including coping skills, self-efficacy and resources such as a supportive parent and community. For adults the focus is on personality characteristic such as hardiness. The authors discuss in depth a number of strategies that a therapist can use to enhance resilience in non-resilient adults, including choosing a safe connection, building self-efficacy, identifying existing strengths and help in reflecting and constructing meaning from their victimisation occurrences.  The authors conclude by suggesting that it is appropriate to enhance resilience in adults through interventions meant to foster resiliency factors in adolescents and children, tailored appropriately for an adult.
Keywords Resilience; strategies; therapeutic; trauma; development
Topic Psychological effects and treatment