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Michael Ungar, Ph.D. Killam Professor, School of Social Work, Dalhousie

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Presentation on theme: "Michael Ungar, Ph.D. Killam Professor, School of Social Work, Dalhousie"— Presentation transcript:

1 Michael Ungar, Ph.D. Killam Professor, School of Social Work, Dalhousie Counselling Children and Families with Complex Needs: Building Resilience Across Cultures and Contexts CCPA, Halifax, 2013

2 High Well-being Low “Disorder”High “Disorder” Low Well-being

3 Level of Functioning Time Chronic Stressors Expected Acute Stressor/trauma Actual ‘Hidden Resilience’ Hidden Resilience

4 Strengths are population-wide internal and external assets Associated with prosocial behaviour and outcomes A ‘thin description’ of success: lacks context Resilience is positive outcomes/strengths shown under adversity Context sensitive Hidden resilience is socially marginalized adaptation in stressful environments where resources are few or solutions devalued Three Definitions

5 Five things we know about Resilience: #1-For the most disadvantaged children, facilitative environments (like good schools and safe streets) can be more influential to the processes associated with resilience than individual factors (like personality or self-esteem) “Nurture trumps nature” The challenge is to know which protective factor is best suited to which type of problem for which person in which context

6 2008 British Columbia Adolescent Health Survey

7 Five things we know about Resilience: #2-The environments that are most facilitative of resilience are those that help individuals, families, and communities to navigate to the resources that are the most meaningful to them

8 Five things we know about Resilience: #3-The greater a child’s exposure to adversity, the more likely the child is to benefit from protective factors (like a mentor or extra-curricular activities) Differential impact Examples: Conduct disorder, obesity, demobilizing gang members

9 Five things we know about Resilience: #4-An adaptive coping strategy that works well at one point in time may have long-term negative consequences.

10 Five things we know about Resilience: #5-Culture and context matter.

11 cultural adherence relationships identity power & control social justice access to material resources cohesion Seven Resilience Resources

12 In the context of exposure to significant adversity, resilience is both the capacity of individuals to navigate their way to the psychological, social, cultural, and physical resources that sustain their well being, and their capacity individually and collectively to negotiate for these resources to be provided and experienced in culturally meaningful ways. Resilience is…

13 A Social Ecological Approach (S.E.A.) to Counseling S.E.A. is a model of clinical intervention that integrates case management and advocacy into direct practice with individuals and families S.E.A. nurtures people’s abilities to navigate towards, and negotiate for, the health promoting resources that are meaningful to them

14 Broadens the scope of clinical practice for counselors working from other approaches (CBT; Solution-focused Therapy; EFT; FFT; Narrative Therapy, etc.) Focuses on individual, relational and social determinants of health (mental and physical) S.E.A.:

15 Case Illustration: Brian

16 Individuals, Families and Communities Navigation and Negotiation © Michael Ungar, Ph.D. Seven Resources Resources Meaning CultureContext

17 Individuals, Families and Communities © Michael Ungar, Ph.D. Seven Resources Resources Meaning CultureContext Navigation Negotiation A Social Ecological Approach (S.E.A.) to Counseling

18 People living in challenging contexts change when their natural supports, programs and interventions, and social policies help them: Navigate effectively Negotiate effectively Find resources that are culturally and contextually meaningful Theory of Change

19 Contextual Risk Individual Risk Service Use Experience Resilience Functional Outcomes.37* -.30* -.17* -.38*.33* *.53*.18* Life time Service Use Accumulation

20 Service Use Experience Resilience Functional Outcomes.37*.33*

21 Help People Navigate

22 cultural adherence relationships identity power & control social justice access to material resources External Resources cohesion Experiences at School, Religious Institutions, etc. Employment, housing, clothes, etc. Laws, anti- discrimination efforts, etc. Opportunities to participate, make a contribution, etc. Opportunities to use talents, experience respect, etc. Mentors, teachers, extended family, etc. Cultural spaces, diverse curriculum, etc.

23 cultural adherence relationships identity power & control social justice access to material resources Internal Resources cohesion Sense of engagement with others, attitudes towards belonging, spirituality Awareness of resources such as educational opportunities and health care Knowledge and experience of one’s rights Attribution style (internality/external ity), efficacy Self-worth, self- esteem, assessment of strengths Quality of attachment to peers and caregivers Cultural identification, cultural practices

24 Help People Negotiate

25

26 Michael Ungar, Ph.D. Killam Professor, School of Social Work, Dalhousie Thank you!


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