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Formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP)

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Rethinking the Concept of “Resilience” in the Haitian Community

May 03, 2013 9:00 am -
May 04, 2013 4:30 pm

Event Description


Weathering the Storm like Bamboo:

Rethinking the Concept of “Resilience” in the Haitian Community

Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, 2013

Keynote Presenters

Marjory Clermont Mathieu, Ph.D., R/I, Guerda Nicolas, PhD and Dr. Ronald Jean-Jacques


As a nation, Haitians have often been compared to the bamboo tree, which has the distinct characteristic of weathering strong storms and winds seemingly unscathed. Since the disaster of January 12, 2010, the term “resilience” has frequently been associated with Haitians. Indeed, in the aftermath of the earthquake, there were countless media images of Haitians persevering and going about their daily lives and activities appearing unphased by the massive devastation and despair that surrounded them. Those reactions and behaviors were frequently cited to depict Haitians as a resilient nation; a people that seemed to be unaffected by the magnitude of the tragedy and able to “bounce back”—like the proverbial bamboo tree. To date, many questions remain as to the applicability of the westernized construct of resilience to the Haitian experience. In the literature, resilience is defined as “patterns of positive adaptation in the context of significant risk or adversity” (Masten & Powell, 2003).  Yet, as robust as the research on resilience has been, further empirical investigations are needed to fully understand the contextual and cultural aspects of resilience vis-à-vis the Haitian community. For instance, how is resilience defined, conceptualized and measured among Haitians? What attributes of resilience are relevant to Haitians living in the homeland and the Diaspora?  Is there a different, and perhaps more culturally-appropriate, construct that can better capture the complexities of the lives of Haitians, their coping strengths and reactions to traumatic experiences both as individuals and as a cultural group?

This conference will bring together practitioners, researchers, educators, and policymakers to engage in a discourse on resilience among Haitians. Its primary aim is to provide an intellectually stimulating forum for conference attendees to engage in theoretical, research and practice-based inquiries on resilience among Haitians; share knowledge that will lead to a better understanding and conceptualization of resilience and its relevance to the Haitian context; and discuss clinical interventions that can respond to the complex mental health needs of the Haitian community.


Upon completion of this program, conference attendees will be able to:

  • Describe how “resilience” is defined in the Haitian community
  • Examine the culturally- and contextually-specific aspects of “resilience”
  • Define the more culturally appropriate concepts that can capture the Haitian experience in relation to their affect, behaviors and responses to traumatic experiences
  • Explore how resilience is conceptualized and measured among Haitian children, adolescents and adults
  • Describe the gender differences in the manifestation of resiliency among Haitians
  • List the strengths and resources that Haitians are likely to utilize to cope in the face of adversity?
  • Examine how to understand and capture culturally oriented strategies and clinical interventions that are effective at helping Haitians cope with traumatic and/or stressful events


Program Code: HC13
12 CE Credits
Location: at MSPP, Newton


$230 includes lunch on Friday and Saturday


We would like to remind you of the registration fee for students and members of the general public who do NOT need CE Credits.

May 3-4, 2013 - HC-S13-50 | $115

Please use this code (HC-S13-50) when registering for the conference to receive the 50% discounted rate.

Marjory Clermont Mathieu, Ph.D., R/I, Psychologist & Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Human Sciences, State University of Haiti

Guerda Nicolas, PhD, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Educational and Psychological Studies, School of Education, University of Miami

Dr. Ronald Jean-Jacques, President, Haitian Psychological Association

Event Type:Continuing Education Program
Category:Special Events
Early registration ends on Jan 12, 2013.
Regular registration starts on Jan 13, 2013 and ends on Apr 22, 2013.
Late registration starts on Apr 23, 2013.


Registration Fees
Fee TypeEarlyRegularLate
 Rethinking the Concept of “Resilience” in the Haitian Community (HC13)
Member Fee: $230.00$230.00$230.00
Non-Member Fee: $230.00$230.00$230.00

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