Resilience Workshop facilitated by international expert, Dr Michael Ungar

Posted on February 12, 2020

As part of the science communication strategy of the RYSE-RuSA study (funded by South Africa’s National Research Foundation and Russia’s Research Foundation), Dr Michael Ungar (a co-investigator in RYSE-RuSA) facilitated a 3-hour, interactive resilience workshop. Dr Ungar, who is the Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience and a professor in the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University, Canada, is a world-renowned scholar of resilience. The workshop, ‘Nurturing resilience: A multisystemic model for positive development in contexts of diversity’, challenged everyone present to respect the complexity of resilience.

Netsai Gwata, who managed the invitations to the workshop, received over 110 positive RSVPs, including many from affiliates of the Centre for the Study of Resilience. The workshop was attended by professionals from diverse fields including but not limited to: health; law enforcement; social work; psychology; defence; education; as well as academics and students from different universities in and around Gauteng Province.

During the workshop, Dr Ungar, demonstrated how to “diagnose” resilience when working with children exposed to multiple risks/adversity using three domains – 1. Assessing risk; 2. Assessing resilience-enabling factors and processes 3. Multidimensional considerations. He drew on real practice scenarios and demonstrated hands-on resilience-facilitating skills. He also touched on his theory-shifting Differential Impact Theory.

The response to Dr Ungar’s workshop was robustly enthusiastic. The fact that the air conditioning failed about half-way into the 3-hour workshop deterred no-one and attendees remained actively engaged until the very end. There have already been invitations for him to facilitate follow-up workshops when he returns for 2021 RYSE and RYSE-RuSA meetings.

Members of the RYSE-RuSA team present at the workshop. Prof. Alexander Macknach (Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences), Prof. Linda Theron (University of Pretoria, SA), Prof. Michael Ungar (Dalhousie University, Canada)

Hands-on application of ‘diagnosing’ resilience. Michael Ungar and volunteers

Some of the workshop attendees


- Author Netsai Gwata
Published by Mabeth Crafford

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