When it comes to overcoming ACEs and trauma, once you get beyond prevention, there’s no more effective tool than resilience. Last month several members of the Thriving Communities Collaborative (TCC) got the chance to hear Dr. Ken Ginsberg speak on Reaching Teens: A Resiliency Workshop. Dr. Ginsberg is a Pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He also serves a Director of Health Services at Covenant House Pennsylvania, an agency that serves Philadelphia’s homeless and marginalized youth and young adults.

The workshop was amazing on several fronts, but principally because Dr. Ginsberg focused on not only providing strategies regarding what has worked in his practice, but he also provided real world examples that made it easy to understand how to implement the strategies. The workshop was presented to members of The Choice Program at UMBC. One of our steering committee members, LaMar Davis, was gracious enough to open up the program to TCC members.

Dr. Ginsberg covered so many bases:

  • We have to begin by not viewing our youth as broken, they aren’t. We have to see them as they really are, real people with individual human stories.
  • Some of the things you need to survive: a sense of meaning, a desire to make the world better than when you came in, and grit. Hardworking tenacious grit.
  • We have to see life as a marathon vs. a sprint
  • We have to believe that adolescents are still capable of healing
  • The importance of LOVE. It’s protective. We can break the cycle with LOVE & PROTECTION.
  • Strategies for building trust.
  • Strategies for empowering teens to plot their own pathway to wellness

Undoubtedly, this summary is not beginning to do justice to his amazing presentation. To learn more about Dr. Ginsberg, check out his website, book, and multi-media tools.  There is a site devoted to parents and teens, and a site devoted to professionals.



Image courtesy of USAG-Humphreys Photostream