What is Resilience?

Resilience is the ability to manage stress, to cope positively and keep going through tough times, to bounce back from adversity and achieve despite challenging conditions. It is a set of skills that are much needed in life, at work and in the 21st century, where uncertainty and impermanence have come to define so much in our lives.

Some people are fortunate to be born resilient – they come back stronger than ever, but the good news is that resilience is something that can be developed whether that is at the level of personal resilience, resilient leadership, organisational resilience and community resilience. Positive Psychology Training is based in a resilient city!


The 3 Rs of Resilience = Recovery ( bounce back), Resistance (inner strength) and Reconfiguration (rebuilding) 

The truth about resilience is that it’s not something extraordinary. Prof Ann Masten from the University of Minnesota describes it as ‘ordinary magic’ because of the many common ingredients that strengthen your resilience. Positive psychology is known as the science of resilience and our workshops offer you practical tools to build your resilience for your personal and professional life.

Resilience at Work: Stressing the Positive 

This flexible workshop is aimed at anyone working in a stressful environment who would like to increase their resilience and is suitable for organisations that are facing major challenges. We explore a range of evidence-based tools which help you to function well in challenging conditions. It can be delivered as a session, half-day or full-day course and shaped to meet your needs from these elements.

  • Learn the ABCDE of resilience, which is at the core of many positive psychology programmes.
  • Develop optimistic explanatory style – the form of optimism you can learn.
  • Emotional well-being. Understand emotions, manage negative emotions and grow positive emotions.
  • Build psychological capital – Hope, Efficacy, Resilience & Optimism (HERO).
  • Discover your strengths, the inner resources, that you can draw on to keep going.
  • Apply your strengths for a new sense of direction.
  • Adopt a ‘growth mindset’ for success.
  • Nurture your networks to build positive connections.
  • Experience body-mind techniques that calm.
  • Develop an action plan for the future.

“Thank you so much Miriam for your excellent training session on resilience as part of our team day.   It was packed full of interesting and enlightening professional insight as well as thought-provoking interactive exercises that created plenty of discussion at each table.  On the feedback forms staff overwhelmingly voted your session as the thing they particularly liked about the whole day.” Alida Turner, the Environment Agency.

Miriam has facilitated the Penn Resilience Program, developed by positive psychology experts at the University of Pennsylvania, which has been shown to halve the incidence of depression and anxiety. This course in resilience skills is now being rolled out across the American military as the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program. Miriam has also worked with the military ‘training the trainers’ of the Senior Leaders’ Mental Fitness and Resilience Training at the Defence Academy of Great Britain.

“A big thank you on behalf of the Defence Leadership Centre, and in particular the Intrinsic Leadership and Behaviours Team, for the Positive Psychology training you provided. It was perfectly pitched and practical. The entire team really enjoyed the training and we certainly got a lot of very useful knowledge and learning out of the sessions; and which sets us up nicely for delivering the Senior Leaders Mental Fitness and Resilience Training. Thank you for your professional approach and the way you adapted the training to meet our needs and maximise our understanding.” Commander K Santrian MA PGCE FCIPD Royal Navy, Defence Academy of Great Britain

Two of Miriam’s books are on resilience. The ground-breaking Positive Psychology for Overcoming Depression shares the scientifically-grounded tools that recover your well-being. What Is Post-traumatic Growth explores ‘transformational resilience’, how we can grow through adversity.

Miriam has delivered resilience training to senior medics and managers for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust on the Aspire Leadership Programme in London and to community healthcare professionals working for NSCP (North Somerset Community Partnership). Other organisations she’s worked with on resilience include the BBC, the Environment Agency, McCormick Foods, CABA, the Gulbenkian Foundation and design agency Pope, Wainwright & Wykes.

 “Thank you Miriam for an inspiring day.  I arrived to training feeling a little preoccupied and left feeling that my thoughts were energised.  I would highly recommend you as a facilitator and would give your skills from the training day as being knowledgeable, talented, clear and easy to understand and personable. We very much look forward to continuing to work with you to so more of our staff can benefit from resilience training and positive psychology” Kemi Oladapo, Head of Learning & Development, NSCP.

Dr Chris Johnstone, one of our associates, is a specialist in resilience. His resources include Personal Resilience in 1 hour and he runs resilience training online. His new book is 7 Ways to Resilience. 

Resilience courses are tailored to suit the needs of the organisation and delivered in-house. If you are a practitioner who wants to upskill in the science of resilience, then you are welcome to attend one of our open courses – the Positive Psychology Masterclass in Bristol or the online Positive Psychology Foundations.