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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

The Resilience Toolkit by Dr Alia Bojilova

Reading books from psychologists is becoming a national pastime. As society grapples with an ever-increasing pace of life, crises upon crises, and the normal everyday difficulties of being a parent, child, sibling, or friend. In this book, Dr Alia Bojilova takes her knowledge of challenging circumstances that cover both her own journey growing up in Eastern Europe, and her clients from high-performing environments and SAS training.

The book is split into four major sections - the ABCDs of the process - namely Awareness, Belonging, Curiosity, and Drive. Exploring each of these sections in detail, Bojilova draws on her immense knowledge of the elements that cause stress on our systems and develops practical and logical approaches to dealing with them, in a modern context. Add to this, Bojilova is a New Zealander and brings an idiosyncratically Kiwi view to these universal elements. Including folklore of te rao Māori also plays a part in the process, a point that is well-referenced and culturally competent.

It’s a well-written text that allows rather complex concepts to be explained with clarity and efficacy. In doing so, it really is a practical toolkit for people to work through and establish routines and processes for dealing with times of great pressure where resilience is required. Above all, it’s the grounding that the author puts into these processes that are based on research and scientific testing.

Bringing in narratives from the various areas of her practice, there is an array of fascinating insights into the world of high-performance sport, military, and general everyday issues that affect us all. In many of these types of texts, these stories feel a little like ‘fillers’ to make what is ultimately an article be stretched out into a book format, but with this one, the stories are real and they are insightful.

Overall, this is a really interesting, helpful and practical approach to the heavy topic of resilience in a modern and New Zealand-centred context. Anyone looking for the opportunity to grow and learn in this area is highly recommended to take a look through this impressive book.

Reviewer: Chris Reed



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