Build Your Resilience with Special Guest Alexandra Thompson, Executive Director and Therapist at Cumberland Counseling Centers 

Alexandra Thompson

Resilience can be defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. At Cobb Collaborative, much of what we do promotes resilience in individuals and the community. We find that collaborating with partners who are also implementing that in their work further propels us forward into becoming a more resilient Cobb. The special guest for this blog post is one of our community partners, Cumberland Counseling Centers. Alexandra Thompson, Executive Director and Therapist, provides an insightful conversation on resilience. At Cumberland Counseling Centers, they provide a safe and connected space to help people shift their mindset and thought patterns that may not be helping them, thus providing tools that increase their resiliency. They partner with faith organizations in the community to make high-quality mental health care accessible to all people, regardless of income. 

Resilience simply means not seeing failure as a bad thing. Changing the way you view failure can help abundantly in living a thriving, successful life. Many people may see failure as a thing to fear or be ashamed of when in reality, anyone who has ever succeeded in something failed more than they finally succeeded! They see failure as a means to getting them where they are determined to go. Failure shows you what you’re capable of, and that you’re never alone in that. There is always someone close by you can learn from and ask questions to help you understand what didn’t work this time, what can be changed when you try again next time, or even just to support you through it. 

It’s always in the seasons of challenge and struggle that I am actually growing the most. I don’t grow as much in comfort and ease. When I am struggling, when I feel lost, or when I’m not getting exactly what I want- that is when I know I am learning the most about what I’m capable of. This tends to be the case for most people as well. This in no way means someone is not experiencing all the unpleasant, sometimes painful emotions that come with struggle. It just means that you’re allowing your body and mind to experience all that life brings in those seasons, trusting that on the other side, you are a stronger, more refined individual. 

People with a great deal of resilience know that the decisions and emotions of other people are completely separate from the decisions and emotions that they experience. They choose not to focus on who or what is making life harder for them and instead on who or what can help them grow into becoming more of who they are created to be – which is always someone capable of healing and helping others grow as well. No one has ever succeeded in something without the help or inspiration of someone else. Even learning and understanding resilience usually comes from watching someone else in your life have incredible resilience! Thinking that success in life can or should only come from what you accomplish completely on your own is the epitome of what will limit resilience. We were created in and for community. None of us survived in isolation and none of us succeed in isolation. 

1.) Focus on relearning what it means to fail. Explore all the times from infancy to now that you failed, fell, and got back up, and how that impacted you. And think of all the times you failed, fell, and chose not to get back up. How did that impact you? Failure is powerful. It can be the very thing that teaches you with kindness and directness what to change so success comes later. It can also be the very thing that you allow to shame you into standing still or becoming stuck. Failure is not shame; failure is a teacher. If shame is what you experience during or after failure, that is usually someone else’s voice you hear, not the voice of the good teacher that failure absolutely can be. 

2.) Therapy with a licensed professional is proven to lead to a healthier mindset. Obviously, as a therapist, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is an incredibly safe, loving, connected space with another human (see, community!) who is trained to help you float back to when failure might have first been presented to you as a shameful thing. 

However, therapy can often be hard to find or expensive for some. That’s why we started Cumberland Counseling Centers, which partners with faith organizations in the community to make the same high-quality mental health care accessible to all people, regardless of income. In 2023, we gave $77K in counseling scholarships to the 40% of our clients who needed financial support. High-quality therapy is available to you – face any anxiety or fear you might have about getting started and reach out to us at We’ll come alongside you and walk you through getting started in a kind and gentle way. All are welcome so let’s get started together!

Cobb Collaborative appreciates Cumberland Counseling Center’s partnership and their work in providing equitable mental health care for the community. In the space of promoting resiliency, we have our Resiliency Week coming up next week, with spots still left for our Wednesday events. Please see the links for more details on The Basics + Paint Love Workshop and the Nature Wellness Walk