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Ingrid Poulson – rising above tragedy

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Ingrid-PoulsonThe word ‘resilience’ doesn’t quite do Ingrid Poulson justice. The 42 year old has been through more heartbreak and grief than most will see in a lifetime.  When she was 21, her older brother ended his own life. Then, just over a decade ago, the unimaginable happened: Poulson’s father and her two beautiful children were killed by her estranged husband.

It was a story that gripped the media. As audiences watched Poulson’s pretty, somber face staring back at them from their TV screens, many thought: ‘I don’t know how I’d go on if it happened to me.’

But somehow, Poulson not only came out the other end in one piece, she was determined to help others realise it is possible to rise from tragedy.

Since 2006, Poulson has held workshops on building resilience and living positively to a diverse audience across the country; ranging from emergency workers, schools, call centres to hospitality staff. The workshops focus on confidence and self esteem, stress hardiness and emotional regulation.

She was also the author of a bestselling non-fiction novel, RISE, which shared the skills and practices she developed to not only survive adversity but to live a rich and rewarding life.

On Thursday 26 June, Poulson will present a one day ‘Building Resilience’ workshop run by the Australian Association of Social Workers at Canberra’s CIT.

During last year’s TEDx conference, Poulson revealed she wanted to help people “move out of a world of fear and into a world of hope.”

“I made a promise to my father and children I would demonstrate not how low I go, but how high I rise…I made it part of my mission to look for what is good – enjoy it, savor it, and be grateful for it,” she said.

“Every day I worked on building my bucket of sunshine so that if the dark side of life popped up again, I could be flooded with reasons that life was worth living.”

Poulson now lives in NSW with her ‘wonderful’ husband and their two young children. She says her attitude to life is to take in every moment.

“Everything in my life is not necessarily perfect – I have bad moments, bad moods and bad days, and I also know that things may go wrong for me again – I’m not offered any kind of immunity because I’ve been through a hard time before,” she said.

“So I make sure I savor each of my moments, I really seek and search for joy and I build my bucket of sunshine and share that with as many people as possible. I look at what I have, and I’m constantly amazed.”

the essentials

What: RISE: Building Resilience Workshop
When: 9am Thursday 26 June, 2014
Where: CIT Reid Campus
Register: Email or phone 02 6232 3906.
More: For more information on costs visit

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