Research by Professor Antonia Bifulco and Dr David Westley was picked up by Radio 4 recently in their show called “The Science of Resilience”, you can listen to it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07cvhrs
Presenter Sian Williams used the discussion by psychologists expert on resilience to relate to her own recent experience of breast cancer and invasive surgery. She looked at bio-psycho-social aspects of both stress and resilience.
Professor Bifulco told presenter Sian Williams about the new measure developed by the Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies. The Computerised Life Events Assessment Record (CLEAR) is an online measure, that collects personal information about the self and close others. It looks in detail at life change, particularly that stressful, experienced over the past year related to relationships, health or lifestyle.
The measure provides a feedback report that identifies the number of stressors the respondent has experienced as well as which ones are contextually the most severely threatening. It also identifies vulnerability through looking at insecure attachment style, and provides a depression symptom count. A measure of wellbeing also enables an assessment of resilience to be made in the face of stress.
Dr Westley discussed the mechanisms within the brain that are affected when someone experiences a challenging event. Including the importance of the amgydala and what techniques might be able to boost resilience by training yourself to focus away from threat and towards more positive stimuli.