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Maria Sirois, PsyD

Paradoxes In Resilience: Leveraging Moments Of Grief, Illness, Hardship And Sudden Change To Accelerate Growth

July 31st - August 4th, 2023

This course is also available Live-Online!


This course is no longer available.





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15 Hour In-Person & Live-Online Course

Monday - Friday: 9:00a.m. - 12:30p.m. EDT / 30-Minute Break Daily

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Course Description

“The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”

Neils Bohr, Nobel Prize Winner, Physics

As clinicians, supervisors, and managers we are frequently trained to navigate territories of wellness and illness, of capacity and incapacity as if they exist on a spectrum. On one end we are well, at the other end we are ill. Yet, recent research in the fields of positive psychology and resilience enable us to understand that foundational change often occurs at the point of paradox: when we can enable our clients, supervisees and teams to hold happiness and grief, anxiety and hope, imperfection and magnificence with equal appreciation, wisdom and care.

Integrating research that considers the best of humanity, the best of systems and of organizations, we will examine the role of positivity, appreciative inquiry, and emerging models of authenticity and meaning to consider how to elevate positive deviancy when clients/supervisees are struggling deeply. Core characteristics of resilience will be addressed, and then considered from the perspective of paradox: how might we (for example) increase grit even when symptoms have increased? How might we accelerate optimism, even as anxiety becomes rampant? What does a helpful hope look like when our world has been shattered?

This approach enables us to complement our current models of treatment with supportive tools and strategies, while providing a meta-framework that potentiates health in the presence of great difficulty. Accentuating positive resources, especially in challenging moments, enables us to provide a greater emotional, cognitive and neurochemical balance to our system of being. While a singular focus on symptom reduction and psychopathology may provide relief, it may do little to construct an internal scaffolding of capacity that reminds clients of the fullness of their resources, strengths, wisdom and adaptability.

Participants will be invited to consider how to best influence positive change in their current practice or management role through examination of clinical vignettes, small group discussion, and in vivo practice of tools/perspectives. Further, this work has an additional benefit of reducing the anxiety, strain and/or fatigue we experience as providers when the stress of our work escalates, either through the distress of our particular patients, or through the growth of systemic disruption.


Our Framework: The Meta-Perspective of Paradox

  • Review of Current Models of Resilience

  • Core Characteristics of Resilient Adults

  • Paradox: Why Positivity Matters in the Worst Moments


Integrating the Positive

  • The Appreciative Inquiry Approach

  • The Genius of the And

  • Transforming Moments of Anxiety, Negative Thought Habits, Grief, Depression into Capacity


The Paradox of Living as Broken/Whole

  • What is True Hope?

  • Emerging Models of Authenticity

  • Seeding the Future:  The Ideal Self In Action

  • Integrating the Ideal Self and Character Strengths


The Bigger Pictures

  • Why Meaning Matters

  • A Granular Look at Meaning

  • Generosity and Generativity as Drivers of Change


How Change Happens

  • A Brief Journey into Neuroplasticity

  • Change at the Level of the System

  • Change at the Level of the Person

  • Integration of Learning

Hear more from 

Maria Sirois, PsyD

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What Alumni are Saying...

"This was by far one of the best conferences I have attended. Maria Sirois is a gifted presenter and clinician who provided a wealth of information." - 2022 Participant

"Dr. Sirois was very engaging, knowledgeable, and a great teacher." - 2022 Participant

"I appreciated the variety and timeliness of the research Dr. Sirois presented." - 2022 Participant

"Maria has been a fabulous instructor. Her expertise is coupled with humility and appropriate self- disclosure. She is a gifted storyteller and gets to the point fast. She made it fun and deeply meaningful and rewarding. We learned so much and I never once looked at my watch. She is inspiring in both her style and message." - 2022 Participant

Learn more about the Cape Cod Institute from former participants



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