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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book focuses on how resilience is manifested in childhood, adulthood, and older adulthood, from both an individual and community basis. It also addresses resilience in the face of specific traumatic situations.
Purpose: According to the editors, the book "has brought together experts from a broad array of scientific fields whose research has focused on adaptive responses to stress."
Audience: The intended audience includes clinicians and researchers, but graduate students in psychology and social work also would gain much from this book. The editors include a professor of psychiatry at Yale, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at Boston University, a professor of psychiatry at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and the executive director for the National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, who is also a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology and toxicology at Dartmouth Medical School.
Features: In the preface, the editors agree that there are many definitions of resilience. In 2010, the American Psychological Association defined resilience as "the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of threat." The book begins with the various pathways to resilience including neurobiological, cognitive, personality, and spiritual factors. Neurobiology looks at homeostasis and allostasis. Cognitive approaches explore social cognitive theory and self-efficacy. Personality factors reflect hardiness, PEM (positive emotionality/extraversion, NEM (negative emotionality/neuroticism), and CON (constraint/impulsivity). Finally, spiritual factors reflect an acknowledgment of a higher power and connection to a religious community. Next, the authors describe resilience across the lifespan. Children depend on good caregiving, self-regulation, and self-efficacy. Resilient adults can overcome PTEs (potentially traumatic events) by continuing to have healthy psychological and physical functioning. This book also looks at resilience from a macro level, such as families, communities, and societies. One section covers specific issues including disaster relief, sexual assault, terrorism, and serious mental illness. Finally, the authors explore how to increase resilience in both adults and children, as well as military personnel. In chapter 6, on religious and spiritual factors, the authors describe the spiritual journey in six stages while also considering "spiritual red flags." The chapter ends with a review of forgiveness interventions. The tables, figures, and boxes are very informative. Many of the chapters contain conclusions and clinical implications.
Assessment: Written by the leading experts in the field, this book has a solid research foundation and contains practical applications. Given the various stressors and traumas that people face, this book will help therapists better understand their clients and provide a framework for how to proceed in treatment.