Changing Minds Kent

Building Resilience

& coping skills

This 3hr workshop looks at what positive psychology teaches us about the process of building resilience and coping skills. This will allow participants to learn active skills which will make them more resilient in the face of pressure and stress

What is Building Resilience?

In this workshop we will consider a number of ideas including;

• What is resilience?

• Are you resilient, can we measure it?

• What is the ABC model?

• What are common thinking traps?

• What is learned optimism?

• How does positive emotion and savouring positive experiences impact our resilience?

• How can we improve our resilience through an understanding of Love 2.0

About 10 years ago positive psychologists Martin Seligman, Karen Reivich and Sharon McBride wrote in the American psychologist about a 10-day evidence based resilience training programme that they had developed for the US Army. The course was called the Master resilience trainer course. We’ve taken some of the basic concepts and ideas is this to start a person’s journey in improved resilience, which includes being more aware of ones thinking and learning to be more optimistic. We also take a look at how the savouring of positive emotions that come from positive experiences and planning more of them in our lives can lead to a bravery that helps to broaden our horizons and build new structures in our lives.

Tell me a bit more..

Learners will be introduced to the Ellis’ (1991) ABC model, popularised in rational-emotive therapy. Skills of reinterpreting and learned optimism (Seligman 2006) will be considered as well as the avoidance of thinking traps (Reivich at el 2011) when building optimism and hope (Kobau et al 2011). Learners will undertake an exercise called ‘tapping into your inner optimist’ as well as measure their resilience using the Brief resilience scale (Smith et al., 2008).

We will then consider the role of positive emotions and broaden and build theory in positive psychology (Fredrickson 2001), before doing an exercise called “my perfect day” where we encourage participants to create a perfect day by savouring previous experiences initially within the five senses and then more broadly with a consideration of Fredrickson’s (2013) Love 2.0. Learners will also consider the challenges of using positive emotion (because of its necessary connection with people) during a pandemic where social distancing is required (Yamaguchi at al 2020).


Ellis, A. (1991). The revised ABC's of rational-emotive therapy (RET). Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 9(3), 139-172

Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American psychologist, 56(3), 218.

Fredrickson, B. L. (2013). Love 2.0: Finding happiness and health in moments of connection.

Kobau, R., Seligman, M. E., Peterson, C., Diener, E., Zack, M. M., Chapman, D., & Thompson, W. (2011). Mental health promotion in public health: Perspectives and strategies from positive psychology. American journal of public health, 101(8), e1-e9

Reivich, K. J., Seligman, M. E., & McBride, S. (2011). Master resilience training in the US Army. American psychologist, 66(1), 25

Seligman, M. E. (2006). Learned optimism: How to change your mind and your life.

Smith, B. W., Dalen, J., Wiggins, K., Tooley, E., Christopher, P., & Bernard, J. (2008). The brief resilience scale: assessing the ability to bounce back. International Journal of Behavioural Medicine, 15, 194-200.

Yamaguchi, K., Takebayashi, Y., Miyamae, M., Komazawa, A., Yokoyama, C., & Ito, M. (2020). Role of focusing on the positive side during COVID-19 outbreak: Mental health perspective from positive psychology. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 12(S1), S49.

Building Resilience

& coping skills

Interested in having us teach your team about Building Resilience? Get in touch by clicking below.

Online Workshop: 3 hours
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