Resistance and resilience: The final frontier in traumatic stress management

George S. Everly, Victor Welzant, Jodi M. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper asserts that the constructs of resistance and resilience represent a domain rich in potential for a wide variety of applications in the field of traumatic stress. Resilience holds great potential for those working in applied settings such as public health planning and preparedness, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and business continuity, as well as transportation, law enforcement, fire suppression, emergency medical services, pre-deployment training for military and other high risk professional groups. Additionally, its application to "the war on terrorism " cannot be denied. Finally, the construct of resilience may have direct applicability to businesses and organizations wherein there is perceived value in preparing a workforce to effectively function under adverse or high stress conditions. The putative value of resistance and resiliency in such applied settings resides in their ability to protect against stress-related behavioral morbidity, as well as counterproductive behavioral reactions. Given its importance, the question arises as to whether resilience is an innate trait or an acquired skill. This paper will report on preliminary data suggesting resiliency may be an attribute that can be acquired through participation in a relatively brief training program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-270
Number of pages10
JournalInternational journal of emergency mental health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Crisis intervention
  • Disaster mental health
  • Employee assistance program (EAP)
  • Psychological immunity
  • Resilience
  • Resistance
  • Traumatic stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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