According to MajaStevanovich

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Can We All Use Some Emotional Resilience Training?

The military has realized that at times the mental strains on a soldier can be much harsher than the physical ones. The Army in particular has made great strides to reduce the stigma of PTSD and to invest in programs that provide solutions to similar issues that deal with mental health and readiness. The latest response in teaching mental toughness comes from the school of positive psychology. The Army is requiring its soldiers to be trained in “emotional resilience,” through focusing on the positive. The techniques taught focus on expressing gratitude, analyzing and correcting negative views and focusing on what was done right. Martin Seligman, one of the leaders in this types of research says “it is possible to be happier — to feel more satisfied, to be more engaged with life, find more meaning, have higher hopes, and probably even laugh and smile more, regardless of one’s circumstances.”

This type of training isn’t typical for the military and it has received some pushback from soldiers, but once they’ve embraced it, most are seeing the value it is bringing them.

Positive psychology has been around for years, but it is not often formally taught in a classroom. If over a period of time this proves to be successful for our military, would it make sense to adapt a similar type of training outside the military community? Would it result in a more productive and happy workforce? Even taken a step further, if this was taught as a course in the classroom, would it make an impact on America’s youth?


2 comments on “Can We All Use Some Emotional Resilience Training?

  1. Ian C
    January 6, 2010

    For psychology programs to be effective the person has to be open to receiving treatment, education, or training. A major hurdle in this program is convincing servicemen and women to seek help and be open to the program’s tools. The term psychology brings alot of baggage, extending this type of program would have to be packaged much differently to be accepted by youth of the general public.

    • majastevanovich
      January 6, 2010


      I am so glad you brought that up. Packaging is everything, and in today’s society positive psychology, or even any notion of psychology still has somewhat of a negative stigma. I can imagine that especially holds true in the military community and I am sure that as this program touches more soldiers and they are willing to speak about their positive experience, over time it may actually start making a difference. In the meantime, the packaging of the program and this whole theory could use some re-thinking. I believe the program can do a lot of good, it is just a matter of how many people will actually give it a shot and take it seriously.


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