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Our Six Building Blocks for Resilience

These 6 Building Blocks pave the road to resilience. Adults and children need each of these Building Blocks to bounce back from the effects of toxic stress and trauma. Adults who model to children Protection, Relationships, Coping Skills, a Can-Do attitude, a sense of Belonging, and Storytelling are the Resilience-Builders we need to transform our homes, schools, and communities into places where we can all thrive.

We use our Building Blocks as a tool in our workshops and trainings to assess our participants' strengths and growth areas for building resilience.


We invite you to think about each building block as a metric for your own resilience. Take our Resilience Quiz here to get started! 

1. Protection

Protection BBR

Protection is a sense of safety in the face of trauma and toxic stress. Because the roots of trauma and stress often involve a violation of physical or emotional safety, it's crucial to rebuild this sense of safety so we can be prepared to make the best decisions for ourselves and others when we're confronted with difficulty.


Protection looks different for each of us, and may be different in each moment. It can be a physical place, a reliable person, an emotional boundary, or a moment of rest in the midst of chaos. 

2. Relationship 

Relationship BBR

To bounce back from toxic stress and trauma, we need someone to mirror who we are, recognize our lovability, see our spirit, and celebrate our lives with us.


One caring person in our lives can make all the difference: this may be a family member, friend, mentor, spiritual leader, or therapist. Our non-human relationships--with nature, our pets, or the divine--also help us bounce back.

3. Coping Skills

Copin Skills BBR
Coping Skills

When we're experiencing a trauma or stress response, our brain sends a signal that we aren't safe, triggering physiological responses in our bodies that may require us to pull out our tools and techniques to handle difficult situations. These are our coping skills.

A sustainable coping skill is one that feels good today, and makes us stronger for tomorrow. 

Can-Do BBR

4. Can-Do Attitude


We build confidence in ourselves and in our ability to bounce back when we do things we enjoy and are good at. When we demonstrate to ourselves that we can do things today we weren't able to yesterday, we exercise our resilience muscles. 

Making a meal and sharing with others, parenting, learning a new skill or teaching one you already know, participating as a community leader, and finishing a good book are all examples of cultivating a can-do attitude. 

Belonging BR

5. Belonging


Belonging is a place where we feel fully accepted and valued for who we are in our wholeness. If we understand that we belong in a particular community (and know that we belong in the world simply for existing), we are more likely to be able to support ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. 


We don't have to be the same as others in a group to feel a sense of belonging. In fact, even if we are different, we can be different together. 

Storytelling BBR

6. Storytelling


A creative expression through which we define our own stories, draw our own meaning from them, and share how we bounce back from them.

By taking the time to write our stories--whether through conversation, journaling, visual art, or music--we can transform the negative stories we tell about ourselves and uplift the positive ones, and inspire others to tell their own stories, too. 

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