At the Heart of Resilience

Strengthening the Core

The Human System manages the mental, physical, emotional, and social dynamics within which we live. The Human System has boundaries within which it can optimally and normally exist. Where the mental, physical, emotional and social boundaries are threatened the Human System becomes overwhelmed.

Research shows burnout on the rise as work-life boundaries merge and technology exacerbates. If widespread burnout is a fact, individual and organisational implosion is inevitable.

Leveraging the depth of research and knowledge behind the Jess model, as well as the breadth of experience and insights of Jess certified practitioners, Jess products create thought-provoking, dynamic and engaging contexts for individuals, groups and teams to 'Strengthen their Core'.

'Strengthen their Core' is a concept grounded in resilience-building. It focuses on dedicated individuals, groups and teams, in organizational and personal contexts, who are committed to change and need to consistently be at their best, against considerable odds, to achieve that change.

'Strengthen their Core' answers the question “What is needed to support the committed when change, turmoil, and anxiety become a regular event, work-life balance is lost and resilience depleted?”

When the Human System becomes overwhelmed conditions such as lack of sleep, loss of engagement, low drive and self-esteem, will occur. This is a fact, it is only a matter of time before that last small seemingly inconsequential issue proves to be the tipping point.

When this occurs valuable human resource and knowledge will be lost.

Can this be averted? Could the answer be Building-Resilience?

Jess™ Model of Resilience Building for Teams

Jess™ is proud to introduce the Jess™ Model of Resilience Building for Teams within an Organisational Environment - helping teams build resilience in the workplace, together.

I used the Jess Jigsaw Puzzle coaching tool with 3 clients. I had great results each time. It helped to open the coaching conversation if the client felt stuck, raise self-awareness on how to improve the client’s resilience and from there we were able to go further with our coaching session and unlock issues that the client had not realised were impacting their well-being.

It also affirmed for some clients that they are doing well in some areas of their life that they had not thought about, this helped to champion the clients which was a very positive experience for them.

I will definitely be using it again with my clients and would love to see such a tool work with a team.

Linda Donnelly – Brussels

About Jess™

Jess is a program that creates dynamic and client driven contexts, through which practitioner-led interventions can help people develop their resilience.

Jess is a methodology and a set of physical tools.

Jess helps people to perform at their best and stay well through life and work stressors.

Jess programs provide a unique way for coaches, counsellors and facilitators to help individuals and teams understand and practice ways to make them more resilient.

Jess™ includes:

  • The Jess™ Jigsaw Puzzle for resilience-building
  • The Jess™ Board Game for resilience-building
  • The Jess™ Floor Game for resilience-building
  • Supporting cards and workbooks
  • Jess™ Workshops
  • Jess™ Practitioner Certification
  • Supportive mentoring and supervision

Jess™ Tools are suitable for:


Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Psychiatrists, Facilitators, Counsellors, Coaches, Consultants, Social Workers, Educators and Others.


Human Resources Professionals, Training Departments and Organizational Consultants.

Click here to see how you can start using Jess™.

The Inspiration Behind Jess™

I'm Shelley Crawford - creator of the Jess™ resilience-building set of tools. As an EMCC accredited coach, coach trainer and supervisor, I specialise in well-being and resilience-building.

The inspiration for the original heart puzzle (the first of the Jess™ resilience-building tools), came from my daughter Jessica.

After experiencing many significantly negative events throughout her life, Jessica developed unhealthy coping mechanisms. These eventually led to a crisis point in her life where she had to decide between actively getting better or losing herself completely. It was through Jessica's choice for life, and her trust in my ability to help her, that the concept of using a heart-shaped puzzle to help people build their resilience, was created.

During our journey together towards Jessica's recovery, we designed the Jess™ jigsaw puzzle. This has since developed further into the entire Jess™ resilience-building set of tools. As part of her recovery, Jessica discovered her talent for woodwork and makes all of the puzzles and board games by hand in her studio in Surrey.

We believe that it is never too late to find your 'Jess' - that unbreakable spirit that can flourish in creative and dependable ways. We hope that the Jess™ tools will help other people like Jessica live fulfilling and happy lives.

Working with the Jess Jigsaw Puzzle as a coaching tool, made me think about things in a deep and completely different way that was positive and uplifting.

I realised that while there were some things I could do to improve my resilience, there were other things that I was doing right and that made me feel even better.

Professor Dolina Dowling: (ex-Pro Vice Chancellor and CEO)


Everyone is resilient to some extent. People’s resilience can be threatened when the environment they live in and the life events they experience chip away at this resilience - until something as simple as the kettle taking too long to boil, becomes a tipping point.

Everyone can learn how to become more resilient. With a deeper understanding of what makes a person resilient, and what interventions can make a person more resilient, a coach or resilience-building facilitator can help a client, individual or team, identify resilience-building techniques that suit their context. Through these interventions, the client can increase their ability to be more resilient.

What is Resilience?

Resilience is not just the ability to ‘bounce back’ – it is not just a single trait that a person is either born with or not. Rather, it is a dynamic concept that can be developed in a person who is willing to remain open to learning and growth. A key part of being resilient is knowing that a way can be found through adversity.

The Resilience Builders

Research indicates that people can learn techniques and skills within the cognitive (thinking), emotional, physical, social and spiritual (or sense of connectedness) domains to help them build their resilience.

All the resilience-builders in Jess™ are grounded in one or more of the sciences i.e. neuroscience, coaching, social psychology, organisational psychology, cognitive behavioural psychology etc.

Some of the resilience-building techniques that can be used in the cognitive part of a human system - the mind/brain resilience-builders - are, for instance,

  • Managing thoughts and self-talk (CB psychology, social psychology, NLP, coaching)
  • Taking control (organisational psychology, coaching)
  • Being in the moment (mindfulness, neuroscience, coaching)
  • Balancing expectations (neuroscience, coaching, social psychology)
  • Making positive choices (positive psychology, CB psychology, coaching)
  • Setting goals and taking action (coaching)
  • Learning new skills (neuroscience, coaching)

Resilience and Burnout

Fulfilment and engagement in work (achieved by being resilient) and burnout are on opposite sides of the engagement/resilience - burnout continuum. Burnout can be prevented by building resilience i.e harnessing those elements that can enhance wellbeing, meaning and opportunities to flourish.

Resilience-building techniques can create tendencies that also resist burnout. Teams and team leaders who are under high-pressure and susceptible to burnout can benefit from a resilience-building programme, facilitated by a competent coach, that can maximise resilience-building resources for their own, and the teams benefit.


Jess™ interventions are delivered by certified Jess™ practitioners who are rigorously trained to use the Jess™ tools that facilitate resilience-building. In addition, Jess™ practitioners can utilise resilience identification psychometric testing where applicable. Jess™ practitioners:

  • receive ongoing support and mentoring,
  • are supervised by trained supervisors, and
  • have access to continuous professional resilience-building development programmes.

Licencing, certification and programme support is delivered by the Jess™ Master Licence holder, Cogtio.

Getting started

To get started, you need to complete the program that certifies you to use Jess™ for resilience-building.

Practitioner Certification to use Jess™ for resilience-building

The Jess™ Jigsaw Puzzle practitioner certification program is for coaches and counsellors wishing to utilise Jess™ in their practice.

The experiential program will equip you with a deeper understanding of how you can build resilience in your clients and your organisation, using a resilience-building coaching approach. The program is an intensive and interactive experience that includes hands on use of the Jess™ Jigsaw Puzzle for resilience-building.

You will leave the program with the Jess™ Jigsaw Puzzle and a licence that enables you to use the Jess™ methodology. The licence includes the right to use the physical models and coaching materials, permission to use the methodology, accredited based supervision and access to regular training sessions and continuous professional development workshops.


Certification programs, in utilising Jess™, are held regularly in many locations throughout the year.

Subscribe to our newsletter to be one of the first to hear about dates as they are added. You could also take this anonymous survey and help us schedule the next set of programs.

* Participation in all Jess™ certification program requires the signing of a mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement. Licences are granted subject to meeting a set of criteria and subject to standard terms and conditions.


Jess is head quartered in Cork, Ireland.

We operate globally. Our workshops can be found in major centres across Europe and beyond.

Bringing together a unique blend of Corporate and Coaching experience.

Barbara Nugent | David Baily | Brad Allen | Shelley Crawford

Take this anonymous survey and help us schedule the next set of workshops.

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