Michel Delage

Family Resilience Publication date : February 28, 2008

When a major or even a minor misfortune strikes, most people first turn to their immediate circle of friends or (more often) family. But they often fail to receive the assistance they crave because their immediate circle is also deeply affected by the misfortune, and is thus incapable of taking appropriate action. As a result, family ties often become more fragile in times of need — the very moment when such ties could play a major role to protect a fragile family member.

How can families, despite the dramas that sometimes shake them, continue to foster the supportive environment that favours the development of individual resilience? How can the quality of family ties be used to protect each member? And, inversely, when should a family, as a unit, consult a specialist, and what are the criteria for doing so?

It is the family that nurtures and fosters resilience, according to Michel Delage.

In this book, the author examines resilience, a notion popularised by Boris Cyrulnik, in terms of relations within a group, and he launches an attack on individualism, particularly from a clinical and therapeutic angle. Finally, he argues for a rehabilitation of “the group”.

Michel Delage reaffirms the importance of the family. He argues that far from stifling personal development, the family favours development, growth and security.

Michel Delage is a psychiatrist and formerly headed a department at the French army's teaching hospital in Toulon.