1 November 2016
First Resilience Workshop Tomorrow at Christchurch South Library
Tomorrow Author Patti Clark will be speaking on the theme of Resilience and her new book This Way Up
at Christchurch South Library from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm.
“The goal of resilience is to thrive, and we all want to thrive. Resilience has been defined as that quality that allows
some people face huge adversity and come back even stronger than before” says Patti.
Taking a page out of the research, her event aims to reframe, find character strength and inspire those that are a
little less resilient than they’d like to be.
“If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it” she says.
The author notes much has been written about the people of Christchurch overcoming adversity, and the word resilient is often used.
She also points out the word ‘resilience’ is often overused. It’s used too often in ways that drain it of meaning. But
resilience doesn’t have to be an empty or vague concept Patti believes. She refers to decades of research that has
revealed a lot about how resilience works and ultimately, it is a set of skills that can be taught.
“Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient: a positive attitude and optimism
certainly help; even after difficult circumstances, such as an earthquake, resilient people are able to shift course
and carry on.”
She mentions that resilience is considered such an important trait that in February this year, The New Yorker Magazine
did a piece about the secret formula for resilience – ‘How People Learn to Become Resilient
“The good news is that resilience can be taught. In research at Columbia, the neuroscientist Kevin Ochsner has shown
that teaching people to think of stimuli in different ways—to reframe them in positive terms when the initial response
is negative, or in a less emotional way when the initial response is emotionally “hot”—changes how they experience and
react to the stimulus” she says.
But after over five years of waiting, the author is sensitive towards some Cantabrians not feeling particularly
“It’s easy to lose touch with that sense of resilience, and instead struggle on with feeling purposeless and
directionless. It is very easy to fall into a sense of listlessness and ‘stuck-ness.’”
She wants to alter this belief that nothing will change to avoid it becoming embedded in the brain, creating a negative
neural pathway. A neural pathway is the way that information travels through the neurons, or nerve cells of the brain.
We create new neural pathways every time we hear or experience something new. The more we experience something, the more
embedded this pathway becomes.
Changing neural pathways is not an easy task once they are deeply embedded, Patti explains.
But in her workshop she hopes to start a process to make a difference, a process that actually changes the neural
pathways in the brain, taking limiting beliefs and creatively transform them so they become supportive rather than
“Resilience is such an important character strength in Positive Psychology. A resilient person works through challenges
by using personal resources, strengths and other positive capacities of psychological capital
such as hope, optimism and self-efficacy. Being resilient is linked with a person’s happiness. “
Patti Clark is an accomplished speaker and workshop leader dedicated to helping people through various life transitions
on their journey to an extraordinary life. For more than 30 years, and over several continents, Patti has been sharing
her knowledge and wisdom with others. She is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.
She has taught English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and at Oregon State University. As author of This Way Up: Seven Tools for Unleashing Your Creative Self and Transforming Your Life, Patti has been featured on TVNZ’s Breakfast show, and her work has been featured in numerous publications including The
Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and The Mindful Word. She has dual citizenship with the United States and New
Zealand. She lives with her family by the beach on the Coromandel Peninsula.
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