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Introduction to University Counseling Services & Stress Management . By Jane Maxwell University Counseling Services. Counseling Services at Truman. No cost for counseling services Services are confidential – It is your own personal business; only with written consent can another person know

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introduction to university counseling services stress management

Introduction to University Counseling Services &Stress Management


Jane Maxwell

University Counseling Services

counseling services at truman
Counseling Services at Truman
  • No cost for counseling services
  • Services are confidential – It is your own personal business; only with written consent can another person know
  • Hours are basically 8:00 to 5:00 week days (except for lunch)
  • Located next to Grim Hall, across from Magruder Hall on Patterson Street; a little house
what we offer
What We Offer
  • UCS offers:
    • Individual Counseling
    • Relationship or Couples Counseling
    • Groups
    • Consultations
    • Presentations
    • Educational Programming throughout the year
reasons students seek counseling
Reasons Students Seek Counseling
  • Truman students come for counseling to assist with many concerns
    • Depression & Anxiety Homesickness
    • Stress Related Issues Roommate Conflict
    • Relationship Difficulties Suicidal Thoughts
    • Eating Disorders Self-Harming
    • Family Problems Academic Pressure
    • Sexual Orientation Acceptance
to make an appointment
To Make an Appointment
  • Call UCS @ 785-4014 or stop by
  • For Information on our services and staff look at our website at
  • Also can friend UCS on Facebook
  • First appointment is a screening
    • 30 minute talk with a counselor to discuss your concerns and reasons for seeking counseling – not too in depth
    • Then set up for an hour appt with a counselor, or with a group, or referred to other services
our staff and approach
Our Staff and Approach
  • There are 5 licensed professionals
  • Clients are seen for a short length of time (4 – 6 sessions) or maybe a longer time (9 – 10 sessions)
  • The staff is friendly, understanding, and there for the students
  • Individual appointments are usually every 10 days to 2 weeks
  • Crisis situations always take priority
  • Have an after hours crisis number for students if needed 665-5621 after 5:00 pm and weekends
stress why is it important to talk about
Stress- Why Is It Important to Talk About?
  • Stress is the “wear & tear” on our body as we adjust to a continually changing environment
  • It is the fight or flight response
  • Present when there is an element of performance or expectation – OR a threat!
    • Can Be either:
      • Positive and protective
      • Negative and destructive
positive negative stress
Positive & Negative Stress
  • Positively stress can: Motivate us to be aware, better prepared, and open to new challenges and experiences
  • Negatively stress can: Lead to constant worry, health problems, anger & discouragement, and a decrease in performance
stress for college students
Stress for College Students
  • Sources of Stress
    • Personal & Family High Expectations
    • Academic and Social Demands
    • Relationships – Romantic or Friends
    • Family Problems at Home
    • Greek Fraternity & Sorority Pressures
    • Lack of Sleep
      • One of THE biggest problems with college life is a lack of sleep due to STRESS
      • New study suggests stress about school keep 68% awake at night… 20% of them at once a week
affects of stress
Affects of Stress
  • Symptoms of stress appear in many ways. Everyone is different how they feel their stress – here are the different ways:
  • PHYSICAL –muscle tension, low immune system, colds, flu, digestive problems, problems sleeping, headaches, low energy
  • EMOTIONAL – depression, anger, fear or anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, moods swings, irritability, embarrassment
more affects
More Affects
  • COGNITIVE – difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, critical self-criticism, unwanted or repetitive thoughts, mental disorganization
  • BEHAVIORS – impulsive actions, crying, over eating or not eating, snapping at friends, isolation, nervousness, increase of alcohol or other numbing substances, total lack of ability to function as needed
identify sources of stress
Identify Sources of Stress
  • Consider 3 factors that contribute to Stress
  • Situations
  • Body
  • Mind
stress effects
Stress Effects
  • Stress is Powerful
  • It creates big effects
  • What contributes to Your Stress?
  • SITUATIONS – What situations cause stress for you?
    • Taking exams
    • Giving a speech
    • Being in a large group
    • Roommate problems – dorm life
    • Writing papers
    • Everybody is different and has different triggers
  • BODY – What changes happen to your body when stress hits?
    • Chronic stress can cause headaches, muscle tension
    • Stomach aches
    • Migraines
    • Insomnia
    • Tight chest, feelings of panic
    • Learn to know how you experience stress
  • MIND – The mental message you tell yourself are POWERFUL
    • Negative Messages –
      • If I don’t get an A, I am a failure
      • I always have to be and appear perfect
      • If I don’t do well, my family will be so disappointed in me
    • Positive Messages –
      • I’m studying hard and doing the best I can
      • I will do well because I know I tried
      • I am a worthy person whether I get perfect grades or not
your stress
Your Stress
  • Keeping a stress journal or just being more aware can help – Ask yourself…
    • What caused the stress?
    • How did I feel both physically and emotionally?
    • How did I react and respond?
    • How did I help myself to feel better?
    • As you are more aware you will begin to see patterns & common themes
unhealthy coping
Unhealthy Coping
  • These are unhealthy ways to cope with Stress:
    • Drinking or eating too much
    • Zoning out with TV or video games
    • Lashing out at others – blaming others for everything
    • Withdrawing from people & skipping class
    • Procrastination
    • Avoiding facing real problems
managing stress
Managing Stress
  • Change the Situation or Change Your Reaction
  • Change the Situation:
    • Avoid the Stressor Alter the Stressor
  • Change Your Reaction:
    • Adapt to the Stressor Accept the Stressor
stress management strategies
Stress Management Strategies
  • Here are 6 ways to Manage your Stress
  • Strategy # 1. Avoid Unnecessary Stress
    • Learn to say “no”
    • Avoid people who stress you out
    • Take control of your environment
    • Avoid hot-button topics
    • Cut down your to-do list
more strategies
More Strategies
  • Strategy # 2. Alter the Situation
    • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up
    • Be willing to compromise
    • Be more assertive
    • Manage your time better
  • Strategy # 3. Adapt to the Stressor
    • Reframe your problems
    • Look at the big picture
    • Adjust your standards
    • Focus on the positive
  • Strategy # 4. Accept the things you cannot change
    • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable
    • Look for the upside
    • Share your feelings
    • Learn to forgive & give others some slack
  • Strategy # 5. Make time for fun and relaxation
    • Set aside relaxation time
    • Connect with others
    • Do something you enjoy everyday
    • Keep your sense of humor
last strategy
Last Strategy
  • Strategy # 6. Adapt a healthy lifestyle & habits
    • Exercise regularly
    • Eat a healthy diet as often as possible
    • Reduce the caffeine & sugar
    • Avoid excesses – alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, etc.
    • Get enough sleep to function day to day
    • Seek help from a friend or counseling if needed
learn to relax
Learn to Relax
  • Find ways to help yourself relax
  • Many people go non stop and don’t know how to relax
  • Realize the negative self-talk and interrupt this process telling yourself positive messages
  • Talk it out with someone – a friend, SA, trusted mentor, or professor
  • Just being heard and understood can help
  • Step back and get perspective – In the scheme of things is this worry & stress worth it?
suggestions to cope
Suggestions to Cope
  • Deal with one thing at a time and try not to be a perfectionist
  • Work out at the Rec., go for a walk, run, yoga – find exercise you enjoy
  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Take time to laugh, watch a comedy, great comedian?
  • Take a shower or bath
  • Write your thoughts in a journal
  • Other Ideas? What helps you when you are stressed?
learn the relaxation response
Learn The Relaxation Response
  • Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Deeply relax all muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face. Keep all muscles relaxed.
  • Breathe through your nose. Become aware of your breathing. As you breathe out, say the word, "one" silently to yourself. For example, breathe in...out, "one," in...out, "one," etc. Breathe easily and naturally. You might also say the words "calm" or "let go" as you exhale.
  • Continue for 5 to 10 minutes. As you feel yourself relax, you could try to visualize your favorite place -- a beach, lake, mountain stream, etc. Try to picture it in detail and recall feelings of peace and contentment while being there.
  • Do not worry about whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of relaxation. Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace. When distracting thoughts occur, try to ignore them by not dwelling upon them.
time management
Time Management
  • Good Time Management is associated with college success & satisfaction
  • It can reduce the anxiety levels and make college more enjoyable
  • Consider These Steps:
    • Plan
    • Prioritize
    • Schedule
  • Planning can increase your effectiveness and decreases your stress
  • Start by looking at the entire semester and what to plan for with assignments, social demands, etc.
  • Then scale it down to each week or smaller chunks of the semester (beginning, mid-terms, end & finals)
  • Develop a plan for the semester, then for each week
  • Take a look at all your assignments, deadlines and demands
  • Make decisions on what is a priority – This is a constant ongoing process of looking at what is coming next and how does it rate in importance
  • Include time for the life stuff: meetings, laundry, job, errands, meals
  • Be realistic with yourself and allow enough time
  • Identify how you will approach and accomplish all these tasks
  • Think about how much time you will need and how many hours needed to study
  • Break some of the assignments down into smaller jobs – for example researching, writing, & editing a paper
  • Adjust and monitor constantly
time wasters
Time Wasters
  • Identity where, how, & when you are wasting time
    • E-Mail
    • Internet Games, Video Games
    • Facebook
    • Phone Calls
    • Problems with Procrastination
    • When do you work the best? Morning, night? When is the best time for you to plan to study?
keep yourself accountable
Keep Yourself Accountable
  • Try to keep on your time management schedule
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you get off track
  • Jump back into your plan and routine
  • Allow yourself to be human which means you will make mistakes occasionally
  • Check out the Truman Success Center in the Kirk Bldg. for academic setbacks and difficulties
  • Call UCS for assistance if you become overwhelmed