Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University
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. Since 2002, Dr. Ungar has directed the Resilience Research Centre, designing multisite longitudinal research and evaluation projects in more than a dozen low, middle, and high-income countries, with much of that work focused on the resilience of marginalized children and families, and adult populations experiencing mental health challenges. His studies have focused on the resilience of children and families involved with child welfare and mental health services, refugee and immigrant youth populations and community resilience, including resilience to violent extremism. Dr. Ungar has published over 180 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the subject of resilience and is the author of 15 books for mental health professionals, researchers and lay audiences. These include Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success, a book for adults experiencing stress at work and at home, The Social Ecology of Resilience: A Handbook for Theory and Practice for researchers, and Working with Children and Youth with Complex Needs, a book for clinicians. His blog, Nurturing Resilience, can be read on Psychology Today’s website.
Michael’s books for parents have been published in Canada, the USA, Australia, China, Japan, and France.
Resilience is much more than an individual child’s capacity to overcome adversity. It is also the result of how well children, their families, schools and communities work together to help vulnerable young people navigate their way to the resources they need for wellbeing, and whether those resources are made available in ways children experience as culturally and contextually meaningful. Dr. Michael Ungar will use examples from his clinical practice and research collaborations on six continents to explore the nature of children’s resilience. His work challenges us to think about resilience as a child’s capacity to be both rugged and resourced. In this fast-paced, story-filled presentation, Dr. Ungar will provide nine practical strategies parents, caregivers and educators need to help children heal, no matter a child’s emotional, psychological or behavioural problems.
Studies of resilience are showing that our ability to cope with change is not just about having the right personal qualities (for example, being a rugged individual). It is much more about being a resourced individual with the right supports necessary to cope with crises. In this inspiring, story-filled presentation, Dr. Ungar will use his research from around the world and examples from his new book Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success to explore twelve factors that are critical to the resilience of employees and employers. In the second part of Dr. Ungar’s presentation, he will show which factors matter most always depend on the kind of stress we experience and the quality of the physical and social environments we experience around us. A number of innovative strategies to improve resilience will also be shared in ways that the audience can use immediately.
Throughout this fast-paced, story-filled presentation, Dr. Ungar will show that resilience is much more than our personal capacity to overcome adversity. It is instead a reflection of how well individuals, families, employers and communities work together to create opportunities for people to navigate their way to the resources they need for well-being while making those resources available in ways that people experience as meaningful. His work around the world suggests the need for a culturally sensitive interpretation of what resilience means to people from diverse backgrounds living in diverse communities. Dr. Ungar will end with ideas for how communities can make resilience-promoting resources more available and accessible to everyone.