Embodied resilience: A phenomenological perspective

E. Elbers, Vivianne E. Baur, te B. Winkel, Joachim Duyndam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


Background: From a phenomenological perspective, our body is the “from-which” we face the world. Vice versa, our body is affected by occurrences in our surroundings. Embodied resilience is understood as a quality of the dynamic relationships between our affected body and what happens in our surroundings.
Objectives: This article explores the following question: How is resilience experienced bodily and how can we strengthen resilience and foster social relations?
Research design: The data consists of ten in-depth interviews, personal observations and reflexive dialogues with the research team on the lived experiences of the participants. Interpretative phenomenological analysis is applied, and relevant literature is outlined in the discussion and the findings are presented.
Findings: We discovered three intertwined experiential dimensions of embodied resilience: the experience of (1) sensing: becoming aware of what bodily happened; (2) connecting: looking for resources; and (3) responding: moving towards a new equilibrium.
Discussion and conclusion: Lived, embodied experiences play an important role in the dynamic process of resilience. The body helps us resonate with the world we live in. We recommend researching further how an affective touch can enhance embodied resilience and foster social relationships in organisations.
Keywords: affective touch, body awareness, haptonomy, resonance
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2021


  • affective touch, body awareness, haptonomy, resonance

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