Much has been written about resilience, particularly in light of some of the intense effects of COVID-19. Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress. It can be understood as the ability to overcome adversity.
Dr. Ken Ginsburg, child pediatrician and human development expert, proposes that there are 7 integral and interrelated components that make up being resilient – competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping and control. These are distinct components that formulate how an individual can maintain resilience in the face of adversity, stress and trauma.
But what about organizations? In the past year there have been a plethora of devastating consequences to many organizations that have struggled to survive financially and emotionally. As for Lakeside we have that constant hum of COVID-19 hanging over all of our programs as individuals become infected, as we do the contact tracing and have to send individuals to be tested in order to be safe. Monitoring our students is now a full-time task and the online learning has been more than stressful for teachers, counselors, parents and students.
Dr. Sandra Bloom has often stated that clients have effect to staff and staff have effect to entire organizations. For those organizations who have been attending to so many victims of COVID-19 such as those in healthcare, community systems of care, criminal justice and more this pandemic has been extremely traumatizing to their entire systems.
So what is our next step to create resilience from this pandemic and from all that has happened in its wake? I believe this is a time to create true resilience in organizations. Often trauma leads us to a new awareness of how we have become vulnerable and gives attention to what we need. Also, it can be a catalyst for innovative strategies to bring hope, healing, coping and control.
Some of the skills required are the ability to engage staff and clients, ways to communicate resonantly, the capability to have complex discussions and the understanding of how we can help regulate those around us. We need our organizations to be clear and aligned in their mission, purpose, policies and practices. To deal with such adversity, there needs to be a unified, new lens and a permeating sense of clarity that will allow participants to be knowledgeable and able to overcome the obstacles that often occur in organizations in adversity.
When I learned of the work of Dr. Sandra Bloom I knew by her research, authorship and experience that she and her associate Sarah Yanosy could develop a new program to help organizations become trauma resilient. That online program now exists and is managed by Lakeside. I have already seen organizations begin to utilize what we now call the PRESENCE model. PRESENCE is an acronym for the 16 principles that organizations will adopt if they embrace the entire model. We are truly excited to see how the PRESENCE Model will be helping organizations all over the world become trauma-informed, trauma-responsive and trauma resilient. It will be a program that will lead organizations to an on-going process of insulating their staff from the adversities that are ever-present in our society.
The website for Creating PRESENCE is www.creatingpresence.net. There you will find a complete description of the program and how your organization can become trauma resilient.