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The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life's Hurdles Paperback – October 14, 2003
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In the capable hands of psychologists Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatté, resilience is not a Band-Aid or a buzzword. It is a habit of mind. The Resilience Factor is a practical roadmap for navigating unexpected challenges, surprises, and setbacks at work and home. Their premise--that your thinking style determines your resilience--underlies the books promise: you can boost resilience by changing the way you think about adversity.
The authors synthesize decades of research in cognitive psychology, particularly the work of Aaron Beck and Martin Seligman, to create seven practical strategies for bouncing back. Each strategy demonstrates how "thinking styles" affect emotions and behavior. "The secret is accurate thinking, not positive thinking," they explain. After completing a "Resilience Questionnaire," readers learn to turn off negative thoughts, avoid thinking traps, detect "icebergs"--the basic beliefs that cause us to overreact--and restore perspective. Each strategy is illustrated with vivid examples, including acting-out teenagers, battle-torn marriages, downsized workplaces, and the loss of loved ones. This insightful book offers clear descriptions of resilient thinking and workable tools for changing our minds. --Barbara Mackoff
From Publishers Weekly
Reivich and Shatté's book is reminiscent of the bestselling Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, not just in the number of skills it discusses, but in the approach the authors take, too. They focus on the thinking rather than feeling side of the human psyche, but their intent is to ultimately affect readers' emotional reactions through helping them reprogram their thoughts. University of Pennsylvania professors Shatté and Reivich argue that feelings are a result of thinking; therefore, by changing the way one thinks, one can control one's emotional reactions to stressful situations. They promote an "ABC" system: "A" stands for adversity ("what pushes your buttons"), "B" is your inherent belief about life, which triggers your responding actions and feelings, or "C" ("consequences"). The A's are bound to keep hitting us, but if we analyze and revamp our B's, our C's will improve, resulting in greater peace and happiness. Although skeptics may not be convinced that changing one's thoughts can change one's life, the book could be of help to those who feel powerless over their emotions. Agent, Richard Pine.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
This book was an exploration, via cognitive behavioral therapy, of resilience, and gives the reader seven skills to master to increase their own resilience. The two authors, who are also resilience researchers, call these skills: emotion regulation, impulse control, empathy, causal analysis, self-efficacy, and reaching out. These seven skills can be measured (and the book includes self-tests), learned (through practicing concepts discussed in the book) and continually improved.
Although this book was enormously helpful to me, it does cover only the aspect of resilience that responds to CBT, and thus is somewhat narrow in scope. It doesn't explore spiritual aspects of resilience, or other approaches, just cognitive behavioral therapy. However, it does this quite well. In addition, the writing style was academic, so I felt as though I was reading a text, and it was a bit of work to get through it rather than fun. Note that in this paperback version the text is small; I struggled especially with the text size in the inset boxes. Still, with those limitations, it covered the topic well and will be very useful to me.
I trudged on and am glad to report that eventually the book does share some good information about the topic and how to achieve it in your life. I did have to force myself to finish the book, much like reading a college textbook to get an assignment complete. It just wasn't as good of a read for me as say Seligman's books were. Something about the way it was written seemed a bit stuffy and wordy to me.
I would recommend the book but will say they could have edited a great deal out of it and had the same results for me. Maybe the material I found uneccessary is there for those who have no previous knowledge of psychology or self-help. I'd give it a B-, but if this is a topic you are interested in you will get some good information from it.
The book discusses the Resilience Factor index, a free online assessment that assesses your resilience along several factors. A very worthwhile book, to study as well as to simply read.
This is NOT the case with The Resilience Factor.
The authors do a fantastic job identifying and conveying skills that a regular person can use in his or her day to day life. Each of the seven skills that they mention are rooted in past psychological research studies which they explain in layman's terms. What's more, they tell you how anyone can actually implement these skills in a useful way. The Resilience Factor is a must read!