Student Guide To Coping With Emotional Crisis
By: Kim Maertz, Ph.D., R. Psych. UHC-Student Counselling Services University of Alberta
This guide was specifically designed to help you, as a University student, cope with an emotional crisis which may occur as part of your university experience or as a part of the unpredictability of life. A crisis may be precipitated by any number of potential unforeseen events including a death in the family, a violent crime, an accident, a sexual assault, sexual abuse, a natural disaster, a suicide, or violence on campus, just to mention a few. Other less obvious situations may also be perceived as a crisis, depending on how they are interpreted by each person. Some examples here include the ending of an intimate relationship, receiving a very poor grade, losing a friendship, being asked to withdraw from university, parents divorcing, or the loss of a job.
Many circumstances and events can precipitate a crisis and it is one’s reaction, rather than the event itself, that defines it as a crisis. A crisis is created by an event which temporarily overwhelms our coping resources. During a crisis people tend to react in a number of ways. Some of the more typical responses to crisis include: