[Fresh] Messsage from Dr. Joan Whitney

Kelly Eastland (kelly.eastland@villanova.edu)
Fri, 14 Sep 2001 10:10:02 -0400

--------------329EDD0EF59DA84DFADB78FE
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

The following is an email that came from Dr. Joan Whitney, Director of
the Counseling Center, to faculty, to assist them with processing the
tragedy of yesterday with their students. Parents and family members
will also benefit from this information.

A Message from Dr. Joan Whitney

Dear Colleagues, Family & Friends,
As the Villanova community strives to support each other in the
aftermath of the tragedy of September 11, many individuals have
requested help in knowing how to best support our students. I have
outlined below some ideas about how people emotionally process a
tragedy. You may find it useful to consider these concepts, and
possibly even to share them with your students. By educating people
about predictable emotions, you can help them avoid being surprised or
worried about their individual emotions in the time ahead.

Please encourage students to make use of the resources of the University
Counseling Center, where counselors are available to support students
during this difficult time. They can schedule an individual,
confidential appointment by phoning 94050, or stopping by 106 Corr
Hall. Students will be informed of support groups by email and voice
mail.

I also encourage you to call the Counseling Center to consult us about
any concerns that arise. Faculty, family and friends are a core
resource in supporting our students, and we are happy to do whatever we
can to help you succeed in our mutual task.
_____________________________________________________
Joan Whitney, Ph.D., Director, University Counseling Center
106 Corr Hall, Phone 610 519-4050, Joan.Whitney@Villanova.Edu

Helping students impacted by the tragedy of September 11, 2001

Timing of Emotional responses are variable
-validate for students that it is legitimate for some people to react
immediately, and other people to react in a delayed way

Quality of emotional responses are variable
-Recognize that people will experience varying emotions, and possibly a
mixture, including anger, vulnerability, and resurfacing of emotions
about earlier losses.
-If you hear students "judge" others as under-reacting (being
"insensitive") or over-reacting (being excessively emotional), remind
them that all responses are acceptable
-Help students avoid "faulting" peers who vary in how they are reacting

-Accentuate that we need to respect others' different emotional styles

People are ready to "move ahead" with variable timing
-Acknowledge that people's readiness to move on (with regular class
material) varies

Some students will fear for their emotional stability
-You can reassure them that crisis situations bring out strong
emotions, and that feeling "unstable" is normal at this time. Feeling
"overwhelmed" will subside with time
-Encourage them to use the professional counseling resources of the
University, since professional counseling restores stability

Most important thing for any parent or family member is to LISTEN
-avoid the temptation to "do something" for a distressed student
-If we can tolerate listening without taking action, we will have
provided help
-Feeling ACCEPTED while articulating confusion or pain is very
affirming

This kind of tragedy is especially hard for people in the developmental
life stage typical of college students in the following ways:
Stage of Cognitive Development
During the college years, part of students' cognitive development is to
evolve from "dualistic" thinkers to
"relativistic" thinkers. Dualistic thinkers, who believe the world is
predictable, and that there are "right"
answers, are especially disturbed by a tragedy, since they cannot
identify the "right" action, right solution,
or right behavior that can eliminate the tragedy we have all witnessed.,
or their feelings about the
tragedy. Dualistic thinkers have special trouble tolerating
uncertainty or ambiguity

Stage of Emotional Development
Our new students are in the height of "separating" from parents. It is
normal to fear a "permanent" loss of loved ones, and a national tragedy
where lives are lost exaggerates those fears. Remind students that
leaving home for college is stressful, and that the stress diminishes
with each month ahead. Reassuring them that the vast majority of
students DO succeed in adjusting. .

--------------329EDD0EF59DA84DFADB78FE
Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

<!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 4.0 transitional//en">
The following is an email that came from Dr. Joan Whitney, Director of the Counseling Center, to faculty, to assist them with processing the tragedy of yesterday with their students.  Parents and family members will also benefit from this information.

A Message from Dr. Joan Whitney

Dear Colleagues, Family & Friends,
As the Villanova community strives to support each other in the aftermath of the tragedy of September 11, many individuals have requested help in knowing how to best support our students.  I have outlined below some ideas about how people emotionally process a tragedy.  You may find it useful to consider these concepts, and possibly even to share them with your students.  By educating people about predictable emotions, you can help them avoid being surprised or worried about their individual emotions in the time ahead.

Please encourage students to make use of the resources of the University Counseling Center, where counselors are available to support students during this difficult time.  They can schedule an individual, confidential appointment by phoning 94050, or stopping by 106 Corr Hall.   Students will be informed of support groups by email and voice mail.

I also encourage you to call the Counseling Center to consult us about any concerns that arise.  Faculty, family and friends are a core resource in supporting our students, and we are happy to do whatever we can to help you succeed in our mutual task.
_____________________________________________________
Joan Whitney, Ph.D., Director, University Counseling Center
106 Corr Hall, Phone 610 519-4050, Joan.Whitney@Villanova.Edu

Helping students impacted by the tragedy of September 11, 2001

Timing of Emotional responses are variable
 -validate for students that it is legitimate for some people to react immediately, and other  people to react in a delayed way

Quality of emotional responses are variable
 -Recognize that people will experience varying emotions, and possibly a mixture, including anger, vulnerability, and resurfacing of emotions about earlier losses.
 -If you hear students "judge" others as under-reacting (being "insensitive") or over-reacting (being excessively emotional), remind them that all responses are acceptable
 -Help students avoid "faulting" peers who vary in how they are reacting
 -Accentuate that we need to respect others' different emotional styles

People are ready to "move ahead" with variable timing
 -Acknowledge that people's readiness to move on (with regular class material) varies
 
Some students will fear for their emotional stability
 -You can reassure them that crisis situations bring out strong emotions, and that feeling "unstable" is normal at this time.  Feeling "overwhelmed" will subside with time
 -Encourage them to use the professional counseling resources of the University, since professional counseling restores stability

Most important thing for any parent or family member is to LISTEN
 -avoid the temptation to "do something" for a distressed student
-If we can tolerate listening without taking action, we will have provided help
 -Feeling ACCEPTED while articulating confusion or pain is very affirming

This kind of tragedy is especially hard for people in the developmental life stage typical of college students in the following ways:
 Stage of Cognitive Development
 During the college years, part of students' cognitive development is to evolve from "dualistic" thinkers to
"relativistic" thinkers.  Dualistic thinkers, who believe the world is predictable, and that there are "right"
answers, are especially disturbed by a tragedy, since they cannot identify the "right" action, right solution,
or right behavior that can eliminate the tragedy we have all witnessed., or their feelings about the
tragedy.   Dualistic thinkers have special trouble tolerating uncertainty or ambiguity

Stage of Emotional Development
Our new students are in the height of "separating" from parents.  It is normal to fear a "permanent" loss of loved ones, and a national tragedy where lives are lost exaggerates those fears.   Remind students that leaving home for college is stressful, and that the stress diminishes with each month ahead.  Reassuring them that the vast majority of students DO succeed in adjusting.  .
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  --------------329EDD0EF59DA84DFADB78FE-- -- This posting is part of an e-mail news service for parents and friends of Villanova's class of 2006. To subscribe to this service send an e-mail to Majordomo@news.villanova.edu. The text of your message should include two words: subscribe fresh To stop receiving messages, send an e-mail to the same address with the words: unsubscribe fresh Old messages are archived on the world wide web at: http://news.villanova.edu/fresh/ No official news or policy statements are included in this service. The postings provide supplemental background information for parents and friends of the class. While the information is as accurate as possible, all information is subject to change without notice. Please do not reply to these postings. If you have specific questions, contact the appropriate office at Villanova University or email the Parents' Website at parents@villanova.edu. See www.parents.villanova.edu for phone numbers and further information about Villanova. Fresh@news is edited by Kelly Eastland, Director of New Student Orientation. kelly.eastland@Villanova.edu.