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  • Mary Vicario

My Father's Resilience

You might have heard me say before, I was born into this trauma work.  As the daughter of a World War II concentration camp liberator, I saw first hand the effects that stress and trauma had on my father. If asked, he would say he was “blessed” to be one of the first soldiers into the concentration camps to free them.  He approached life with resilience. Every day after school, my father would ask “what did you do today to make the world a better place?” and I was expected to have not only one answer, but three. My father instilled in me every single day that we are on this earth to be here for one another, to help one another, and to heal the world through the gifts we can offer other people.



At the time, there wasn’t a real understanding of the after-effects of war in veterans like my father. He was good at hiding his pain during the day, but at night, nightmares would take over. What we would now call Posttraumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS) is something my father struggled with his entire life. The resilience he showed through his own pain is what honestly led me down my career path. I wanted to have that same life-giving impact that he had on me as a child. So I became a teacher, school counselor and later a therapist, supervisor, clinical director and eventually the founder of Finding Hope Consulting. It has been my life's calling to help others discover resilience in themselves, their families, their communities and those they serve.  When I learned the neuroscience behind the resilience my father taught me as a child, everything came together. I could see then that resilience work is not about theory, or about guesses. It is about how our brains heal based on hard science. It is about how we might turn information into everyday interventions, and the power that we all have to do this for the people whose lives we touch. 

That is the reason I started Finding Hope Consulting, so that we can all learn ways to contribute the resilience that our world needs.  After all, like my father used to say, "All we have is one another, so we better be good to one another."



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