Is Navigating Adversity™ available to individuals, departments, and the entire workforce?

Yes! Navigating Adversity™ is available to the entire workforce and to the individual. Workforce training – whether by department, division, or geography – is scheduled by our Sales Director, Robert Mann. Individual training begins as soon as the course is filled. All Navigating Adversity™ training courses begin on Tuesday, run for eight weeks, and finish on a Monday.

Can Navigating Adversity™ be personalized to additional audiences?

Yes. We are currently building a Navigating Adversity™ course for first responder loved ones.

Who are the mentors?

The mentors come from the first responder profession. In order to be a mentor, they had to be recommended by their peers or supervisors, complete the Navigating Adversity™ training course, submit a sampling of their logbook work to Dr. Thornton for review, complete an interview, sign and execute a confidentiality agreement, and partner with an established mentor the first time they take on the responsibility of a course. They are passionate about wellness and have experienced adversity significantly enough that their stories are shared to further establish credibility with their trainees.

How do I know this training is confidential?

There are two personal elements to this training: (1) the pre-and post-training wellness assessment and (2) the logbook work done throughout the course. The assessments are only calculated by Dr. Renee Thornton, the creator of the course, and the scientific research overseeing all elements of the training. Not only does she guarantee confidentiality, she erases and purges all identifiable data once the assessment results are sent to the individual trainees. Her process is overseen by the National Institute of Health and must adhere to federal research regulations. The logbook work sent to mentors is reviewed and replied to, and then summarily deleted. The goal is to be as engaged with each trainee as possible while respecting privacy.

Does this work on everybody?

“Everybody” is a rather broad context. What we know is that every person who has completed the training has experienced a statistically significant improvement in overall wellness scores. To date, we have only conducted research on the efficacy of the training with first responders. We do plan to expand our delivery and study to include additional demographic audiences, and as we do we will publish their efficacy data as well.

Is this research?

Each trainee who decides to complete a pre- and post-training assessment adds to the data that we use to determine course efficacy. However, there is a significant difference between tracking courses impact and conducting research. If you are to be a part of an official research project, you will be provided an informed consent document to sign, indicating your willingness to participate in a research study. In addition, research is overseen by Institutional Review Boards that exist to protect participants from exposure, privacy violations, and other potentially negative implications of scholarly research studies.

Does it work if I just read and watch the videos and choose not to complete the logbook activities?

For those who complete all elements of the training, we have mapped a 68% improvement in overall wellness scores. Even if you decide not to do the written work in the course, there is data mapping the 26% improvement in overall wellness of others just like you. Additionally, 74% of trainees who choose not to complete the written work request permission to repeat the course within 12 months of their first course completion. The second time they go through the training, the purpose is to engage in every element of the training. Data tracking their wellness scores shows a surge in their wellness capital amounting in an overall improvement of 82.3%!

Where do the 8 pillars come from? I’ve heard people say there are only 4 or 6 elements involved in wellness.

Dr. Thornton began researching the various dimensions included in the human condition in 2010. Initially, she identified four – mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional. Since that time, she has continued researching the efficacy of the training and used the feedback from more than 3,000 first responders who have completed the course. Over time – and with the assistance of additional wellness research in behavioral, psychological, and organizational journals – she identified the remaining four – financial, social, professional, and psychological. Together, the 8 pillars explain every perspective of human health and happiness and round out the therapeutic tools provided in the Navigating Adversity™ training program.

Is there something like this for my teenager or college-age student?

Great news! We are currently developing a training program based on the Navigating Adversity™ model of multidimensional wellness for young professionals. Titled Positive Aggression, the focus of this course is on the establishment of personal value systems and performance achievement. This course will be made available by January of 2022.

What does it mean that Navigating Adversity™ is validated?

This is an imperative question to ask. Most trainings are created based on personal experience and professional expertise. Recently, many have taken the additional step to becoming evidence-based, meaning that their tenants come from the research literature. Very few – and by that I mean a single-digit percentage – go to the trouble to validate their courses.


Validation means that the course was developed by the intended audience – first responders – for the intended audience. Then, it was delivered to the intended audience with very specific outcomes in mind. In the case of Navigating Adversity™, the outcomes included growth in each of the wellness dimensions with decreases in post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, compassion fatigue, occupational and organizational stress, and substance use. This course proved more successful to the first responder profession than six months in cognitive behavior therapy!

If I don’t need this, why should I take the course?

This is a valid question. When we start the career, we are put through an intensive battery of questions to determine exactly how healthy we are. In order to be offered a job as a first responder, we have to have the ten psychological skills demanded by recruitment professionals. These skills span a variety of the wellness dimensions address in Navigating Adversity™ – but not all.


Research into the impact of the job on new first responders reveals that within one year the healthy new employee begins to experience wellness disintegration. In fact, ethical standards, physical fitness, nutritional attention, and financial stewardship fall by the wayside within the first two years on the job and career growth becomes a thing of the past within five years.


All that aside, no matter how healthy you are today, there’s no way to account for tomorrow. You may be filled with wellness capital now and surprised by a traumatic experience or organizational betrayal tomorrow. The more resources you have at your disposal before the unexpected happens, the faster you rebound from it and the healthier you remain throughout it! Uncertainty is the hallmark of life. Preparedness is silver bullet. So the question really is, “How can I afford NOT to take this course?”

How do I know if this works?

In week one, each trainee is invited to complete a wellness questionnaire. The questions within come from scientifically-validated surveys. The results of the questionnaire are calculated and provided to each trainee in the form of the Individual Wellness Scorecard. Approximately one month after completing the course, trainees are invited to complete the same questionnaire again. Their results are calculated and sent. These scorecards reveal exactly how much adversity each person faces and how much capital resources are available in the event of a critical incident. The comparison between those two time frames is the key to knowing exactly how much growth is experienced due to applying the tools provided in the course!

Is this POST or Standard & Training for Corrections approved?

Currently, Navigating Adversity is POST approved for 16 hours of training in California. We are working to receive credit approval in each state and anticipate being able to provide 16 hours of credit to trainees in each state by 2022.