Papers &

Journal Articles

Losing the stiff upper lip: resilience for practitioners 
By Sara Williams and Jane Keep

ABSTRACT: This article looks at resilience in the context of busy healthcare environments, and raises the question as to whether there is another way of looking at it. We know healthcare is under intense pressure to deliver, with less resources which can squeeze staff to feel stretched, and rushing from pillar to post.


Resilience has been a way of looking for more steadiness in these environments, and typically engenders notions of protection, toughening up, steeling oneself and developing a thicker skin in the face of some adversity, but is hardiness or mental toughness the way to respond while working in intensely busy working environments, particularly where patient care is involved? What if sensitivity was the order of the day?

Key Words: Resilience • Sensitivity • Healthcare • Burnout •

Resilience building has a hidden cost
By Sara Williams and Jane Keep

ABSTRACT: Anyone in a leadership role in the NHS right now is likely to be feeling squeezed. Is Leadership Resilience as ‘developing a mind of steel’ or ‘mental toughness’ the way, or is sensitivity – the ability to feel which underpins the depth of our awareness in relationships, and that is the seed of true power in leadership, where truly understanding people is at the heart of a successful leader.


Key Words: Resilience • Healthcare • Mental toughness •

Developing Self-Care at Work
PhD study October 2013
By Jane Keep

ABSTRACT: This PhD Study explored the practical development of self-care at work. The study enabled an understanding of self-care at work as a phenomena, and enabled the practitioners involved to free themselves from ideological and other chains holding them back from developing their own self-care at work, to such a point that in the end, they realised ‘I matter’ at work, and that self-care at work matters.

This PHD is now available for purchase in a small book format. You can purchase it online at More Books by clicking here

The findings show that it is not normal for there to be a focus on ‘me’ and consider self truly during the working day, and that many people see clients, colleagues or their boss as ‘king’ consistently putting them first before considering self. The findings also show if we do not self-care at work, and, we keep working when we are feeling under ‘par’ it is uncomfortable for us to work in this way, and the quality of the services we offer can suffer.


Self-Care at work includes not only traditionally cited aspects in workplace well-being such as exercise and nutrition, it also includes preparing and planning for work, maintaining perspective, learning to say ‘no’, and, the willingness to make self-care at work an ongoing self inquiry process, using self observation, and reflective moments. With simple yet profound effects, using the physical body as a barometer on a daily basis, guiding what works and what doesn’t work is fundamental to developing and deepening self-care at work. The study showed that developing self-care at work makes a difference to the quality of services offered.

Key Words:  • Self-care • Well-being • Quality • Work