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Communicating Hope and Resilience Across the Lifespan

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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 Three: Imparting Hope and Resilience

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Section Three Imparting Hope and Resilience • C H A P T E R T W E L V E • Life’s “War Stories”: Accounts of Resilience and Hope Thomas J. Socha Alfredo Torres Old Dominion University “A true war story, if truly told, makes the stomach believe.” —O’Brien (1990, p. 1) mong life’s ordeals examined throughout this volume “war” per se is certainly among the most significant. By definition, war per se is “any kind of active hostility or contention between living beings” (Oxford English Dictionary Online, 2014) where the lives of enemy combatants can be placed at risk. Besides war per se, there are “wars broadly put,” or “conflicts between opposing forces or principles” (Oxford English Dictonary Online, 2014). Wars broadly put are typically described using the language of war per se, and similar to war per se, can place lives at varying degrees of risk. For example, fire fighters “battle” blazes. Law-enforcement officers “fight” crime. DEA agents “fight” the “war on drugs.” Medical doctors and researchers “wage war” on cancer. Rescue workers literally risk their lives “battling” the elements. Astronauts “brave” new “fronts” to boldly go where no one has gone before. These individuals and many similar others place their lives in varying degrees of risk as they perform their duties involving crime, natural disasters, disease, and many similar ordeals on behalf of others. On the dark side too, bank robbers, crime bosses, drug dealers, and evil despots “clash” with the good guys and “fight” on their sides of...

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