Recognizing Dualities And Resilience

From literature and nonfiction, "good luck/bad luck" tales, and proverbs of many cultures, the reality that problems can directly or indirectly lead to paradoxically positive outcomes, self-knowledge, and resiliencies has long been part of human awareness. The concept of "reframing," originally developed in family therapy contexts, has been broadened and utilized in other therapies, including resiliency interventions (Wolin, S.J. & Wolin, S., 1993). With longitudinal developmental research such as that reported by Valliant (1995) and the Kauai studies (Werner & Smith, 2002), reporting unexpectedly positive life trajectories for multiply stressed subjects, and further stimulated by the influence of positive psychology, the realities of adaptive lifelong functioning are being incorporated into theoretical perspectives (see Fredrickson, Mancuso, Branigan, & Tugade, 2000; Fred-rickson, 2001). As Hemingway, in his semi-autobiographical novel, A Farewell to Arms (1929) wrote: "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places" (p. 226).

I wish to thank Erv and Miriam Polster for introducing me to this question during a Gestalt Community meeting in La Jolla, California.

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