Expert advice

Resilience: what it is – and what it isn’t

The term is controversial, but recovering well from stress is something we can all benefit from

The term has drawn criticism for putting too much responsibility on healthcare staff, rather than organisations. But recovering well from stress is something we can all benefit from

What is resilience?

The Oxford English dictionary defines resilience as ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties’ or ‘toughness’.

Resilience first emerged as a theory in the 1970s, when child psychologists identified that some children had good outcomes despite being exposed to childhood trauma and adversity, says the RCN .

Researchers looked at protective factors that promote mental health and positive development in the face of risk, including personal attributes, family cohesion and external support


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