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Communicating Hope and Resilience Across the Lifespan


Edited By Gary A. Beck and Thomas Socha

From serious illness to natural disasters, humans turn to communication as a major source of strength to help us bounce back and to keep growing and thriving.
Communicating Hope and Resilience Across the Lifespan addresses the various ways in which communication plays an important role in fostering hope and resilience. Adopting a lifespan approach and offering a new framework to expand our understanding of the concepts of «hope» and «resilience» from a communication perspective, contributors highlight the variety of «stressors» that people may encounter in their lives. They examine connections between the cognitive dimensions of hope such as self-worth, self-efficacy, and creative problem solving. They look at the variety of messages that can facilitate or inhibit experiencing hope in relationships, groups, and organizations. Other contributors look at how communication that can build strengths, enhance preparation, and model successful adaptation to change has the potential to lessen the negative impact of stress, demonstrating resilience.
As an important counterpoint to recent work focusing on what goes wrong in interpersonal relationships, communication that has the potential to uplift and facilitate responses to stressful circumstances is emphasized throughout this volume. By offering a detailed examination of how to communicate hope and resilience, this book presents practical lessons for individuals, marriages, families, relationship experts, as well as a variety of other practitioners.


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Section One: Contributing Processes


Section One Contributing Processes • C H A P T E R T W O • On Being (and Becoming) Mindful: One Pathway to Greater Resilience Valerie Manusov Jacquelyn A. Harvey-Knowles University of Washington n her book The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown (2010) discusses people who she labels “wholehearted.” Wholehearted people tend to be self- accepting and navigate well against some of the harder social patterns that we all face. Among the primary characteristics of the wholehearted are a resilient spirit, the capacity to let go of judgment, and the ability to cultivate some sense of internal peace and calm. These capacities show up in the ways that the wholehearted act across their lives. The ability to be wholehearted is not unlike the concept of hardiness, first developed by Salvatore Maddi (2004). Consistent with Brown’s (2010) urging of us to dare greatly, Maddi (2004) writes that hardiness is an operationalization of existential courage: Those who are hardy are thought to have an air of resiliency and an ability to cope with, or even create opportunity from, stressful encounters. Such hardiness is apparent in certain children, often brought about in part because of what life has offered them, and it is seen in older adults who have developed the capacity to withstand hardship with open hearts over the course of their lives. These characteristics—and their ability to show up early and affect us later in life—are also consistent with the concept of mindfulness, the focus of the present chapter. In...

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