Canadian Positive Psychology Association

Nurturing Resilience in Challenging Contexts: Why Different Factors Predict Well-being Across Cultures and Settings

  • 13 Jan 2014
  • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Online Webinar


Nurturing Resilience in Challenging Contexts: Why Different Factors Predict Well-being Across Cultures and Settings

 Webinar with Dr. Michael Ungar

Monday January 13, 2014

1:00 - 2:00 pm EST



Increasingly, when mental health professionals work with children, adolescents and families from poor, violent, or emotionally burdensome backgrounds they are paying attention to the unique factors that predict positive psychological development. The study of resilience is showing that the resources people need to do well may be very different depending on whether they are marginalized, abused, or coping with a disability. When it comes to mental health interventions, we know that context and culture matter a great deal. In this webinar, Dr. Michael Ungar will focus on what makes young people and their families resilient when they face significant levels of adversity. Dr. Ungar talk about five patterns that explain how children cope in stressful environments, then, based on my clinical practice and research in more than a dozen countries, seven interactive processes that improve the likelihood that the most disadvantaged kids and families will do well. During this webinar, you’ll hear strategies to help young people (1) form supportive relationships, (2) develop a powerful identity, (3) nurture self-control and personal agency, (4) experience social justice and fair treatment, (5) get their materials needs met in ways that are meaningful to them, (6) develop a sense of belonging and life purpose, and (7) establish cultural rootedness. Research shows that these seven experiences are the building blocks for resilience among children who face significant psychological and social challenges. Using case examples of young people from different cultures and contexts, Ungar will illustrate how these ideas can shape clinical interventions in office, school, residential and community settings.



More About Our Speaker:


Michael Ungar, Ph.D., is both a family therapist and a Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University where he co-directs the Resilience Research Centre that coordinates more than five million dollars in funded research in over a dozen countries. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on this topic of resilience and is the author of 11 books including The Social Worker, his first novel. Among his most recent works are We Generation: Raising Socially Responsible Children and Teens and Too Safe For Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive.

In addition to his research and writing, Michael maintains a small family therapy practice in association with Phoenix Youth Programs, a prevention program for street youth and their families, and was the recipient of the 2012 Canadian Association of Social Workers National Distinguished Service Award. Among his many contributions to his community has been his role as Co-Chair of the Nova Scotia Mental Health and Addictions Strategy Advisory Committee, executive board member of the American Family Therapy Academy, and Scientific Director of the Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts Network.

In the past ten years Michael has made over 350 invited and peer-reviewed presentations to mental health professionals, parents and policymakers across North America, Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. He sits on several editorial boards as well, including Family Process and the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. His blog, Nurturing Resilience, can be read on Psychology Today’s website.

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