Michael Ungar - Looking Beyond Self-Help to Understand Resilience

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Michael Ungar is the founder and director of the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University in Canada. He is also a family therapist and professor of social work. He has received numerous awards, such as the Canadian Association of Social Workers National Distinguished Service Award (2012), and has authored around 15 books and over 200 peer-reviewed articles.

Dr. Ungar’s work is globally recognized and centers on community trauma and community resilience. In particular, his work explores resilience among marginalized children and families, especially those involved with child welfare and mental health services, refugees, and immigrant youth.

His research is spread across continents and challenges our traditional notions of trauma and resilience. Analyzing people’s risks and available resources, he scrutinizes simplistic ideas of individual perseverance and grit in the face of trauma. Instead, he implicates the role of context, circumstances, and ill-suited services in contributing to people’s psychological suffering.

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