Resilience Builders

Resilience Builder Program for children and adolescents: Enhancing
Social Competence and Self-Regulation: A Cognitive-Behavioral Group Approach (Alvord, Zucker, & Grados, 2011)

The RBP is an evidence-based cognitive-behavioral group intervention based on the longitudinal research that identifies the protective factors that promote resilience. It is designed to help children and teens adapt to the hardships, challenges, and difficulties in their lives.

Thirty sessions teach and practice the skills of resilience. Although sessions are divided into two units, clinicians can choose sessions they would like to use in their preferred order. Strategies are based on a cognitive-behavioral framework. Sessions are interactive and incorporate didactics, discussions, and role-plays with emphasis on group members developing a greater sense of self-efficacy and self-mastery. Topics covered include being proactive, cognitive flexibility, stress management, personal space awareness, problem solving, anger/anxiety management, self-regulation, friendship skills, starting and maintaining conversations, and understanding the impact of one's behavior on others. Relaxation, mindfulness, and self-regulation techniques help children and teens increase awareness of thoughts, body, emotions and actions through calm breathing, self-talk, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, and yoga. Resilience Builder home assignments and community field trips (when possible) are utilized to reinforce the positive gains seen in the group setting and expand them for use in the community. Parent letters are included for each session so that parents or caregivers can learn about specific skills with tips to reinforce and practice what their child has learned.

The Resilience Builder Program can only be administered by those with Level 1 Certification which can be accessed by visiting here. The cost is $285 and can be done as a home study course.

RBP has been used in ethnically diverse populations and has been shown to have positive impact.

Intended Outcomes:

  • Improvements in social skills
  • Improvements in emotional control and regulation
  • Reductions in anxiety
  • Enhanced personal problem solving skills

Continuum of Care:

Topic Areas:
Anxiety, Behavioral Health/Mental Health, Disruptive Behaviors

Childhood (4-12), Teen/Adolescent (13-18)

Geographic Locations:
Rural, Urban

Delivery Settings:
Community-Based, School-Based

Cultural Considerations:
A balanced amount of the research involved diverse populations

School age children through adolescent age are the primary target audience.

Licensed behavioral health providers who have completed the author's Level 1 Certification process through Home Study are eligible to provide the intervention.


Is Training Required?
Yes, see developer info

Who can provide the required training?
The training is provided through Alvord, Baker and Associates

Program Costs (materials, training, etc.):
Yes, refer to program website

Program/Practice Website:

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research:

Chad-Friedman, S., Cummings, C. M. Shiffrin, N. D., Alvord, M. K., Rich, B. A. (2023). Resilience is associated with improved emotion regulation and internalizing symptoms following transdiagnostic treatment in a diverse sample of children. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 32. 409-423.

Senior, C. J., Godovich, S. A., Shiffrin, N. D., Cummings, C. M., Alvord, M. K., Rich, B. A. (2023). The effects of a school-based resilience intervention for youth with socioemotional difficulties. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 32. 384-397.

Aduen, P., Rich, B. A., Sanchez, L., O’Brien, K., & Alvord, M. K. (2014). Resilience Builder Therapy Program addresses core social deficits and emotional dysregulation in youth with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Psychological Abnormalities in Children, 43, 269–286. doi:10.4172/2329-9525.1000118

Habayeb, S., Rich, B., Alvord, M. K. (2017). Targeting Heterogeneity and Comorbidity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder through Resilience Builder Group Therapy Program. Child Youth Care Forum, 46. 539-557. DOI: 10.1007/s10566-017-9394-1

Rich, B. A., Hensler, M., Rosen, H. R., Watson, C., Schmidt, J., Sanchez, L…Alvord, M.K. (2014). Attrition from therapy effectiveness research among youth in a clinical service setting. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. 1:343-352.

Watson, C., Rich, B. A., Sanchez, L., O’Brien, K., & Alvord, M. K. (2014). Effectiveness of resilience-based group therapy for improving the functioning of anxious children. Child Youth Care Forum, 43, 269–286.

Watson, C. C., Rich, B.A., Sanchez, L., O’Brien, K. & Alvord, M.K. (2013). Preliminary study of resilience-based group therapy for improving the functioning of anxious children. Child and Youth Care Forum. DOI 10.1007/s10566-013-9238-6.

Reid, M., Fesalbon, M., Mendoza, E., Alvord, M., K., Rich, B., A. (2019). Examining the relationship between parental symptomatology and treatment outcomes in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, (49). 4681-4685.

Sanders, M. T., Welsh, J. A., Bierman, K. L., Heinrichs, B. S. (2020). Promoting resilience: A preschool intervention enhances the adolescent adjustment of children exposed to early adversity. School Psychology, 35 (5). 285-298.

Supported By Research

WV Rating:
Supported by Research
»WV Ratings Info

Rationale for Rating:

The Resilience Builders Program has been the subject of one randomized clinical trial as well as several Quasi-experimental studies that include pre and post intervention measures but no random assignment to groups. Much of the existing research was done by the authors of the program but all results are supportive of positive benefits. There were positive outcomes noted in most all studies showing an improvement in emotion regulation and social skills. These were noted in both self and parent reports. Decreases in aggression and other externalizing behaviors were noted as well as reductions in atypical behaviors often reported in populations diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

At least one study examined non-completed for the program and noted that those with more anxiety and more behavioral difficulties at intake were less likely to complete as well as those with more socioeconmic barriers.

Contraindications or Concerns:
None noted

Other Registries/Ratings

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare:
Not On Registry

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development:
Not On Registry

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness:
Not On Registry

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Programs Guide:
Not On Registry

Washington State Institute for Public Policy:
Not On Registry