Develop Resilience to Recover from Setbacks
COUNSELING AND REFERRAL SERVICES (ACRS)
Shery, clinical psychology
Three Oaks Rd. Cary, IL 60013
1976, state-of-the-art counseling which treats the problem, not just the
Doctoral degree: University of Southern
Referrals accepted from Alexian Brothers, Good
Shepherd, Centegra, Loyola, Northwestern University, University of Chicago and the Mayo
Clinic hospitals and physicians.
Expert Evaluations for:
Anxiety - Depression -Marriage
- ADHD - Alcohol -Substance Abuse -Anger - Fitness for Duty - Disability -Adoption - Weight
Questions? Call Dr Mike NOW:
847 275 8236 (24
Develop Resilience to Recover From
Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frankl. Beacon Press,
1959; International Network on Personal Meaning, www.meaning.ca/index.html; Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes
Into Stepping Stones for Success by John C. Maxell; Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000; The Resiliency Center,
www.resiliencycenter.com; Victor Frankl Institute, http://logotherapy.univie.ac.at/
“Hope springs eternal,” proclaims the poet,
but what happens to those who have lost hope? Death, illness, loss—all can throw us into despair and
depression. Yet loss and suffering are an inevitable part of life. Why do some bounce back from major and minor
losses and others never recover? More importantly, how can we build our resilience so that we can recover from
life’s blows and forge ahead?
Have a purpose and mission in life
The most important factor in building
resilience is to connect with a purpose in life larger than yourself or any one event. Some people define their
purpose spiritually; they see themselves as part of a divine plan. Others look outward and ask: How can I make
my life, my experiences have a positive impact in the community? Still others have personal goals that steel
them through setbacks: They forge ahead because they need to provide for their family, or they want to serve a
cause or express themselves through art or action. Whatever the purpose or mission, resilient people develop
goals and plans that focus beyond the present crisis.
Perhaps the most famous example of
resiliency is Victor Frankl, the much-lauded writer, psychiatrist and Holocaust
survivor who found the will to live in the midst of horror by pledging himself to future goals. Throughout his
ordeal in the concentration camps, he asked himself why some prisoners survived—given the chance to survive—and
others did not. He determined that the survivors had developed reasons to live that helped them retain hope for
Finding a purpose in life can help people
survive traumatic loss. Candy Lightner, for example, founded Mother’s Against Drunk
Driving after her 13-year-old daughter was struck and killed by a drunk driver. This mission not only gave her
the will to go on but also helped her create something positive out of a senseless tragedy.
Of course, you don’t need to survive a
Holocaust or the death of a loved one to experience loss. Anyone can be thrown for a loop by the loss of a job,
a breakup, defeats in sports or work, rejections of art or friendship, or any of the disappointments, big and
small, that beset us throughout life.
Having a goal or mission beyond the
present crisis will help you recover. The goal can be as complex as starting a foundation or as simple as
taking care of a pet. The idea is that you have something that gets you out of bed every morning and back into
View mistakes and failures
Resilient people know that failures and
mistakes are not dead-ends. They’re an inevitable part of life. Expect them and accept them as learning
experiences. Most successful entrepreneurs, for example, fail many times before they finally find a business
that works. They’re resilient because they don’t let failures and mistakes stop them—they use them as learning
experiences the same way a scientist uses trial and error as part of the discovery process.
Studies show that people who suffer
repeated setbacks grow in resiliency. Why? Because they’ve learned that life goes on despite difficulties. When
new problems arrive—as they always will—these people have the experience and perspective needed to bounce back.
They’ve truly learned that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Examine your values
Another way to gain perspective and
become more resilient is to ask yourself what your values are and why you do what you do? For example, say the
family breadwinner loses her high-paying job. She can get through this crisis by identifying her greater goals
and values. She may discover that it’s more important to her to be a good parent or a good friend. If so, the
loss of the fancy job has not affected that—in fact, she may now have more time to fulfill those
The loss of a job may also be an
opportunity to redefine what you need and want out of life. Do you really need X amount of dollars, or can you
live on less? A setback may be an opportunity to change directions in your career or personal life. Resilient
people know how to look for the proverbial silver lining.
Build your resiliency muscles
In our fast-paced world of changing
technology, lay-offs and job jumping, people need to prepare for setbacks, transitions and bumps in the road.
Here are some ideas for flexing your resiliency muscles:
Learn to like change.
- Take care of yourself physically and
- Build your self-esteem.
- Create a network of friends, peers and
- Develop problem-solving
- Have a sense of humor.
Dr. Mike Shery is the director of ACRS and is a licensed clinical
psychologist. He has practiced clinical psychology for approximately 24 years and is affiliated with almost all health plans, including:
ValueOptions, Medicare, Cigna, Cigna Behavioral Health, United Health Care, Aetna, First Health,
Healthstar, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, ComPsych, Magellan Health, HFN, Tricare, Humana,
most union local plans, most school district plans, Unicare, ChoiceCare, CAPP, Multiplan, Mental
Health Network, Managed Health Network, PHCS, PPONext, Humana Military-Tricare, United
Behavioral Health and Beech Street.
He is board certified as a specialist
in professional counseling by the International
Behavioral Medicine, Counseling and Psychotherapy. He a member of the American Counseling Association.
The office is located in Cary, IL, near Crystal Lake and Algonquin, northern
Kane County and in southern McHenry County. In select cases, phone consultations are available
for those who don’t live locally> Telephone
To make an appointment>New Patient
Registration or to learn more about the psychological services he provides call him at
1-847-275-8236 (24 Hrs).
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