To support students with self awareness and the language to identify when things are difficult we have recently started a resilience programme during tutor period. This consists of 4 weekly reviews and activities that the students are encouraged to do from this week until the end of term. In our final week we are looking at 'Benefit Finding'. You can find links to the previous activities here.
Benefit finding can be defined as “the positive effects that result from a traumatic event”. It is the process of deriving growth from adversity, and it has become increasingly important as we understand that flourishing comes from not avoiding difficult circumstances but making meaning of them. People can report major positive changes as a result of challenging life events, such as relationship difficulties, when things go wrong, a disappointed attainment grade or outcome to a situation.
In general, research has revealed positive long-term effects of benefit finding. For instance, some individuals report a new appreciation of their own strength and resilience, an enhanced sense of purpose, greater spirituality, closer ties with others, and changes in life priorities.
So now we know it can be a good thing, what do we do now? Well it is a process of reflection. To help here is a simple structure:
First consider a difficult event, something that may have caused some upset or challenge, either talk about it with someone you trust or write it down. Don’t be afraid to freely express any and all emotions and thoughts you recall about the experience.
Now focus on the positive aspects of the experience. Here are some questions that might help as this can be difficult:
- How has the experience changed you?
- What has the experience taught you?
- How has the experience made you better equipped to meet similar challenges in the future?
- How do you feel that this experience has made you grow as a person?
You might need some time here. Be genuine in your answers. You may need to come back to this thinking to figure out what good did come out of the experience, but give it a go. When you find benefits coming out of difficult situations it can then help the next time you find yourself struggling.
We hope that you have enjoyed doing these activities together and the discussion that comes along with them. Please remember that there are also additional resources available on the school counselling site to support students and families.
Author: David Slade, Vice Principal (Our Students), Secondary Campus
|Reviews and Activities
|Part 1. The Resilience Scale
|Part 2. The Best Possible Self
|Part 3. The Resilience Plan
|Part 4. Benefit Finding