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Restoring Resilience Conference

May 15 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Restoring Resilience with Dr. Michael Ungar
Systemic Approaches to Nurturing Resilience among Children, Youth and Families

Michael Ungar, Ph.D., is a Family Therapist and Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience. His research on resilience around the world and across cultures has made him the number one ranked Social Work scholar in the world, with numerous government agencies, not-for-profits and businesses relying on his research and clinical work to guide their approaches to nurturing individual, organizational and community wellbeing under stressed. He’s the author of 17 books for parents, educators, mental health professionals, and employers, including his most recent work Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success, a book for adults experiencing challenges at work and at home, Working with Children and Youth with Complex Needs: 20 Skills to Build Resilience, a book for mental health professionals, and I Still Love You: Nine Things Troubled Kids Need from their Parents, an accessible guide for parents seeking to build their children’s resilience. As well as having received numerous awards for his work, including the Canadian Association of Social Workers National Distinguished Service Award, Dr. Ungar also maintains a blog which is called Nurturing Resilience which can be read on Psychology Today’s website.


Conference Topic: Systemic Approaches to Nurturing Resilience Among Children, Youth and Families with Complex Needs

 When working with children, youth and families who experience the multiple challenges of addictions, mental health problems, and social marginalization (e.g., poverty, family violence, racism, and other factors), mental health services can have a greater influence when they focus less on problems and more on the factors that promote resilience. In this workshop, Dr. Michael Ungar will show that resilience is a process that is nurtured by service providers who match their interventions to their client’s needs, negotiating to make services both available and accessible in ways that people experience as culturally and contextually relevant. This workshop will present a social ecological approach to service design and delivery that makes mental health and addictions services strengths-focused and resistance-proof, drawing on the capacity of a client’s friends, family member, teachers and community as potential sources of support.

Participants will learn how to identify and encourage seven factors associated with resilience: supportive relationships; a powerful identity; a sense of personal control, agency and power; social justice and fair treatment; belonging, purpose, and spirituality; and cultural rootedness. Michael will share both his research and stories from his clinical practice that illustrate what effective, ecologically complex services look like. Participants will have an opportunity to talk about examples of effective services from their own workplace, as well, and find solutions for clients who are difficult to engage.  The core principles of the approach, navigation and negotiation, will be discussed in relation to several service design principles that combine clinical work with advocacy and case management to create effective services that clients value. Several themes will be discussed with regard to service design, including coordination of services across “silos”, continuity of services over time, the need for cultural sensitivity, and how services can show they are effective

Register for the Restoring Resilience Conference:

Registration for this event is $295 ($275 early bird). Fees include a light breakfast, coffee/tea service, snacks and full lunch.


May 15
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


MNP Hall, Keystone Centre, Brandon
1175 18th St Unit 1
Brandon, MB R7A 7C5 Canada
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