By Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C


What is Resilience? 


Now more than ever developing resilience is so important. Resilience is the ability to bounce back and recover from a change or hardship quickly without being overwhelmed or acting in harmful ways. Resilient people take charge and responsibility for their life and move forward quickly after a hardship. When a very resilient person experiences a traumatic life event they recover stronger, better, and wiser.

Will you see yourself as a victim or will you be resilient?

It is not the situation, but how you react to the situation that will determine whether or not you feel like a victim. Research has shown that the least resilient people are those who believe their life is full of stress and they blame the way they feel on that stress. They choose not to take an active role in their life and rather allow situations to take control of how they feel. Resilient individuals have developed skills that make them resistant to stress.  They are able to learn from difficult situations, adapt quickly to changing circumstances and come out with a more positive outcome.  They take a challenging life experience, see it as an opportunity to improve their life, and create a learning opportunity. 

Tips to Developing Resiliency Skills

Al Silbert,Ph.D., wrote, “Resiliency can’t be taught, but it can be learned.  It comes from working to develop your unique inborn abilities.”

 Tips to help you be more resilient:

  1. Maintain a healthy and stable emotional and physical wellbeing. Your wellbeing is your overall physical and emotional health and happiness. A strong wellbeing helps to keep your energy level up. 
  2. Focus on what you can change and on your problem solving skills. Write down actions you can take that you have control over. If your focus is what you can change rather than on how you feel this will lead to better resiliency.  
  3. Physical fitness. Exercise helps you manage stress.
  4. Maintain a strong self-confidence, inner strength and self esteem. One way to do this is to think through your choices and with intent make healthy choices for yourself. 
  5. Turn a bad situation into a good situation or an opportunity for personal growth.  Try to see how the difficult situation can improve your life. The overall situation may be very challenging but if you break it down you might find something positive.
  6. See the situation clearly but believe in yourself and your abilities. 
  7. A strong feeling of right and wrong helps us conquer things even when we think we can’t.
  8. The only thing to fear is fear itself. The energy we put into fearing something uses energy that can be put toward taking steps to move forward. Put your energy into moving forward.
  9. Have resilient role models and observe how they handle situations and move forward. Learn from people who aren’t resilient by doing things differently.
  10. The more you exercise your resilience muscle the better you will be at bouncing back from hard situations.

For more tips on wellness check out the Wellness Portal


For assistance, please contact the Lawyer Assistance Program for free, confidential counseling. We have a network of counselors that can assist you no matter what state you live in. Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C, Director, (443) 703-3042, Free 1(888) 388-5459.  We offer financial assistance for mental health and substance abuse treatment. Please feel free to reach out to our LAP Committee Members and Volunteers


Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C has over 25 years experience in her field, and extensive experience working with lawyers and judges in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and trauma. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, paddle boarding, sailing, rock climbing and doing triathlons.