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About the Course

The purpose of this course is to teach individuals the science behind becoming a resilient person. Stated simply, resilience is the ability to survive and thrive. Resiliency is not only about your ability to positively adapt in the face of adverse or challenging circumstances (that is, survive), but it is also about learning the positive skills, strategies and routines that enable you to live a happy, fulfilling, and meaningful life (in other words, thrive). This course gives you the permission to take care of yourself in order to effectively manage life stressors and do what matters most in life. 

This course is adapted from a similar class offered by the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Family Studies, a fully online degree completion program from the University of Washington.

By the end of this course, you will have learned about the knowledge and skills that you can apply in your life now and in the future to be a resilient person.

Learning Objectives

The goal for this course is to give you permission to take care of yourself and empower you to be a resilient person. A resilient person is someone who:

  • purposely strives to be as mentally and psychically healthy as possible,
  • possesses the confidence to effectively cope with and manage stressful situations,
  • is compassionate towards self and others,
  • demonstrates grit or perseverance even in the face of adversity, and
  • focuses on the positive and fulfilling aspects of life.

Course supporting objectives: When you complete this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe why ‘functioning from the inside out’ is critical to becoming a resilient, effective person
    • Explain the benefits of resilience and how the specific skills translate into optimizing social-emotional wellbeing and doing what matters most in life
  • Directly practice a variety of resilience skills in different aspects of your life, including but not limited to:
    • Mindfulness practices
    • Strategies to manage intense emotions
    • Activities that induce positive emotions
    • Clarifying important personal values (that is, what matters most) and committing to behaving consistent with them
    • Making health lifestyle choices that are cheap and readily available, yet promote well-being
  • Describe why ‘practicing’ and integrating resilience skills into one’s life is critical to making them a habit and becoming a resilient person
  • Develop a resilience plan that serves as a roadmap for your future

About your Instructional Team

Clay  Instructor: Clayton Cook

Dr. Clay Cook is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at the University of Washington. He is a former educator and a licensed psychologist. He has published numerous articles and books on promoting the social, emotional, and behavioral wellbeing of young people, with recent research focusing on resilience and optimizing overall life satisfaction. Beyond the university, he serves across the country as an educational consultant on models of school-based mental health, with a focus of promoting mental health in both youth and the adults who serve them.

Zoey Teaching Assistant: Zoey Phillips

Zoey is a graduate student in the Educational Psychology department at the University of Washington.  Her primary interests include mental health and social emotional learning to promote resilience and well-being in children and adolescents.   Zoey co-facilitates a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills group for adolescents who struggle with suicidal thoughts and behaviors.  She also works with children at the UW Autism Center targeting social skills and self-esteem in a the context of structured recreational and educational activities.  Zoey is currently collaborating on research will examine the development and implementation of comprehensive protocols for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention in high schools near Seattle, Washington. 


This course was designed to provide a general overview of the practices that have been linked to improving people’s wellbeing and enable them to adopt a healthy perspective towards stress and how to best manage it. It was not designed as replacement for therapy.