The Resilience Toolkit

The Streamwood Behavioral Health Resilience Toolkit is a trauma-informed resource for both SBHS staff and patients that was created to help individuals understand their brain and body’s normal, instinctive survival responses to chronic and traumatic stress.

Resilience Toolkit programming teaches our patients and team members to accurately identify nervous system dysregulation and its impact on our well-being. The SBHS Resilience Toolkit also teaches us how to regain physical and emotional balance so that we are better equipped to navigate stressors of everyday life and manage symptoms associated with the disorders that lead our patients to come to us for treatment and care.

What Is the Resilience Toolkit?

THE SBHS Resilience Toolkit is based on the following fundamental premises:

    1. As human beings, we need physical and psychological safety to be our best selves.
    2. Our biology is fiercely devoted to keeping us safe.
    3. Cues for safety and danger operate outside of our conscious awareness.
    4. The body’s nervous system provides us with a rapid-response survival network.
    5. Moment to moment awareness of nervous system reactions to ourselves and others can deeply influence our sense of safety in the world.
    6. It is only from a place of safety that we can change our dominant life story and experience enduring change.

The SBHS Resilience Toolkit aims:

    • To destigmatize nervous system survival responses to trauma and/or chronic stress and to expand self-awareness to ultimately open space for healing, connection and growth.
    • To help individuals recognize their nervous system survival responses to trauma and/or chronic stress and teaches us how nervous system states affect our brain functioning.
    • To encourage us to understand our nervous system states, or zones, and teaches strategies for returning to the zone in which we can function most optimally.

By clarifying the connection between brain, body and mind, the SBHS Resilience Toolkit explains why we cannot address one of these aspects of ourselves without addressing all three parts collectively.

How the Resilience Toolkit Fits into the Program

The Resilience Toolkit is a program that adolescents and adults who seek treatment at SBHH experience over two weeks and includes psychoeducational groups that are led three times a day, seven days a week.

The Resilience Toolkit psychoeducational programming supplements psychotherapeutic programming led by SBHS Expressive Therapy, Social Services and Psychological Services clinical teams.

10 Tools to Recovery

The SBHS Resilience Toolkit includes 10 tools that are taught and practiced throughout an individual’s treatment experience at SBHS. The core experiences of both psychological and physical trauma and traumatic stress are disempowerment and disconnection; therefore, regulation, healing and recovery must be based on empowerment and reconnection to self, others and the world.

Tools one though six, TRACKING, ATTENDING, BREATHING, GROUNDING, MOVING and RESCUING, are somatic or body tools that involve learning and practicing nervous system regulation so that we can feel safe in our bodies and environments. Building these self-regulating skills is critical because it is only from a place of self-regulated empowerment and autonomy that sustained learning, change and growth can occur.

Tool seven, RESOURCING, is a valuable cognitive tool to use anytime for helping to identify internal, external and imagined strengths and/or supports that facilitate healing and sustain us through challenges we encounter in our lives.

Tools eight through ten, ACCEPTING, RELATING and TENDING, are designed to help us reconnect with ourselves and the world around us in meaningful ways.

Learn More About the Resilience Toolkit

Tool 1: Tracking

Paying mindful, gradually increasing attention to internal sensations in order to increase body awareness

Tool 2: Attending

Paying mindful attention to our external environment using our five senses

Tool 3: Breathing

Pushing the “relaxation button” by activating out nervous system to calm our body and mind through focused breathing

Tool 4: Grounding

Anchoring in the present moment by making contact with our physical environment

Tool 5: Moving

Intentional physical movement for self-soothing or energy release

Tool 6: Rescuing

Somatic strategies for crisis intervention when experiencing hypo- or hyper-arousal

Tool 7: Resourcing

Identifying external, imagined and somatic strengths and supports that help us to reset and sustain us through life’s challenges

Tool 8: Accepting

Coming to terms with the past, accepting what is outside of our control and taking responsibility for our actions as we move forward

Tool 9: Relating

Reconnecting with ourselves and with others in healthy and meaningful ways

Tool 10: Tending

Growing beyond trauma toward an integrated and meaningful life in connection with our world

Community Resources