Counseling & Psychological Services offers confidential support for students impacted by sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, sexual harassment and other related experiences. Our therapists are available to meet with survivors and help them understand their options for support.
If you are interested in campus resources, the Title IX page is a wonderful place to start.
At C&PS, we offer short term individual therapy as well as Rise, which is a weekly supportive space for survivors of sexual assault and relationship violence. Contact us today at (619) 594-5220 to see how we can best support you.
GENERAL COPING STRATEGIES
As with any emotion, there is often something that triggers the feeling of distress related to a traumatic event. Some common triggers can be related to things that remind you of the event, including places, people, smell, and others. There are many more, of course, but it is important for you to determine what your personal triggers are.
One way you can do this is to think back at some of the more recent times that you became very distressed and try to notice if there are any similarities with those situations.
Knowing your triggers can help you understand why you feel certain ways at various times, as well as allowing you use relaxation techniques prior to being in those situations.
Identifying what your effective personal coping skills are can be a good strategy for coping with trauma. For anxiety, there may be activities that you engage in that help take your mind off of what is worrying you.
Some common coping strategies for distress are exercise, talking to a supportive friend or family member, or listening to music. It is important to note that there may be times that a preferred coping skill, such as going for a run when it is dark outside, may also increase distress. In these cases, individuals can decide whether or not it makes sense in that moment to use that skill.
There are more aspects to identifying what coping strategies work for you and to learn more about coping, follow this link.
Using deep, diaphragmatic breathing can help with feeling distress. In general, when we begin to experience the emotion of anxiety, particularly as it relates to trauma, our body begins to react physiologically.
Sometimes this results in our body going into full ‘fight or flight’ mode, where we have many intense physical reactions.
Using deep breathing can help us calm down and feel more relaxed. This can be done through the use of apps, biofeedback equipment, or other means. To learn more, please look at our deep breathing section. If you are interested in learning more about biofeedback specifically, please go to our biofeedback page here.
THREE STRATEGIES TO TRY TODAY
- If you are curious about learning more about your reaction as a survivor, you may find it helpful to take one of our 8 mental health screening tools.
- We also developed a COPE stress test to further guide you as well.