Services provided by the National Resilience Resource Center point people to their natural resilience and health. University of Minnesota formal focus groups with NRRC trained adults document positive changes in these broad areas:
Enhanced mental and physical well-being
Enriched inner life and reflection
Improved relationships with others
Increased satisfaction with workplace or daily life
Making a Difference for Individuals and Organizations
Inside Out Change
NRRC training participants describe changes in themselves in powerful and heartfelt ways.
“I am maintaining calm in a storm. This helps personal stress, relationships, and work.”
– University Administrator
“I saw that doctor. He told me I have a primary melanoma on my left eye .By doing this [procedure] I will lose sight in that eye and be legally blind in two years. I couldn't believe how calm I was. I was feeling most frightened of telling the kids because I didn't want to cry and upset them. Since I got the news, I've spoken to all my kids; I was very calm when I explained why I waited so long to tell them. I could share my fragile feelings with them but I was in such a good place when I talked to them that we had some good conversations.” – Cancer Patient
“My experience with this approach has shown me how psychological health is very understandable and very attainable for someone like me who has a mental illness. When you notice that someone has the expectation that they are going to see health in you, at the center of your being, you begin to find that health yourself.” – Older Adult with Schizophrenia Diagnosis
“It is refreshing to see what the principles can do to improve peoples’ lives. I used to think outside events controlled my life and outcome. I now know I am the one in control.” – Military Veteran
“I have learned how to provide leadership to a group, to practice the principles and support each other during difficult changes. This has allowed community relationships to be built on trust and it has allowed people to improve their options and responses to situations.” – Public Health Director
“The principles have been life-changing for me. I used to suffer many sleepless nights thinking about all the things I felt that I needed to do the next day. Now I am relaxed and fall asleep within minutes. I have also learned to be much more patient with myself and others. And I am much kinder to myself...understanding that my low moods are temporary, that I am a complete and healthy person who can access my inner spirit, calm my thinking, and trust my instincts to guide me.” – Retired Teacher
"My girl told me, 'Whoa! You keep going to that training!' You know, I had a hot temper, and I've been learning how to control it and learning how to communicate more. I still have my little ups and downs, but that just comes with normal everyday life. I used to hold stuff in. It slowly started bringing me out more.
— Neighborhood Resident, Drive-by-Shooting Victim
Longitudinal Survey Responses
“I am able to recognize when my perceptions don’t match reality. I am able to avoid bouts of depression and intense anger. I know how not to let myself go that far.”
“I can recognize when my life starts to tornado out of control and I have the power to stop it.”
“I find it the most useful tool I’ve learned. I don’t know how I would have made it through the personal crisis our family has been in if I didn’t have this understanding!”
“I have experienced well-being and know that it is as close as I can get to experiencing heaven on earth. When I am in that ‘groove’, I want to share it with everyone. When I am not in the groove, I want it back. I am very grateful to know the principles. This training series has made my life more enjoyable!”
“I have learned that there is good in everybody, but some people just don’t know how to pull it out. I have learned that clearing my mind will allow answers to come to me. Biggest thing is just because I think it, doesn’t make it so.”
“I used to get worked up” and express frustrations and even swear when frustrated. That has decreased to almost never.”
“Overall, I am much happier and grounded by living the principles. I stay in the moment and wait for the wisdom within. A big change for me is knowing that I have wisdom within. I am able to notice & take in my feelings and things that happen around me. I take less medication for bipolar illness. I rarely think of the principles now. I just live them.”
“When I retired, I enjoyed life to the utmost. People commented how happy I looked. I remained calm, and usually in Chair One [secure state of mind]. I found the beauty in birds, my garden and people. I never got bored. I felt serenity even with life’s ups and downs. Recently I was diagnosed with cancer. I went back to reading the books to reinforce the three principles to deal with this. I will get well. And I am able to deal with my sister-in-law who has mistreated me for 35 years. I no longer allow her to bother me, stress me and occupy my thoughts.”
“This understanding is the foundation of my personal and professional life. Professionally, I find myself not having preconceptions and judgments about new clients prior to meeting them.”
“All of my colleagues have had the training and we use the term ‘in our health’ a lot. Just using the term brings us back to our training.”
“Clients are surprised there are other ways to look at things. They are interested and curious about this new attitude. They appear to trust more readily if they are dealing with a calm person.”
“I cannot say enough about the impact the principles have had on my personal and professional life. Professionally, I have been able to teach others the principles, have greater hope in others’ abilities to change destructive habits. I also was guided back to school to work on a Master’s program to increase my ability to serve others in a more meaningful way.”
“I have shared this understanding with clients. Clients have been able to progress quickly with this information to reach their goals.”
“I would say it is the most helpful understanding I know of to share with others.”
“It’s been wonderful! I hear my co-workers using it and liking it as well. A common language between co-workers has been nice.”
“My clients love the fact they can practice listening skills for themselves and also begin to see how behavior is a response to the mood they are experiencing. Very helpful.”
“This has reminded me to work with my clients at their level, encouraging growth toward leading a healthy, crime-free lifestyle.”
“Staff started talking about it with students. ...5, 6 years old through 5th grade, which is 10, 11, 12 years. Sometimes the teachers were surprised that the kids got it better than they did. Or that very quickly after just having a short little teachable moment, it would pop up with other kids talking to other kids about it. On our playground kids would be able to say to other kids, ‘I think you’re really busy about that.’ And that, in and of itself, can sometimes just de-escalate a situation. Kids come up with their own language. That’s what one kid said, “Nobody’s a burnt cookie.” That came from a kindergartner. We’re all okay.”
“I infuse discussion of the principles in high school class discussion. As we are reading, we stop often to discuss what chair [state of mind] a character is in, what thoughts they are holding on to, etc. Then we relate this to the students’ lives. These are the moments in class that I value and remember”.
“As a school social worker I usually simply listen to [suicidal] students and ask questions about when they experienced some sense of peace and feeling safe and secure. For example, a young woman in middle school who was talking about suicide said it was happening more often that she was talking about it. I asked her that same question. She said, “The one time that I feel that peace is when I’m riding my horse and the wind is blowing through my hair and I just feel totally relaxed.” We talked about that feeling and I asked if she would she like to learn about how to have that experience when she wasn’t riding her horse, in her regular life. Would she be willing to explore that possibility? She was interested in learning more about that, so we had conversations. I’ve seen her in the community and she is doing well.”
“The biggest surprise was the [cognitively disabled] students' sustained high rating of their own wisdom, or innate health, nine weeks after the curriculum intervention, a factor which they did control. Both the students and I sensed a movement towards wisdom which was also reflected in the data, and that must be celebrated as a positive outcome of this project along with the increased GPA of the students.”
“I am very proud to say that from 1995 to 2011 all 7th grade students in health class received a minimum of one week of Resilience education during the mental health unit. That totals over 7,000 students! It has always been so nice to have common language for resilience at the Middle School. It was not uncommon to hear student and staff comments like, ‘I have such busy thinking.’ or ‘There's a thought for you!’ or most common, ‘I am in Chair Five!” [Most worked up].”
“This will be my 30th year of coaching high school girls’ tennis. It is amazing even to me, but I also know that I have coached this long because of my understanding of resilience, a road-map to how all people operate.”
“Having an understanding of the principles has helped me cope with the anxiety I deal with in my personal life. I have also found it very helpful in my work with highly anxious children.”
“Health Realization gives the students and the other participants I work with the chance to see the hope in themselves. When people can see hope they can grow and make change in their lives.”
“I am more relaxed and focused in my work. My students are more relaxed and focused in my classroom.”
“I have used the three principles with a student with traumatic brain injury. He was very negative in his thinking and perceptions. It has helped him dramatically over the course of his 7th grade and now first half of 8th grade year. He then is less quick to be negative and his self-esteem has improved as a result – friendships too! Amazing!”
“Many of our students deal with anxiety or have a tendency to get stuck in their thinking that leads to unhealthy choices. Helping these students understand the principles seems to improve their functioning.”
“My students are more respectful towards me as I am more patient with them.”
“Students are feeling more control of their world which sometimes feels totally out of their reach.”
The following are representative inmate descriptions of their personal resilience after completing
a class taught to a total of 209 inmates by literacy volunteers who had completed NRRC training:
“There have been many times in my life that tested me in ways that I could never imagine. However in the chaos of it all I would still be able to clear my head enough to think it through. That’s my personal
resiliency method. So there I sat in jail, pregnant and revoked! It seemed my life was over; then I saw the light. I could still give my baby a better life. Thus started the process of the adoption. I went through my entire pregnancy except 12 weeks in jail. I picked the family, got to know them all within this dismal place. Through it all I did it and a few months later [baby] began life with the family. It was the most selfless thing I could do.”
“My resiliency comes into play in jail. I do not let all the negative attitudes around me shape how I think. I put myself into check when I find myself seeing things for how terrible they could get. I make mental lists of positives to look forward to. And all the while I have to remember no one but me put myself into this spot. I take responsibility for my part and look only to the opportunity to right my own wrongs.”
“A time in my life when I was resilient was when I got kicked out of treatment for smoking meth while I was there. I went to jail …. for 120 days because of it. When I got out, I vowed never to touch it again … I hit rock- bottom when my dude called and asked me if I needed anything. I told him I did but I didn’t have any money. He told me that he would give me my fix if I slept with him. At that moment, I realized how much of a hold meth had over my life. I checked myself back into treatment that day and was successful. I have yet to touch it to this day!”
“Find resiliency and you will find more freedom from your boggled mind. You will be able to process the thoughts one by one. By doing so, you will have more fun. Your mind can concur and find an escape. You won’t feel trapped and locked up in your thoughts. Resiliency is something we’re taught. So keep it in mind that you can be the best. Resiliency is key, believe me, it is what you need.”
Longitudinal NRRC Program Evaluation
National Resilience Resource Center trainings increase "health of the helpers" at very high statistically significant rates and the positive change increase over time.
Statistically significant pre/post introductory training results with an n of 797 individuals show positive impact on the health of helpers reducing stress and improving life quality, and producing a more secure state of mind essential to well-being and healthy living.
According to the NRRC independent evaluator post survey means indicated there was statistically significant change in perception at .005 or .001 probability levels from pre to post on 38 of 39 items that could be generalized as follows.
“It would appear that the exposure to and training in the resilience/health realization model did have an effect on the participants, resulting in the following shifts in thinking/perception and hopefully, experience or action that could be generalized like this:
Less prone to be unforgiving, to feel life is difficult or stressful, to get frustrated by failure or the inability to figure something out, or to feel nervous, tense, worried, or depressed
Less prone to have difficulty getting over things, to be affected by others’ behavior, to have arguments with others, or to have a lot on one’s mind
Less prone to struggle to avoid mistakes or to use alcohol or other drugs to cope
Decreased belief that some people are beyond help, that something has to be done to get over a bad mood, or that feelings are dependent on what’s happening externally
Increased tendency to be at ease with others, to listen to others without judgment, to believe that people can change, and to more easily get over hurts inflicted by others
Increased tendency to care about others, to see the good in others, to find others interesting, to reach out to others, and to be in service to others
More apt to learn from mistakes, to reflect and wait for life’s answers, to calm down before acting, to handle change more easily, and to believe that unhappy feelings won’t last
More apt to experience well-being, to be happy/ content/ hopeful, and to sleep well
All items showed improvement from pre to post measurement, that is, showed a change in perception in the direction of understanding and applying resiliency/health realization principles. It follows that these changes in perception would indicate significant changes in the behaviors that proceed from these perceptions or beliefs.”
NRRC Post-Post Survey Results: An additional NRRC evaluation project shows similar long term statistical significance with an n of 143 subjects tested from 10 months to six years with a mean of 3.1 years after initial training. Frequently NRRC finds inactive participants are motivated to reengage with quick recall and renewed energy even after 8 or 10 years.
The independent evaluator reported, “The purpose of this post-post testing was to determine the outcome and impact of R/HR training over time. In other words, do the principles of Resilience/Health Realization become internalized and continue to cause the changes in thinking, perception, and behavior that were indicated at the time of the post survey immediately after the R/HR training was conducted.
A total of 143 individuals completed the post-post survey. The length of time that had elapsed between the post survey at the conclusion of the training sessions and the post-post survey, ranged from ten months to nearly six years, with the mean being just over three years. There were statistically significant differences (p ≤.05) on 37 of the 39 survey items both between pre and post responses as well as pre and post-post responses.
In addition, 79% or 113 of the 143 respondents on the post-post survey responded to the item at the end of the survey asking that they write a short paragraph describing the impact that learning the principles of Resilience/Health Realization had on their personal and professional life. Some respondents described their understanding of the principles as “the most useful tool I’ve learned”, “the most helpful training I have had so far”, or “the foundation of my personal and professional life”. By far the majority of respondents reported life changing impact.
Thus the overwhelming evidence is that the changes in perceptions, thinking, and behavior that were reported by participants following their training remain intact over time. The principles of R/HR become internalized and continue to bear fruit and effect change long after the initial training is over.”