Family Process. Sep2010, Vol. 49 Issue 3, p421-435. 15p.
EXPLORERS, FAMILY therapists, MENTAL health, RESILIENCE (Personality trait), and FAMILIES
A social ecological model of resilience is used to show that resilience is dependent on a family's ability to both access available resources that sustain individual and collective well-being, as well as participate effectively in the social discourse that defines which resources are culturally and contextually meaningful. In this paper both clinical evidence and a review of the research inform an integrated social ecological model of practice that is focused on advocating for the mental health resources necessary to nurture resilience, including the individual and family processes of coconstruction of meaning. Family therapists can help marginalized families living in challenging contexts develop skills as both navigators who access resources, as well as negotiators who are able to convince therapists and other service providers of what are culturally and contextually meaningful sources of support. A case study of an African-Canadian youth and his family will be presented. The implications of this approach to assessing therapeutic outcomes will also be discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]