Resiliency Group

My Resiliency Groups are run with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders, with content adapted for each.  In these groups, I teach students the Community Resiliency Model (CRM), one of the leading models used for children and adults of all ages to overcome stress and prior trauma, and to build resiliency.  These skills can help ALL students regardless of prior stress or trauma, as they help to build resiliency and can be utilized from a preventative approach.

*Note: Students are never asked or persuaded to share or disclose personal stories or stressful and/or traumatic experiences within this group.  This group is considered a safe space to share feelings, however, if a student should choose to do so. 

Please review the information below, as well as links and videos, for more details.


This model starts by teaching students the effects of trauma and/or ongoing stress on the brain.  When our bodies are put into a survival fight or flight response, it affects our ability to think rationally and logically- we simply react.  This is an instinctual reaction that ALL humans and animals experience.  However, when this stress is ongoing it can have significant effects on our ability to focus, learn, regulate our emotions and actions, maintain healthy relationships, and more.  Teaching these effects helps students understand that these feelings, reactions, or responses to not make them bad, weird, etc. but are simply a natural response in their brain.

After identifying the biological effects, CRM teaches students to build resiliency and overcome these feelings through identifying positive resources in their life and by using mindfulness techniques, grounding, and movement.

Some key words you might hear your child saying:

*Resilience: The ability to overcome hardships and barriers. Even when we are stretched to our limits, we can bend ourselves back into our normal shape; elasticity.

*Trauma: Any event that alters our ability to feel safe, calm, and content, and affects our ability to learn and focus.  These can be big or small, including divorce in the family, bullying, grief/loss, accidents, natural disasters, abuse, witnessing traumatic events, and more, with the emphasis on how a person perceives the event

*Resilient Zone: This is where we want to be on a regular basis emotionally.  Whether we are happy, content, sad, frustrated, etc., we are still able to think clearly, focus, and regulate our behaviors.

*Trauma Zone: This is when we enter into Fight/Flight/Freeze or Survival mode.  We are simply reacting and our behavior is not in our control.

*Flip Your Lid: This is the same thing as entering our Trauma Zone

*Internal Resource: Something you know to be true and positive about yourself; ie. I am hardworking; I am funny; I am a good friend

*External Resource: People, Places, Animals, Memories, or Hobbies you have that help you feel positive, happy, and strong; ie. My mom/dad; Basketball; My treehouse; My dog

*Mindfulness: Focusing on what is happening in this moment right here and right now

Below are some EXCELLENT links that explain in further detail the skills we are building in this group:

This PDF Document details the Community Resiliency Model in its entirety, and it includes worksheets for students to actively work on as well.
Community Resiliency Model Workbook

This EXCELLENT TedTalk video outlines how trauma effects our brain and our health.
Ted Talks Nadine Burke Harris

Neuroplasticity of the Brain Video:
This video shows how our brains can re-wire themselves to build new habits and overcome chronic stress & trauma
Neuroplasticity Video