One of my favourite quotes is from Carl Jung, one of the pioneers of early psychotherapy. He was a student of Freud, and famously fell out with his mentor, becoming a highly regarded and influential figure in his own right.
“I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become”
It is all too easy to think “It’s not my/his/her fault. It’s because of…”, as if life events form us into a concrete, solid form of personality or behavior which we cannot change. I believe that a healthy view is “I am not who I am because of the past, I am who I am despite the past”. It is this idea that I see in Jung’s quote.
Both sentiments bring the idea that we are affected by our life experiences, positive and negative. They also both have an optimistic view that we DO have some influence on who we are and how we are.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines resilience as: "1) The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. 2) The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity:”
A psychological definition by The American Psychological Association states that:
“Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity", in other words, “bouncing back” from life's challenges and upsets. We all have resilience, it is a natural part of the human healing and survival process – our immune system provides physical recovery and protection from illness; neurobiology shows that positive experience can change and open synaptic pathways in the brain, which can help us feel capable, and happier. Sometimes, we lose touch with our natural resilience, and rather than springing back into shape, we get stuck with the trauma, or the after effects of a difficult or upsetting event. Maybe we are overwhelmed and clouded by the culture of whatever has troubled or affected us – i.e. if we live in a dysfunctional relationship or family. It is at this stuck point we can choose “Because” or “despite”; we can be “what has happened” or we can “be what we choose”.
The name Resilience was chosen to reflect this ability to “bounce back”, recognising that often, we all need a hand in doing that. As a practice, we recognise that we are holistic beings, that health and happiness are interconnected, and often belief or faith can have an impact on our resilience, too. We therefore have an integrative approach, offering services that can be used in isolation or complimentary to each other, helping build your resilience and to be what YOU choose to become.
We believe (and know!) that change is possible, that we all have the resources, and that is why we are called Resilience.