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Resiliency: Workshops teach skills to help conquer everyday stress

Army graphic

Army graphic

Published: January 19, 2016

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Jan. 19, 2016) -- A transient lifestyle presents unique challenges for military families, but Fort Rucker Army Community Service offers sessions and workshops to teach skills Soldiers and their families can use to tackle everyday stress.

“Resiliency training provides developmental tools and skills that can be used in our everyday lives,” Ruth Gonzalez, relocation readiness program manager, said. “Everyone has had a moment when they’ve overreacted to a situation or dealt with people in their lives who knew how to ‘push their buttons.’ We’ve also encountered family members or friends with whom we want to build stronger relationships, but can’t seem to do so.  The family resilience workshops and training sessions focus on different skill sets to address our everyday issues. These skills will help you strengthen relationships and develop concepts which are important to development.”

The first session takes place Jan. 25 from 9-11:30 a.m. To attend, people must sign up by Jan. 22.

Additional sessions take place Feb. 8 from 9-11:30 a.m., March 7 and 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., April 7 from 9-11:30 a.m., May 9 from 9-11:30 a.m., June 6 and 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., July 11 from 9-11:30 a.m., Aug. 11 from 9-11:30 a.m., Sept. 12 and 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 10 from 9-11:30 a.m., Nov. 14 from 9-11:30 a.m., and Dec. 7 and 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

According to Gonzalez, each session will offer different workshops to help Soldiers and families develop a variety of stress-coping skill sets.

“Participants learn to focus on what makes them respond and how others respond, as well,” she said. “You will learn valuable lessons on why certain people ‘push your buttons’ and others you disregard. It teaches you how to communicate more effectively to those around you and how to improve the relationship that you may have with those who are special in your life.

“Participants learn to focus on their thoughts before reacting to a situation and to use certain skills to help face the situations that may arise in their lives,” she added. “Basically, participants learn that we do not react to a situation, but we react to the thoughts that go through our mind when a situation occurs. Learning to ‘slow down’ and study the thoughts that he or she has when a situation occurs, the participant can apply the skills learned to have a more productive and less destructive reaction.”

According to Gonzalez, the monthly sessions are offered as an alternative to accommodate the busy schedule of military families.

“We offer workshops monthly for those participants who cannot attend the two-day training,” she said. “Each workshop builds on the previous one. It is preferable for participants to take all the workshops, since each focuses on a different skill, but we are flexible. For strengthening the family unit, it is highly encouraged that couples attend.”

Gonzalez said Soldiers and their families should be prepared to be open and honest while attending the workshops.

“The training in these workshops is really a discussion-oriented training,” she said. “Some of the skills require participants to recall situations or occasions that may be uncomfortable.  The family resilience trainers are not counselors, but will refer them to military family life counselors, chaplains and behavioral medicine counselors at Lyster Army Health Clinic who are able to assist anyone who wants additional support for any situation that they may be facing.”

Childcare is provided for the monthly workshops and quarterly two-day training sessions.

For more information or to register for an upcoming workshop or two-day training session, call 255-3817.

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