Adult Resilience Curriculum (ARC) for Health Professionals

Activity Description

Health care workers — including but not limited to physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, behavioral health providers, and administrators — experience exceptional levels of burnout and compassion fatigue as the result of packed schedules, emotional demand, and moral injury. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue, adding high mortality, rationing of health supplies, and socio-political tensions to the mix. 

Burnout can manifest as fatigue, impaired focus, and depersonalization resulting from emotional exhaustion, symptoms that require attention so that health professionals can continue to care for our most vulnerable. While many health care workers are likely familiar with self-care strategies, these strategies are often misunderstood or underutilized. The Adult Resilience Curriculum (ARC) for Health Professionals can help these individuals and their organizations navigate these unprecedented times and overcome barriers to well-being that persist even in non-pandemic years. Through self-paced learning or institutional efforts, ARC provides the structure that is often missing from meaningful well-being programming. 

The ARC was initially developed in 2013 by Clayton Cook, PhD, and Gail Joseph, PhD, for pre- and in-service teachers1. It was later adapted for the Mid-America MHTTC by Aria Fiat, PhD and Andrew Thayer, PhD.

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Module Outline

0. Introduction to the Adult Resilience Curriculum (ARC)

1. Understanding the Psychobiology of Stress and Well-Being

2. Creating Safe and Supportive Environments

3. Clarifying, Aligning With, and Committing to One's Values

4. Cultivating Awareness Through Mindfulness-Based Practices

5. Connecting Meaningfully with Others

6. Fostering Pleasant Emotions and Experiences

7. Coping with Difficult Thoughts, Feelings, and Experiences

8. Feeling Good Physically Through Nutrition, Movement, and Sleep

9. Rejuvenating Through Relaxation, Recreation, and Routines

10. Bringing It All Together: A Wellness Plan for the Future


ARC learners are expected to engage with the "core" modules — Modules 1-5 and Module 10 — at minimum. Modules 0 and 1 introduce the ARC framework and cover foundational knowledge of stress and well-being. Modules 2-5 cover non-negotiable well-being concepts including organizational (contextual) well-being, values identification, mindfulness, and connection. In Module 10, learners reflect upon the skills they've acquired and create an individual wellness plan for the future.

Each module is equipped with corresponding activities for learners to complete. The activities are intrinsic to the curriculum package, and therefore learners are strongly encouraged to complete them.


  • Adult Resilience Curriculum (ARC) Workbook for Professionals [Interactive] - The Adult Resilience Curriculum (ARC) Workbook for Professionals is a resource for professionals experiencing stress and burnout to use in conjunction with the ARC. Learners can use the workbook whether following along with the modules individually or as part of an organization. The workbook covers the core modules and provides space for activities and note-taking. Interested in obtaining hard copies? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
  • Supporting Professional Well-Being in Health Care: An HHS Region 7 Town Hall Event - This virtual town hall event held in April 2021 provides information on the current context of professional well-being within health care and features several regional experts focusing on supporting organizational well-being within their health care systems. Panelists from various large hospital systems share strategies and lessons learned from implementing employee well-being initiatives at the organizational level.

Burnout Busters: The Podcast

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Click to access the Burnout Busters podcast.


1Cook, C. R., Miller, F. G., Fiat, A., Renshaw, T., Frye, M., Joseph, G. E., & Decano, P. (2017). Promoting secondary teachers’ well-being and intentions to implement evidence- based practices: randomized evaluation of the achiever resilience curriculum. Psychology in the Schools, 54(1), 13-28. []

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