Spring into Resilience: Resilience and grit are qualities that can be fostered in kids and teens that will help them overcome challenges and thrive throughout their entire lives. Below are some ways to help kids and teens build resilience and grit:
Read books together about perseverance and overcoming obstacles.
Find examples of grit in everyday life, such as dandelions growing through pavement.
Help kids and teens identify the hard parts of a problem they’re having and determine what is in their control and what is not.
Practice having a growth mindset yourself and model resilience.
Sample Progress Note: The focus of the session was (tailor based on treatment plan). The therapist engaged the client in a resiliency building exercise by exploring ways they have been resilient in their life and ways they have seen others be resilient. The client responded to the activity by (fill in the blank).
Couples strategy of the week:
Rooting in Relationship Security to Grow Resilience: Research shows that couples who feel secure in their relationship have higher resilience to stress, better health outcomes, and a higher sense of overall well-being. The following strategies can help couples build security and resilience in their relationship:
Prioritize finding ways to communicate security and acceptance to each other:
“I see you.”
“You are enough.”
“You are important.”
Slow down during day-to-day life to connect, whether that’s with a hug or asking about how the day went.
Be present when together, especially when sharing about experiences and emotions.
Partners can show that they’re open and willing to connect through open body language (e.g., uncrossing arms, making eye contact, turning bodies toward each other).
Sample Progress Note: The focus of this session was… The therapist helped the couple explore creative ways they can engage with each other to build resiliency in the relationship. The couple was (engaged/receptive/disengaged/etc) while exploring this topic, and they (were able/struggled/somewhat able) to recognize how having a variety of engagement strengthens their relationship.
Adult strategy of the week:
Sprout Resilience with a Growth Mindset: Having a “growth mindset” means that you believe that you are able to develop skills and traits throughout your life, as opposed to having a “fixed mindset,” meaning that you believe you are either born with or without specific skills, traits, and qualities. For example, if someone struggles to feel comfortable in social situations, someone with a “growth mindset” would believe that they are able to learn how to become more comfortable in social situations through practice, whereas someone with a “fixed mindset” would believe that there is nothing they can do about feeling uncomfortable in social situations. When we adopt a “growth mindset,” it can help us be more resilient and overcome challenges throughout life. Below are some ways to develop a “growth mindset”:
See practice and effort as ways to achieve mastery
Practice seeing learning opportunities in mistakes and setbacks
Think about ways that you have learned about yourself or your relationships by going through hard times in the past
Sample Progress Note: The focus of this session was… The therapist supported the client in exploring ways to cultivate resilience in themselves by developing a growth mindset. The client reported that was (helpful/not helpful/painful/etc) to explore ways to cultivate a growth mindset, and they identified ways that doing this could help them feel more resilient in their life.
Mindfulness/Meditation of the week:
Let Resilience Bloom by Envisioning a Positive Future: Cultivating optimism and working toward a positive future are two important parts of building resilience. Envisioning a positive future for ourselves can help us see ways to overcome obstacles, connect with our aspirations, and begin working toward the future we want.
Sample Progress Note:The focus of this session was… The therapist led Ct. in a meditation activity to build Ct.’s sense of optimism and resilience. Ct. (engaged/did not engage in the activity), and they reported that the mindfulness activity was (helpful/difficult/not helpful).
Let’s begin by taking a moment to allow your body to settle.
Find a comfortable position
that allows your spine to be long but with a natural curve in the low back (2 seconds).
You can close your eyes or keep them open with a soft gaze downward a few feet in front of you (2 seconds).
Let the belly and shoulders relax (5 seconds).
Today I’ll guide you through a practice to envision a positive future.
It’s a chance to connect with that place inside us
that wants to work toward a life of meaning and fulfillment (2 seconds).
This is a useful way to consider how we care for ourselves and others (2 seconds)
and how to show up at our best to meet life’s challenges (5 seconds).
Before we start, take a full breath in (2 seconds)
and a long breath out (5 seconds).
Now allow the breath to find its natural rhythm (2 seconds)
in and out (2 seconds)
allowing yourself to be fully present resting on the breath (20 seconds).
I’ll provide you with questions to prompt ideas and responses
that can help to find a positive future (2 seconds).
Throughout this practice, let your body and mind feel loose and open (2 seconds).
Repeat the questions I offer silently and to yourself (5 seconds).
Resist the urge to problem-solve
and see if anything comes up on its own organically (2 seconds).
If nothing comes to mind you can always continue to rest your attention on the breath
until something comes up (10 seconds).
Let’s begin (5 seconds).
Ask yourself, “what kind of a future do I feel deeply moved towards?” (10 seconds)
Notice the thoughts, feelings, and images that come to mind (5 seconds).
Meanwhile, remembering to breathe, breathing in (2 seconds)
and breathing out (10 seconds).
As you hold this positive future in your mind, what feelings are present? (15 seconds)
Here’s some more questions to help explore the future you feel deeply moved towards (5 seconds).
How can I show up in a way that will allow this positive future to unfold? (40 seconds)
How can I show up fully for the opportunities that I encounter? (30 seconds)
Who do I want to be in relation to others? (25 seconds)
What might get in the way and how will I move beyond it? (20 seconds)
What are the skills or capabilities that I’ll need to get there? (20 seconds)
How might practice support this future? (25 seconds)
See yourself right now somewhere in this positive future and reflect on the things that you did that enabled you to get there (5 seconds).
See yourself doing some of those things (2 seconds).
Maybe its spending time with family (2 seconds),
maybe it’s engaging in a daily practice that supports clarity and focus (2 seconds)
maybe it’s putting your energy into learning new skills (2 seconds)
or maybe it’s how you allow yourself to connect with others (5 seconds).
See those things in your mind’s eye and notice what it feels like as you imagine doing them (25 seconds).
You can come back to this meditation at any time
to rediscover connection to that place inside that’s ready to create that positive future.
We all have the ability to improve our lives and the lives of those around us (2 seconds).
Can you take this feeling with you as you head back to your day? (2 seconds)
Can you allow it to guide how you interact with your world now? (5 seconds)
Let’s finish this positive future practice now (2 seconds)
by taking a full breath in (2 seconds)
and a long breath out (5 seconds)
*ding* (15 seconds)
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