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SR Discipline Chair

James R. Helton,
M.S., M.Div., M.P.H., Psy.D.

Dr. Helton is an Applied Psychologist specializing in organizational and individual behavior in high-stress and/or volatile environments. Jim brings over 30 years field experience at all levels of disaster and crisis management. His specialties include crisis leadership, business continuity, inter-agency coordination, and working with military, medical, criminal justice, and faith-based organizations.

Jim currently directs the consulting consortium The Centers@Pinehurst that serves for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and serves as a trainer and advisor for ICOR.


   Social & Personal Resilience Review & Rate the Courses  

As a discipline, Social and Personal Resilience (SPR) focuses more on the resiliency of the individual as a singular entity or one in a small group or community. However, SPR is affiliated with and works closely with Organizational Resiliency. We define ‘resilience’ as ‘the individual ability to resist, mitigate, and recover from assaults on one’s physiological and psychological integrity.’ and SPR looks at those characteristics and traits that help a person, group, or community develop their own resiliency or ability to cope with stress and/or crisis.

Social and Personal Resilience is a multi-faceted discipline encompassing among others psychology, religion, sociology, medicine, genetics, and philosophy. SPR asks: what adds or detracts from an individual’s innate resilience? What factors contributed to the person’s development of this ‘virtue,’ such as family relations, community ties, group and team relations, religious belief and practice, personal philosophy, education and training, and others?

Since most people belong to or affiliate with one or more formal or informal groups and organizations (e.g., work, church, youth group, neighborhood), we are interested in what individuals bring to those groups and how those groups, in turn, affect the individual’s resilience. Research has shown, for example, that a high-stress work environment negatively affects an individual’s immune system (physiological resilience) and, thus, can increase the likelihood of illness and injury. So, should employers have workplace health programs that help employees cope with stress? What is the long-term cost to the individual (and organization) of chronic or long-term stress? Can we develop resilience virtues as we develop managerial skills, leadership qualities, etc.? These virtues or characteristics affect the individual’s, group’s, community’s, and organization’s ability to manage or survive a threat or challenge such as an emergency or crisis.

SPR works closely with organizations and agencies that serve individuals and small groups to conduct research, to develop ‘resiliency factors’ identification, and to conduct training programs for community groups, interest groups, religious and service organizations, and other small groups.

This discipline also works with Organization Resilience to help organizations identify and eliminate any gaps in their operating practices and in their crisis management strategy that could negatively impact the health of the organization. It focuses on developing and maintaining strategies to address the various factors that affect an organization's operations in the face of a crisis or disaster. A resilient organization is one that has practices and procedures in place to protect its key assets - its employees during times of crises. SPR assists in the development of plans, policies and procedures that specifically the resiliency of individuals within the organization, for their benefit and for the good of the organization .

The discipline of Social and Personal Resilience addresses the following elements:

1. Psychological, Physiological and Social Responses to Acute and Chronic Stress.

2. Principles of Human Impact Planning: Emergency and Humanitarian Assistance, Psychological Support, Family Readiness, Coordination with internal and external stakeholders, and Organizational Readiness.

3. Human Impact Response and Recovery in Crises and Disasters: Timelines and Psychological Reactions Principles for post-event interventions, using the team approach to response, and communication strategies.

4. Developing Social and Personal Resilience through Readings, Simulations, Table Tops, Training, Games and other character development tools

5. The Role of Organizational Social Responsibility: can we ‘green’ care for our people as much as we ‘green’ the environment? What are the ethical obligations of the individual to the organization? Does honor and trust build resiliency?

Credentialing Organizations / Certifications
At this time there are no organizations that we are aware of that offer credentials in social & personal resilience other than those offered via the university program in psychology and PhD programs.

Professional Development / Courses

• Developing a Resilient Workforce >click here

ICOR recognizes each of the conferences listed on our Conference Page as eligible for CEU credit for maintaining your ICOR certification.  Some of the conferences included on this page also provide discounts to ICOR members.

Ask the Experts
Do you have questions you'd like to ask an expert in the discipline of Social and Personal Resilience?   ICOR offers free resources via our Experts! 
James Helton is the Discipline Chair for SPR and is one of ICOR's experts in Social & Personal Resilience.  Contact him at: jhelton@theicor.org, or through the office at Lynnda@theicor.org if you have questions.

• Link to the ICOR experts page >click here

For more information, please contact us at:
The International Consortium of Organizational Resilience
email: info@theicor.org
phone: 1-866-765-8321 or +1630-705-0910
©2010 The ICOR