Courtney Kidd LMSW

Courtney Kidd LMSW

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
TwitterFacebook Google web

Our Inability To Cope: Where Has The Resilency Gone?

I have stumbled across multiple articles recently dealing with the increasing need for psychological evaluation relating to coping skills and resiliency.   Honestly, nothing could excite me more since trauma happens to be my area of interest. Working with the military, one expects a level of trauma for most of our clients, but it is only just becoming common to see many trauma-related effects in non-military populations.  One of the articles I read dealt with the concentration of PTSD related conditions for those who grow up in central Philly.  The high crime, constant threat of violence and poor positive social structure has actually caused entire generations of residents to suffer various effects of PTSD.  


The other article I came across spoke about the need for coping skills.  More often than not we train ourselves and others, not to deal effectively and appropriately with  our emotions(positive or negative) but to tune them out.  Stressful day at work? Have a drink.  Relationship issues? Pop on the TV and watch some mindless reality show. What this is doing is leaving a vulnerability for those who do not develop adequate skills.  



A previous article on our site discussed how everything in our lives boils down to the need of safety.  It is our hierarchy of needs at the very core, if we are not safe, then we cannot hope to move past attempting to fulfill that need.  Resiliency is in a sense, a safety mechanism.  It allows us to get through even traumatic events without disrupting the very fabric of who we are and how we live our lives.  If we cannot cope effectively, we cannot hope to build up this resiliency.   


Take a look back to a stressful time in your life.  It could be any cause, any length of time and any severity.  If you hadn’t had other periods when you had to overcome a stressor, it would be difficult to see how you might survive through another one.  That experience builds.  Those people who seem to be able to handle any situation aren’t born that way, they learn through their actions, that there will be resolution. If we don’t start building those skills again we are going to face untold amount of issues with those who have never learned that skill.  I emphasize skill because it is learned and can be taught.  It is not a trait that arbitrarily assigns itself to certain people.  There are those who are more naturally inclined towards resiliency but it is not an all-or-nothing event.


We live stressful lives. There are family, friends, relationships, jobs, school and countless other things that pull you in every direction on the very best of days.  Then there are the situations that aren’t included in the best of days; sickness, death, loss, anger, set-backs, etc.  Things that you knew were coming and unexpected surprises that suddenly appear. We must teach others to learn to stand through those times as well.  Trauma is not a vacuum, it does not just occur in war-zones, it happens all around us. We must learn how to deal.



Latest Posts

Different explanations have been given for the increased number of people suffering from mental illness. Some have claimed the increase is the result of ever-expanding diagnostic criteria and syndromes that
Read More
“I’m offended” is probably the most overused sentiment that I have come across in recent years. Of course, the underlying statement is really “I’m entitled,” and has little to do
Read More
I appreciated reading this blog post in the Huffington Post written by Mirah Riben, who has researched and written extensively about adoption for many years. All too often, adopted people are seen as “lucky” or “chosen.” Sometimes these comments are genuinely felt (if misguided) by the one bestowing said comment (who was probably not adopted), and sometimes they were an attempt to sugarcoat the realities of what it’s like to be adopted. Some people would tell me how lucky my daughter Casey was to be spirited out of a Polish orphanage to live a privileged life in Marin County, CA. I’d recoil at their suggestion. But I was certainly guilty of the later, trying to make Casey feel included without realizing how...
Read More
It’s somehow fitting that this story – about the pending deportation of yet another American who was adopted into his family – is occurring during the 50th Anniversary of the Selma march. I’m not suggesting the two are exactly analogous. I am pointing out that there are many ...
Read More
Mildred “Mit” Joyner has thrown her hat into the ring seeking the vice presidency of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).  The former president and board chair of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) recently retired from academia after a distinguished 25-year career at West Chester University in ...
Read More
"Dr. Crowley described the severity of the affordable housing shortage in America. She stated that nationally there are 10.3 million extremely low income renter households"
Read More
wounds of the father
Girls with childhoods like mine don’t live long and they don’t grow up to become doctors. They die young and if they happen to stay alive, they end up in
Read More
Candice Odgers, Duke University One of New York City’s newest luxury apartment buildings recently started accepting applications for low-income renters who will use a controversial “poor door”
Read More


  1. Brittany October 2, 2012
  2. Matthew Cohen, MSW Matthew Cohen SWI October 3, 2012

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *