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What is Resilience Anyway?

At Exchange Resource we focus on building resilience in children and young people, through our "resource-based approach".


Resilience "the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness."


Resilience is about ‘bouncing back’ from what life throws at us. It is about being strong enough inside to adapt well to change, challenge and difficulties. It is about flourishing in life despite our circumstances and being able to THRIVE. Resilience is a skill-set which can be learned and developed. In order to build resilience, we first need to understand it.

The Resource-based Approach breaks down resilience into 3 core dimensions

[I HAVE, I AM, I CAN]. We then break these down into 5 further elements within each dimension. Looking for deficits and focusing on building these resources individually lead to an overall solid foundation of resilience.

When we equate psychological wellbeing with emotional resilience, we are able to identify distinct areas of a person which require robust-enough resources to help that person be psychologically healthy. Each of these distinct areas of resilience combine to help all of us navigate through the psychological challenges we face.

In childhood these reservoirs of resources are formed through our life experiences with others: positive experiences will allow for healthy development in the different areas and negative experiences will damage these developing resources. Fortunately, the brains and neuro-systems of a child and teenager are still developing, and the wounds caused by bad experiences can often be healed by subsequent positive experiences.

Each distinct area of psychological resilience can help other areas to manage

their recovery so that in time with positive opportunities the child and teenager will start to replenish the core resources which make up resilience and psychological wellbeing.

Our range of curated resource cards help make the framework relatable for children and young people.

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