Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The 33: A Postscript

The drama of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped for weeks hundreds of feet underground has been the source of countless news stories, blog posts, articles and interviews. The world was fascinated by the resilience of the 33. They demonstrated on a daily basis the skills of resilience with their ability to work together, to communicate effectively with each other and their would-be rescuers, to care for themselves and each other, to problem-solve, and to stay focused on their goal to get to the surface alive. It is becoming clear as we follow the individual stories of the 33 that each miner has been affected differently by the trauma. A number appear to have grown from the experience. To be stronger and more able to deal with the world than they were before the mine collapsed. Others appear to have been traumatized with many reporting difficulty in sleeping, problems with anxiety and depression and what might be labeled by many as “paranoia,” e.g., one miner is building a concrete wall around his home. I would assume as we look more closely, each miner’s reaction to the trauma, positive or negative, will be determined by the skills and the attitudes of resilience that they possessed prior to the trauma. In other words, the stronger these skills and attitudes prior to the trauma, the more likely the miner will exhibit post-traumatic growth rather than post-traumatic stress.

Ronald L. Breazeale, Ph.D.
Psychologist and Author of “Duct Tape Isn’t Enough”

Conquering Fear: Egypt

In the last few weeks the world has witnessed something truly remarkable: The people of a nation confronting a regime that has maintained control over the years through the use of fear and intimidation. We have seen this before in other countries in the world. What is unique this time was the ability of the people involved in this confrontation to use social media to connect with each other, to communicate and to problem solve. Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, were the tools that allowed the people of Egypt to apply the skills and attitudes of resilience to bounce back and prevail against those who would use fear to manipulate and control. A number of the leaders of the movement have said in recent interviews that once the people confronted their fears and pushed through them, they could not be stopped. Social media helped them to be unstoppable.

Ronald L. Breazeale, Ph.D.
Psychologist and Author of “Duct Tape Isn’t Enough”

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Live A Flourishing Life by Rita Schiano

“A practical resource for understanding and managing stress and building the skills and attitudes that make for resilience. Short, concise, and to the point. The workbook makes good use of the Socratic method to encourage self-evaluation and examination. A good complement to other resources on building resilience and managing stress." — Dr. Ron Breazeale, Ph.D

Live A Flourishing Life is a self-exploration, process book on how to decrease stress, build resilience, bounce back from adversity, and live the good life. The book includes numerous exercises, quizzes, and personal exploration questionnaires to help you dig deep into your life story to uncover and discover long-standing attitudes and habits that influence your life.

“Live A Flourishing Life™ demonstrates how thinking styles and Aristotelian 'habits that don’t serve us' affect our emotions and behavior. Through a series of quizzes and thought-provoking questionnaires, Rita Schiano guides you in discovering the thoughts and attitudes that foster stress and how to use that knowledge to develop a personal stress management plan. Most importantly, the book offers practical guidance for developing the resilient thinking and skills necessary to manage life’s difficulties.” — Jodi Santangelo, transformational coach and author

About the Author: Rita Schiano melded her three professions — philosophy instructor, stress management trainer, and writer — to create Live A Flourishing Life™. She is an adjunct instructor at Bay Path College in Massachusetts, teaching Stress Management and Philosophy courses.

Available exclusively at

-Rita Schiano