On these pages we've compiled online resources and links to sites that address personal development and psychology broadly. We've included sites for local services, as well as sites that provide information. If you come across a site that you think would be a good addition to our list, please let us know!
No Web site can take the place of a counselor to help you work through a difficult concern -- and no problem is too large or too small to bring to Counseling. Stress, relationship problems, academic pressure, questions about sexuality, feeling lonely -- these are only a few of the issues that we address with students, as well as more serious difficulties such as eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. So, don't be alone with it -- give us a call at 854-2092 to make an appointment.
National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University
Living with Alcohol
Here we have provided a list of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on or near campus. Students who have any questions about the meetings, locations, dates or times should contact Marisa Mabli, Coordinator of ASAP at (212) 854 - 2128. This schedule is only during the academic semesters.
- Oxford, Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy (26 W. 84th btw CPW and Columbus),
Monday and Wednesday at 7:30pm
- West End, West Park Presbyterian Church (86th and Amsterdam),
Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00pm
- Youth Enjoying Sobriety (YES), Jan Hus Church (351 E. 74th St btw University and Broadway),
Saturday at 7:00pm
- Straight Twelve, Village Temple (33 E. 12th St btw University and Broadway),
Saturday at 6:00pm, 7:15pm, 8:30pm
- NYU Group (7. E. 10th St btw 5th and University),
Monday-Friday at 12:30pm and 2:00pm
- Atlantic Group, Christ Church (60th St and Park),
Tuesday at 7:00pm and Thursday at 7:00pm for beginners
- Chapter Five (1296 Lexington Ave btw 87th and 88th),
Wednesday at 7:30pm
- Never Had a Legal Drink, St. Columbia Church Rectory (343 W. 25th St btw 8th and 9th),
Thursday at 8:00pm
- Soho Meeting, St. Anthony of Padua Church Basement (114 Houston at Sullivan St.),
Friday at 6:30pm (beginners) and 8:00pm
The Alcohol and Substance Awareness Program
The Denise LeFrak Foundation Alcohol and Substance Awareness Program serves the Barnard Community providing drug and alcohol education, prevention, and intervention efforts on campus. They have various resources for students. Fund out more on the ASAP website
Are you experiencing a sudden sensation of intense fear, terror, or dread for what seems to be no reason at all? Are you experiencing any of these physical signs?
- Pounding, racing heartbeat
- Trembling or shaking
- Tightness in your chest
- Shortness of breath, hyperventilating
- Nausea or butterflies
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Hot or cold flashes
Are you noticing yourself thinking any of the following thoughts?
- I’m sick, dying, losing my mind.
- I’m going to throw up, stop breathing, or have a heart attack.
- I feel like I need to run, hide, or escape.
- I’m afraid of losing control in public.
- I’m afraid of embarrassing myself.
- This feeling will never stop.
If you’re experiencing a combination of these thoughts, physical sensations, and feelings of terror, you may be having a panic attack. Since many of these symptoms are physical, you should get checked out by a medical doctor to be certain.
However, if a doctor has confirmed that what you’re experiencing is a panic attack, continue reading below – there are strategies to manage a panic attack and treatments to prevent them from recurring.
A panic attack is an overwhelming combination of physical and emotional reactions that build upon each other. Although they may feel as though they arrive “out of the blue”, they are actually a chain reaction of different thoughts and physical sensations. Typically, this cycle reaches its peak of intensity in about 10 or 15 minutes, and then begins tapering off. However, you may find that it takes a long time to return to “normal”, and that you may feel quite shaken and on edge for a long while after the experience.
How to Manage a Panic Attack
- If you are experiencing a panic attack, remember, you will be okay. You’re experiencing physical sensations that can be frightening, but remember, they will pass.
- A panic attack may feel like a moment that comes out of nowhere with full force intensity. However, it’s actually a build up and snowball effect of multiple sensations and feelings. It’s important to come to learn how your particular sequence happens. Ask yourself what the first sensation is. It is a tightness in your chest? A tingling feeling? Worried thoughts about an exam? Don’t assume that the sensation is a full blown attack, just notice it for what it is.
- Breathe. Changing your breath can be an important step in stopping this cycle of sensations. As soon as you notice the initial sensation, no matter how small it is, begin to breathe slowly through your nose, counting to five, focusing on feeling your stomach expand outward. Slowly exhale through your mouth, counting to five. Practice deep breathing when feeling calm as well. Click here for guided deep breathing audio exercise from Serenity Yoga’s website.
- After focusing on deepening and slowing your breathing, bring your attention to your body. Scan it, started with your head and making your way down to your feet. Ask yourself, where am I holding tension? Work on relaxing and letting go of tension. Click here for a guided muscle relaxation audio exercise.
- Challenge your thoughts. Remind yourself that a panic attack cannot make you have a heart attack, make you faint, or make you “go crazy”. Remind yourself that a panic attack will end and that it’s not dangerous. Picture someone that you trust offering reassurance and encouragement.
- If you’re finding it’s too hard to reassure yourself, instead, find ways to distract yourself. It may be helpful to talk to someone when you’re feeling those initial sensations coming on. Alternately, immersing yourself in a project (i.e. deep cleaning your room, making a grocery list, window shopping, surfing the web) can be a helpful way to break the cycle of panic and become recentered.
- Make an appointment at Furman. Panic is treatable, and the sooner you get help, the better. Some people find that they start to worry about having a panic attack in the future. Fears about having future attacks or avoidance of places where you suspected you might have an attack are signs that panic attacks are taking up more and more mental space. There are treatments that can help you regain control over life again. Don’t suffer with this alone.
Do you have a test approaching? Are you finding yourself :
- Having trouble sleeping?
- Feeling confused or panicked?
- Having trouble concentrating?
- Feeling guilty or critical of yourself?
- Feeling nauseous, faint, or shaky?
- Feeling hopeless or filled with dread?
It will be important to follow a few guidelines before we turn to the process of calming these anxious thoughts and feelings.
• Don’t cram or pull an all-nighter. Your body and mind need rest and care before you take a test.
• Don’t spend time with classmates who generate stress. They may heighten your anxiety rather than help.
• Don’t push yourself to keep studying when you notice your anxiety intensifying. Take a break and use some of the techniques we describe below.
• Organize anything you will need before your test tomorrow. Pack your supplies and write down the location and time of the test. Having this prepared will alleviate some of the anxious thoughts that may keep you from sleeping.
• Eat a balanced meal. Your body needs fuel to cope.
• Take breaks. Surf the web, read the paper, listen to music or talk to friends – but not about the test!
With these guidelines in mind, let’s now turn to getting you through tonight. We will focus on soothing the physical sensations and challenging the thoughts that you’re experiencing.
Soothing your body
Deep breathing is an important part of calming your body’s signals of anxiety. Shifting the way you are breathing right now can help improve your concentration, soothe uncomfortable physical reactions, and help you feel more grounded and in control. Click here for a guided audio exercise from Serenity Yoga’s website.
Another way to soothe yourself is to work on releasing tension from your body. Doing this can calm the nervous sensations you’re feeling and slow down your thoughts as well. Click here for a guided audio exercise.
Soothing Your Mind
After working to slow your body’s reactions, if you still find that you’re having anxious thoughts and worries, do your best to stop or cut off these thoughts. As you notice the thoughts brewing, stop what you’re doing, practice deep breathing and tell yourself – STOP! Give yourself a moment for your thoughts to diffuse a bit. Try talking to yourself as you might a friend. Be encouraging, promise yourself a treat and break, regardless of how much work or progress you think you’ve made.
After getting through the stress and tension of preparing for an exam that is approaching quickly, it will be important to understand longer-term strategies that will help with preventing future test anxiety from arising. Praxis, a testing organization, offers some helpful strategies to learn more
It may take a bit of practice to build up your ability to soothe your mind and be able to approach tests with a calm mind. If you find yourself continuing to struggle, or find that your anxiety is worsening, you may want to consider meeting with a counselor at Furman for a consultation. To take this first step (click here) to learn now to make an appointment.
If you are looking for a way to relax, take a look online. The counseling center at Hobart & William Smith College has formulated some relaxation exercises that may be accessed here. Step-by-step instructions and mp3 exercises are provided.
.Practical guidelines for Reducing Test Anxiety for Praxis Test Takers.
Additional anxiety-reducing resources: Essential Tips for Test Anxiety published by GCU
All of us feel down at times, and most of us have experienced moods that we would describe as "depressed." In depression, these feelings become so overwhelming that daily functioning becomes difficult or even impossible. Depression can take different forms in different people, but it commonly includes symptoms like:
● feeling sad or depressed most of the day for
● weeks or months
● lack of emotional response ("I feel numb") loss of interest in the things you usually enjoy
● feelings of hopelessness
● a sense of worthlessness and self-blame
● difficulty concentrating
● changes in appetite, sleep, and/or energy level
● thoughts of death or of hurting yourself
Many people with depression can be treated successfully without medication. However, when people experience symptoms that are particularly intense and/or prolonged, medication can have an important role in treatment. Antidepressants will not "fix" everything, but they can help to lessen your symptoms so that you begin to function better — and that can let you work through other problems more productively.
If you're wondering about medication for depression...or your doctor has prescribed it for you, you might have some questions about what antidepressants can (and can't) do, about the proper way to take them, and about the sorts of side effects that you might experience. This brochure will give you an overview of some of these issues, but our real hope is that you'll feel free to have a more in-depth discussion of this information with your Barnard Counseling Services clinician (or your outside mental health provider).or your doctor has prescribed it for you, you might have some questions about what antidepressants can (and can't) do, about the proper way to take them, and about the sorts of side effects that you might experience. This brochure will give you an overview of some of these issues, but our real hope is that you'll feel free to have a more in-depth discussion of this information with your Barnard Counseling Services clinician (or your outside mental health provider).
How Antidepressants Work
Many different factors can have a role in causing depression, such as genetics, chemical changes in the body, external events, life circumstances, and cognitive and interpersonal styles. Research suggests that, for some people, depression is linked to the functioning of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Antidepressants are thought to correct imbalances in these chemicals. All antidepressants, however, take time to work: therapeutic response typically occurs within two to four weeks after treatment is started. In addition, treatment often involves "fine-tuning" of your medication. Because each person responds uniquely, your doctor may recommend a change in dosage, or of the medication itself, during the treatment process.
The Importance of Counseling
We believe that the most effective way to use antidepressants in the treatment of depression is in combination with psychotherapy. As explained, medication can help improve many of the symptoms of depression, but it can’t change the events, thoughts, behaviors, or interpersonal patterns that may also be contributing factors. Working through issues in these areas is a fundamental part of treatment, and also builds a foundation for the maintenance of your recovery later on. By working with a therapist who is collaborating with your doctor (or with a psychiatrist who sees you for therapy as well as medication), you can begin to explore, understand, and resolve personal concerns as the medication helps to relieve some of your physical and mood-related symptoms.
What About Side Effects?
Like many medications, antidepressants may cause side effects that are mild and temporary in most people. Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea or constipation, dry mouth, drowsiness, light-headedness, sleep changes, nervousness or over activation, and changes in sexual interest. While more severe side effects are not common, they are possible. Your doctor will talk to you about the side effects associated with your particular antidepressant, and during follow-up sessions, will ask you about your response to the medication. You should immediately report to your doctor any unusual side effects, or those that interfere with your ability to work or study.
Interactions With Other Medications
When taking an antidepressant, it is important to be aware of the potential for interaction with other drugs (prescribed or over-the-counter) that you may be taking. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any medications, supplements, or herbal products that you are using. You will also need to let your other health care providers know that you are taking an antidepressant before you receive any subsequent prescriptions. In particular, antidepressants can interact with antihistamines, cold and allergy medications, diet pills, thyroid medications, blood pressure medications, and other psychoactive medications that you may be taking. Finally, the use of alcohol, which is a potent depressant, can reduce the effectiveness of your treatment, and is to be avoided.
Making the Decision
If your counselor believes that your depression might respond well to medication, she/he owes it to you to suggest it. Even when antidepressants are suggested, however, the final decision is yours. Whether you find yourself leaning toward or against trying an antidepressant, be sure to explore all your thoughts, questions, and hesitations about medication with your counselor or doctor.
1. Are antidepressants addictive?Currently-prescribed medications approved for the treatment of depression are not considered addictive.
2. Will the medication change my personality?Medication will not change who you are as a person. Antidepressants assist people in experiencing the full range of emotions without feeling overwhelmed. This may seem like a personality change, but it is more accurately a sign that you are recovering your ability to react to people and situations in a non-depressed way.
3. My friend is being treated for depression, and her doctor did not suggest medication for her. Why did mine suggest it for me? Is it because my problems are really bad? Depression takes different forms in different people, so that two people who have depression can have completely different symptoms. Antidepressant medication is for depression where specific types of symptoms are present. Similarly, an antidepressant that helped a friend or family member may not work for you. Your doctor will assess your unique symptom pattern to determine whether a particular medication (or any at all) is indicated for you.
4. How long will I have to take my medication? Your doctor will continuously assess the effects of your treatment, but typically, people take antidepressants for 8 to 12 months or longer. It can be tempting to stop taking your medication as soon as you feel better, but stopping too soon without "tapering off" can result in the return of your symptoms.
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
- Mental Help Net
- Depression/Bipolar Disorder Self-Help Guides and Books
What are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are complex conditions characterized by a disturbance in eating habits and related thoughts and emotions. Individuals with eating disorders are typically preoccupied with food and may experience severe distress about body weight or shape.
Eating habits become disordered when the pull to restrict intake, binge eat, or engage in behaviors to “compensate” for eating (e.g., purging, compulsive exercise) becomes unmanageable and when self-esteem becomes dependent on one’s eating behaviors and the way one perceives one’s body weight/shape.
Cultural messages can encourage or reward behaviors around food and exercise that may be considered disordered, such as feeling guilty for food eaten, feeling compelled to compensate for eating, and basing one’s self-worth on eating and exercise habits. It can therefore be hard to tease apart disordered eating from an eating disorder. Someone with disordered eating often engages in the same behaviors as someone with an eating disorder, but with lesser frequency, intensity, and impact on functioning and health. Disordered eating can evolve into an eating disorder if not recognized as unhealthy and addressed; therefore we recommend seeking professional support for disordered eating.
During major life stressors and times of uncertainty, eating disorders can develop for the first time, worsen, or re-emerge. The transition to college, though exciting, can also be a period of stress and doubt leading to unhealthy changes in a student’s relationship with food and body.
Types of Eating Disorders
There are several types of eating disorders, each with their own characteristic symptoms and resulting health risks. The most common eating disorders are:
An individual may experience symptoms of different eating disorders at different times, or may have an eating disorder without meeting all of the diagnostic criteria for one of the above disorders (see Unspecified Feeding or Eating Disorder and Atypical Anorexia). Many individuals with eating disorders also experience other disorders such as anxiety, depression, OCD, and substance abuse.
Although not currently recognized as a formal diagnosis, orthorexia, a condition in which an individual develops an obsession with the quality of food but is not necessarily focused on weight loss, is receiving increasing awareness and can have a detrimental impact on health and functioning.
Risk Factors and Consequences
There are a number of biological, psychological, social, and cultural risk factors leading to the development of an eating disorder. Among these are a negative body image, a history of dieting for weight loss, the internalization of cultural messages about the thin ideal, and past experiences of weight stigma.
Eating disorders can have serious consequences for one’s emotional and physical health. For example, chronic restriction of food intake through skipped meals, caloric deprivation, and limited variety of food in one’s diet can result in decreased heart rate, constipation, loss of menstruation, dizziness, fainting, loss of bone density, impaired concentration, depression, anxiety, irritability, preoccupation with food, and binge eating. Self-induced vomiting can not only cause severe acid reflux, tears in the esophagus, and damage to tooth enamel, but can also dehydrate the body and disrupt electrolyte balance, which may lead to heart or kidney failure. Laxative misuse can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, worsening constipation, and severe damage to the colon. Irregular eating patterns, such as a binge and restrict cycle, can cause a disruption in the body’s natural rhythms and internal cues including sleep patterns, hunger and fullness cues, and ability to regulate emotions.
Do I Have an Eating Disorder?
If you think you might have an eating disorder, you can fill out an anonymous online screening tool that can offer some general feedback.
The best way to determine if you have an eating disorder, however, is to be evaluated by a team of providers who specialize in eating disorders. Barnard’s Eating Disorder Team is here to help you in a confidential and non-judgmental setting. See below to learn how to connect with us.
Myths and Facts about Eating Disorders
Myth #1: You can tell someone has an eating disorder by her/his/their appearance.
Fact: It is impossible to know, based on looking at a person, whether she/he/they have an eating disorder. For example, one can be malnourished, or nutritionally starved, while in an average- or larger-sized body.
Myth # 2: Eating disorders only affect cis white women.
Fact: Eating disorders do not discriminate. They affect persons of all genders, races, socioeconomic backgrounds, and other identities.
Myth # 3: Doesn’t everybody have an eating disorder these days?
Although many of us live in cultures that encourage and normalize preoccupation with food and weight, and many people experience some difficulty in their relationship with food, the presence of clinical eating disorders is not as pervasive. Researchers estimate that between 0.9% and 2.0% of female-identified individuals and 0.1% to 0.3% of male-identified individuals will develop anorexia, between 0.2% and 3.5% of female-identified individuals and 0.9% and 2.0% of male-identified individuals will develop binge eating disorder, and between 1.1% and 4.6% of females and 0.1% to 0.5% of males will develop bulimia. Transgender individuals experience eating disorders at higher rates than do cisgender individuals;7.4 percent of trans folks in one study self-reported having an eating disorder.
Myth #4: Eating disorders aren’t that serious.
Fact: Eating disorders actually have the second highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder (second only to opioid addiction, which has only recently surpassed it). They are associated with a host of medical consequences and can significantly impair functioning and quality of life.
Myth #5: I should be able to get over an eating disorder on my own.
Fact: Eating disorders are difficult to overcome without treatment and support from providers, family members, and close friends.
Follow these links for more myths and facts.
TREATMENT OPTIONS AND BARNARD RESOURCES
Recovery is possible and is much more likely with treatment. The sooner you seek treatment, the better; don’t wait until it feels “bad enough” to get help. It’s also healthy to seek help even if you have mixed feelings or fears about recovery; ambivalence is normal! Treatment for an eating disorder should involve a team of specialists consisting of a primary care provider, registered dietitian, and therapist.
The Eating Disorder Team at Barnard is here to help you. We are a multidisciplinary team dedicated to caring for students with disordered eating, eating disorders, and body image concerns. We are:
Marjorie Seidenfeld, MD, Medical Director, Primary Care Health Service
Elizabeth Adler, MS, RD, CDN, Registered Dietitian, Primary Care Health Service
Kathleen Niegocki, Ph.D., Psychologist, Furman Counseling Center
We offer confidential psychological, medical, and nutritional assessment; treatment recommendations; medical monitoring; nutritional counseling; short-term individual and group counseling; and referrals to longer-term or more intensive care off campus.
Depending on the severity of the eating disorder, individuals may benefit from different types of treatment. We will recommend the most appropriate type of treatment based on your current needs.
The Eating Disorder Team is available to consult if you are worried about a student. We also develop and implement outreach programs across campus, and we welcome collaborations with other departments.
There are 2 ways to make contact with someone from the Eating Disorder Team:
- Contact Primary Care (212-854-2091) and request to see Dr. Seidenfeld for a medical consultation or Elizabeth Adler for a nutrition consultation.
- Contact the Rosemary Furman Counseling Center (212-854-2092) and request an appointment with Dr. Kathleen Niegocki for an initial assessment or a group counseling consultation.
HOW TO HELP A FRIEND
There are a number of warning signs (behavioral, medical,and psychological) that might indicate the presence of an eating disorder. Be aware of behaviors and attitudes indicating that weight loss, dieting, exercise and control of food are becoming primary concerns for the person and are dealt with in rigid, inflexible ways.
It can be uncomfortable to talk to someone about the possibility of an eating disorder. Many students worry that their friend or loved one might become angry with them for broaching the subject but, by talking about it, you may contribute to this person getting the help they really need.
Here are some suggestions for how to talk to a friend or loved one about eating concerns:
- Arrange for a quiet, private time to talk.
- Be honest about what you’ve noticed, using I-statements and focusing on concrete behaviors you’ve observed.
- Avoid overly simplistic advice like “You just need to eat more.”
- Encourage them to seek professional help. If they are a Barnard student, encourage them to reach out to Furman or Primary Care, both of which are confidential services.
- Be prepared for a negative reaction. It is possible that you may be met with resistance. Know that this is normal and does not mean you did something wrong.
See more tips on helping a friend or loved one here.
TIPS FOR MAINTAINING A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD AND BODY IMAGE
Avoid the temptation to diet or restrict your food intake for weight loss or a desire to change your body image. Restriction can lead to impaired concentration, irritability, preoccupation with food, slowed metabolism, and other serious health outcomes. For most people, restricting leads to bingeing. In fact, the single best way to prevent binge eating is to eat consistently every day with regular meals and snacks.
Strive to eat mindfully, building on intuitive eating skills, rather than adhering to rigid rules for eating. Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, as well as your cravings, and use these healthy signals to guide your food choices and eating patterns. If you have trouble listening to these cues or are nervous or afraid to honor your cravings, receiving support, e.g., from a registered dietitian, can help you reconnect with your body’s signals, needs, and desires.
Engage in movement for pleasure and well-being rather than to make up for eating or manipulate your weight. Also, be sure to listen to your body and allow time for rest.
Engage in practices aimed at improving body image.
Identify your values outside of appearance and take actions toward living out your values in your everyday life.
Limit your exposure to media that makes you feel bad about your body. Consider following some accounts or listening to podcasts that encourage body liberation, celebrate a range of body sizes, and challenge diet culture. Examples of Instagram accounts include: @thebodypositive, @bodyposipanda, @i_weigh, @chr1styharrison, @thetrillrd, @decolonizing_fitness, @bodyimage_therapist, @themilitantbaker, @ashleighchubbybunny, @nalgonapositivitypride, @lamplight.space, @mynameisjessamyn, @evelyntribole, @thefatsextherapist, @antidietriotclub. Examples of podcasts include: Food Psych, Body Kindness, and ED Matters.
Refrain from participating in diet talk and consider learning some strategies for coping when others around you engage in it.
National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
Surviving an Eating Disorder: Strategies for Family and Friends
Rise Up and Recover (a great alternative to calorie counting apps)
Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH)
RESOURCES DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
@covid19eatingsupport Instagram account w/ live meal support
Articles on Coping with Body Image During Pandemic:
It’s OK If Your Body Changes During Quarantine
Struggling With Body Image Or Disordered Eating Right Now? Here Are 6 Strategies To Help You Deal, According To Experts.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Links
A resources for navigating Barnard while transmasculine, transfeminine, nonbinary, and/or gender-nonconforming.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community .
We, the parents, families and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, celebrate diversity and envision a society that embraces everyone, including those of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. Only with respect, dignity and equality for all will we reach our full potential as human beings, individually and collectively. PFLAG welcomes the participation and support of all who share in, and hope to realize this vision.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality.
NYC LGBT COMMUNITY INFO
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
208 W. 13th St., New York, NY 10011
The Center offers dozens of cultural, recreational, political, and mental health events, activities, and services for the queer community .
The Audre Lorde Project
85 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217
The Audre Lorde Project (ALP) is a Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, and Transgender (LGBTST) People of Color Communities. Call for program information and schedule.
Gay Men’s Health Crisis
119 West 24th Street (btwn. 6th & 7th Ave), NY, NY 10011
Hotline: (212) 807-6655 or (800) 243-7692
GMHC provides HIV/AIDS-related services including education, print and video materials, women’s initiative, peer counseling services, support groups, financial advocacy, recreation and meal programs, legal services, and seminars.
39 W. 14th St, Suite 205 (btwn. 5th & 6th Ave.), NY, NY 10011
Identity House provides peer counseling and therapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and all other adults who are struggling with issues of sexuality, alienation, relationships and family. They also sponsor groups, workshops, and other events.
Metropolitan Community Church of New York
446 West 36th Street (btwn. 9th & 10th Avenues), NY, NY 10018
Church of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community; holds worship services and Sunday school, offers counseling, holy unions, a food pantry and other services.
Michael Callen-Audre Lorde Community Health Center
356 West 18th Street (btwn. 8th & 9th Ave.), NY, NY 10011
General medical, dental, and mental health services; transgender and youth programs; STI and HIV Testing.
NYC Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project
240 West 35th Street, Suite 200 (btwn. 7th & 8th Ave), NY, NY 10001
HOTLINE (24 hour) (212) 714-1141
AVP serves lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and HIV-positive victims of violence and others affected by violence, by providing therapeutic counseling and advocacy within the criminal justice system and victim support agencies, information for self-help, referrals to practicing professionals, and other sources of assistance. Services are free and confidential.
Safe Homes Project
Safe Homes Project is a Brooklyn-based domestic violence organization that provides services to the LGBTQ community. Safe Homes Project advocates assist in making safety plans, obtaining orders of protection, legal representation, relocating or entering shelter, as well as providing referrals for needed benefits and other services. Most importantly, counselors and advocates will listen and offer unconditional support. All services are available in both English and Spanish and are free of charge.
SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders)
305 7th Ave., 16th floor (btwn. 27th & 28th St.), New York, NY 10001
Services and support for elders. Rap groups, language classes, exercise classes, and much more. The SAGE Group Services Office is located at the Center and the SAGE Drop-in and various groups are scheduled at the Center. Clinical Services are located at their main office.
Transgender Health Program
Below is a website that has MANY great selections for trans-folks, friends, family, practitioners, etc. It contains many excellent handouts:
Gay and Lesbian National Hotline
(M-F 4pm-12am, Sat 12-5pm) (888) 843-4564 or (212) 989-0999
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline provides telephone and email peer-counseling, as well as factual information and local resources for cities and towns across the United States. All of our services are free and confidential. We speak with callers of all ages about coming-out issues, relationship concerns, HIV/AIDS anxiety and safer-sex information, and lots more!
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing 24/7 crisis and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth
Trevor Lifeline : (866) 488-7386 . A crisis intervention and suicide prevention phone service available 24/7
Trevor Text: Text "Trevor" to 202-304-1200. Available Monday through Friday between 3pm -10 pm EST/Noon-7pm PT. Standard text messaging rates apply.
Trevor Chat: Online instant messaging with a trevor counselor. Available 7 days a week: between 3pm-10pm ET/Noon-7pm PT
A non-profit dedicated to the well being of transgender people. The hotline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people. We’re available 7am-1am PST / 9am-3am CST / 10am-4am EST.
HIV Law Project
15 Maiden Lane 18th Fl., New York, NY 10038
Phone: (212) 577-3001
The HIV Law Project provides free civil legal services to HIV-positive residents Manhattan and the Bronx, and homeless New Yorkers.
40 Exchange Place, 17th Fl., New York, NY 10005
Works to end discrimination in U.S. immigration law against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV-positive people, and helps obtain asylum for those persecuted in their home country based on their sexual orientation, transgender identity or HIV-status. Meets at the Center, 3rd Monday of every month, 8:00PM
Lesbian & Gay Law Association of Greater New York (LeGaL)
799 Broadway #340, New York, NY 10003
(212) 353-9118, (212) 459-4873
A Bar Association of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) legal community in the New York metropolitan area that provides a free, walk-in legal clinic at the Center every Tuesday at 6:00PM. For referrals to an attorney, leave a message stating the nature of the matter and your name and phone number.
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
120 Wall Street, Suite 1500, New York, NY 10005
A national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
Sylvia Rivera Law Project
322 8th Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10001
Fax: (212) 337-1972
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project provides free legal services to transgender, intersex and gender nonconforming low-income people and people of color.
ROOMMATES AND APARTMENTS
124 West 60th Street #23E, New York, NY 10023
(212) 627-8612, (212) 757-2865
172 Allen Street (Btwn. Stanton & Rivington)
(212) 777-6028 www.bluestockings.com
Bluestockings is a radical bookstore, fair trade cafe, and activist center in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
350 Lexington Avenue, Suite 401 (Corner of 40th & Lexington) New York, NY 10016
295 Madison Avenue
This site contains many job listings.
This site contains job listings for nonprofit and community organizations.
To find out more, see our list of Identity/Sexual Orientation Self-Help Guides and Books
Are you having a hard time falling asleep?
Are you finding yourself getting anxious and worried? Take a deep breath...Exhale... Everyone struggles with insomnia at times. Although it may be frustrating or worrisome, remember - nothing awful will happen if you get very little sleep tonight. You may be tired, cranky, or not as able to do your best tomorrow, but it happens to us all. It is also important to remember that the more stressed and upset we become, the harder it can be to fall asleep.
However, right now, let's focus on tonight. We'll work on helping you relax, which can help slow down your thoughts and quiet worries, making it easier to fall asleep.
Let's work on developing your breathing. Deep breathing is important for slowing the pace of your mind and body. Click here for a guided audio exercise from Serenity Yoga's website.
If you'd like additional guidance in relaxation, we can focus on releasing tension and stress from your body. Click here for step-by-step instructions from the counseling center at Hobart & William Smith College. If you think an additional relaxation exercise would be helpful click here.
You can also access free, relaxing music on a 24-hour on-line radio station.
In addition to following the tips on this page and learning about causes of insomnia and tips for improving sleep (click here), you may also want to attend the “Un-Stress Yourself Workshop” held weekly at Well Woman, where you can improve your relaxation skills and develop new techniques.
In addition, you may wish to make an appointment at Furman Counseling Center to work through these difficulties.
Good Sleeping Habits
The structure of college life can make it quite difficult to get the sleep that our bodies and minds need. The deadlines that hang over our heads, the ever changing schedule, the endless opportunities for excitement and fun in the city, and the pressure to do it all can lead to behaviors and patterns that contribute to insomnia.
One of the cardinal messages for battling insomnia is this: the more you worry about insomnia, the less likely you are to fall asleep. This makes sense since insomnia is most frequently caused by stress and anxiety. Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to sleep. Instead, trust that if you provide your body and mind with the tools they need, you’ll be able to settle into a regular rhythm of sleep. We’ve provided a list of these tools below.
Everyone struggles with sleep sometimes. This difficulty may last just a few days or weeks, or may become a chronic problem. People may also struggle with different aspects of sleep:
• Some people struggle with falling asleep
• Others find that they wake up repeatedly during the night
• Others find that they wake up too early and can’t fall back asleep
• And some may sleep enough hours but may find that their sleep is not restful
Other causes of insomnia may be more related to our patterns and behaviors before sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine offers these tips to improve your sleep.
• Do try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This is crucial for setting your body’s clock and developing a consistent rhythm of sleep.
• Develop some relaxing rituals every night before bed. Stop studying with enough time to do something quiet and relaxing - listen to some soothing music, take a warm bath (but NOT a shower, which can wake you up), have some herbal tea, or read for pleasure.
• Use your bed for sleep only. Don’t study, read, watch TV or eat in bed. You want it to be a place that is only associated with sleep.
• If you don’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed. Again, you want to associate your bed with SLEEP, not laying there feeling bored or worried. Get up and out of your bed. Try doing something relaxing or boring. Return to bed only when you feel sleepy again.
• Exercise regularly in the afternoon or early evening. Avoid vigorous exercise in the 2 to 3 hours before bed.
• Do have a light carbohydrate or dairy snack before bedtime. Avoid chocolate or sugar right before bed.
• Do try some relaxation techniques. Read the top of this page for some guided-relaxation audio.
• Do make your bedroom quiet, dark, and a little bit cool. If it’s too bright, try using a sleeping mask. If it’s too noisy, try using a fan or white noise machine.
• Leave a pad of paper next to your bed. Make a “to-do” list before going to bed to get worrisome thoughts out of your head. If you wake up with ideas, or something you forgot to do, write it down to help you let it go.
• Don’t take naps. They can prevent you from getting a better night’s sleep later at night. If you do nap, limit them to 30 minutes. Never nap after 3 PM.
• Don’t have caffeine after 3 PM.
• Don’t go to bed hungry or full.
• Don’t have alcohol or nicotine in the hours before sleep. They negatively interfere with your body’s natural sleep rhythms.
• Don’t “Clock Watch”. Staring at the clock only intensifies stress and worry, heightening insomnia. Turn the clock away from you.
• Don’t oversleep. You may have the urge to “catch up” on sleep if you didn’t get much the night before. Resist this temptation – it will often lead to poor sleep the following night.
Stress is the most common cause of insomnia. If you find that you are still struggling with sleep after trying these suggestions, you should work on ways to reduce stress and anxiety.
Chronic sleep difficulties can sometimes be related to other causes. Some of these factors, like anxiety, depression, or other emotional difficulties may require more treatment and support. Talking to a counselor at Furman about these difficulties is an important first step. Learn how to make an appointment. If you are uncomfortable with this option, consider talking to your medical doctor, advisor, clergy, or other helping professional.
If you are not sleeping and are nonetheless feeling highly energetic for several days in a row, this may be a sign of another underlying condition. Consult with a helping professional.
Sleep Aid Links
Many students have trouble maintaining regular sleep. We have provided a few links that will give you more information about how to strike a balance between wakefulness and rest. Information provided by the National Sleep Foundation and Well Woman.
ABCs of ZZZ's - When You Can't Sleep
More information can be found on the National Sleep Foundation website
Helpful links for Students who are athletes:
Tedx Talks on Athletes and Mental Health: The Hidden Opponent
The NCAA Sport Science Institute is a leader in providing health and safety resources to college athletes, coaches, athletics administrators and campus partners.
NCCA Best Practices for Understanding and Supporting Student-Athlete Mental Wellness
The Sport Science Institute web-based educational modules to help normalize and destigmatize mental health help seeking for college athletes.
Suicidality and College Students
Although college years can be a time of excitement and challenge, many students experience difficulty with the changes and pressures that can be part of the college experience. When psychological difficulties and emotional pain become intolerable, they can result in suicidal thoughts and attempts. Thoughts of suicide are not uncommon among college students; in fact, the Center for Disease Control reported that, in 2013, the percentage of people who had serious thoughts about suicide in the past year was the highest among adults between 18 and 25 years old. Importantly, suicidality is not an isolated phenomenon; estimates show that suicidal thoughts and attempts are very often associated with depression, and other treatable conditions (Garlow et al.,2008). Fortunately, the vast majority of students experiencing suicidal thoughts do not make an attempt, and the vast majority of attempts do not result in actual suicides.
Why do Students Consider Suicide?
We all experience feelings of loneliness, depression, helplessness, and hopelessness from time to time. The death of a family member, the breakup of a relationship, injuries to our self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, academic difficulties, and/or financial setbacks are serious problems that most of us can expect to face at some point in our lives. Each person's emotional makeup is unique, and each of us responds to situations differently, so even something that may seem of minor importance to one person can be extremely distressing to another.
Regardless of the nature of the crisis, if a person feels overwhelmed, without options, and/or is clinically depressed, there is danger that suicide may represent a solution to her. Because intense emotional distress can blind people to alternative solutions and available resources, suicide may appear to be the way out of an intolerable situation or unbearable pain. The tragedy is, of course, is that other solutions can always be created.
Signs of Risk
While some suicides occur without warning, most people at risk show some sign of their distress:
- Depression. According to the American Foundation on Suicide Prevention, suicidality among college students is, in the vast majority of cases, linked to depression. Symptoms of depression include:
- Feelings of sadness, worthlessness, guilt
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Loss of interest in activities formerly enjoyed
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Changes in appetite
- Diminished ability to concentrate
- Among students who are depressed, substance abuse, anxiety, impulsivity, and feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and desperation increase the risk
- Recent important losses or relationship breakups
- Isolation and/or withdrawal from friends and activities
- Giving personal or prized possessions away
- Taking unnecessary risks, or self-destructive behavior
- Talking about death or suicide. People who are considering suicide may make such indirect statements as:
“I don’t know how much longer I can take this.”
“My family would be better off without me.”
“I walked right out in front of traffic again today…it’s
like I don’t even care.”
- Changes in appetite
- Diminished ability to concentrate
- Previous suicide gestures or attempts
- A family history that includes suicide
Myths About Suicide
The stress of being a college student makes suicide more likely.
Actually, statistical evidence indicates that suicide is less frequent among college students than among their same-age peers who are not students.
Being at a prestigious, selective college makes suicide more likely.
No relationship has been found between student suicide rates and institutional prestige or size, nor to one's class standing.
If a person is seriously considering suicide, there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Most suicidal crises are time-limited, and are based on serious depressive symptoms, including distorted or unclear thinking and an experience of intolerable emotional pain. A person considering suicide does not want death so much as an escape from her pain, and can be helped in several ways. First, she will benefit from simply knowing that help is available, and from having the support of others through the immediate crisis period. She can be helped to clarify and expand her perceptions of her situation so that she can see previously hidden alternatives, or reconsider those that she had decided were impossible or unacceptable. She can be helped to understand that intolerable pain is usually, in fact, barely tolerable pain – and can be survived. Most important, she can receive treatment for depression, which involves psychotherapy that may be augmented by antidepressant medications.
Don’t ask a depressed person about suicide, because you might give her the idea.
Emotional crises themselves trigger the thought of suicide in a vulnerable person. Your openness and concern in asking about it can allow her to feel less lonely or isolated, and perhaps a bit relieved. Asking this question shows caring – and it will also provide you with an opportunity to support her in getting help.
What Can I Do to Help?
- If you think someone you know may be seriously depressed and/or suicidal, you should:
- Be calm, non-judgmental, and willing to listen. You don't need to say much, and there are no “right words.” Your voice and manner will show your caring and concern.
- Deal directly with the topic of suicide. Even people thinking seriously about suicide usually have mixed feelings about it and are open to help. Don't be afraid to ask directly: “Have you been thinking about suicide?”
- Offer hope that help, alternatives, and resources are available. Encourage problem-solving and positive actions, but remember that a person caught up in an emotional crisis may have trouble thinking clearly. Encourage her to refrain from making any serious, irreversible decisions while in crisis.
- Get help. Contact resources that can lend qualified assistance. Let the troubled person know that you are so concerned that you would like to arrange help beyond that which you can offer.
- Get help, even if it means breaking a confidence. Saving a life takes priority over keeping a secret, and taking full responsibility for another person’s recovery is more than you should shoulder alone.
- Do not leave a suicidal person alone until help has been contacted.
Regardless of the nature of the crisis, if a person feels overwhelmed, without options, and/or is clinically depressed, there is danger that suicide may represent a solution to her. Because intense emotional distress can blind people to alternative solutions and available resources, suicide may appear to be the way out of an intolerable situation or unbearable pain. The tragedy is, of course, is that other solutions can alwaysbe created.
If You are Feeling Suicidal:
Remember that, although it can feel like it will never end, depression is not a permanent condition, and emotional pain can be survived. Take action now to get support for yourself, and help with your depression.
Numbers that Barnard students can call for immediate help are:
- Barnard Furman Counseling Center (212) 854-2092
- After-hours Psychological Emergency Line, (855) 622-1903
- If you live in a residence hall, your RA, GA, or area director knows how to help. You can get the number for the Graduate Assistant On Call at the front desk of your residence hall.
- Barnard Primary Care Health Services Clinician-on-Call (855) 622-1903
- Barnard Security x4-3362
- CAVA ambulance service x4-5555
- Nightline x4-7777
Columbia University numbers include:
- Columbia Clinician-On-Call (212) 854-9797
- Columbia Counseling and Psychological Services (212) 854-2878
- Columbia Security (212) 854-5089
Other resources include New York City crisis intervention hotlines…
- The Samaritans, 24-Hour Crisis Hotline 212-673-3000
- Crisis Text Line, A free 24/7 text line for people in crisis. Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis and a live, trained Crisis Counselor will receive the text and respond to you quickly to provide support.
- Crisis Text Line, A free 24/7 text line for young person of color . Text STEVE to 741741
- Crisis Text Line for Eating Concerns. Text NEDA to 741741
- Crisis Text Line for Addiction. Text 4HOPE to 741741
…as well as the nearest hospital emergency room:
- St. Luke’s Hospital, corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 113th Street, (212) 523-3336
Other things that you can do over time to help yourself:
- Realize that suicidal thoughts are signals that you want your life to be different – not that you don't want life at all
- Understand that depression not only affects mood, it affects cognitive ability, making it more difficult to sort out your thoughts and come up with solutions. As you get help with your depression, you’ll be better able to think, concentrate, and see alternatives that aren’t visible to you now.
- Contact one of the resource numbers listed on this page to get help in making your life different
- Reach out to the safest person you can find – a friend, instructor, brother, sister, mother, father, clergy member, RA, GA, or area director. Let the person know how you're feeling and that you need to talk.
- Be sure you get plenty of rest. If you're having trouble sleeping, cut out coffee, soft drinks with caffeine, and tea. Take a warm shower or bath before going to bed. If noise bothers you, get soft earplugs from a pharmacy. Try listening to music, meditation or deep muscle relaxation.
- Avoid dangerous situations. Alcohol is very dangerous because it depresses your sense of control and confuses your judgment.
- Give yourself comfort -- a good book, music, a good meal
- Start writing down your thoughts and feelings in a private journal.
- Accept attention and support.
You can find more information visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Students seeking support for sexual assault can also visit the Barnard/Columbia Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center website.
Understanding Trauma-Related Stress
The experience of trauma can have enormous human, moral, and often times political and historical implications-it can both impact us personally as well as a community of people who are either living through the trauma, trying to support survivors, or trying to change the contexts that lead to or contribute to trauma.
An event can be understood as traumatic if a person experiencing the event(s) as, uncontrollable and inescapable, deeply distressing or disturbing, and as a stressor that may overwhelm the person's normal coping responses. It can include experiencing a serious injury to yourself or witnessing a serious injury to or the death of someone else., (2) facing imminent threats of serious injury or death to yourself or others, (3) experiencing a violation of personal physical integrity.
Unfortunately, more and more students are being exposed to various forms of trauma. From national disasters, mass shootings, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence, students and their families are being impacted by events that can overwhelm day tod ay coping strategies and resources. A student can also be exposed to singular or repeated forms of trauma."As Heerman(1997) notes, events are traumatic not because they are rare, but because they overwhelm the internal resources that usually give us a sense of control, connection, and meaning (Thema-Bryant)."
The Furman Counseling Center would like to offer you some information about the variety of ways that people can respond to traumatic experiences. Understanding normal responses to abnormal situations can help you to better take care of yourself and others.
Common responses to international, national, or regional tragedies:
- Shock and disbelief. Immediately after learning about a disaster, many people may feel numb, or feel like such an event can't be real. People may not realize immediately that they are having an emotional reaction.
- Feeling helpless and overwhelmed. Profound feelings of loss: for loved ones or acquaintances, for your sense of safety, for the world as you knew it.
- Speculating about what happened, and continuing interest in seeking more information such as listening to or watching the news, checking the web for updates, talking to others about what you each know or have heard.
- Grief, sadness, anger, and/or outrage about the tragedy
- Wanting to check in with loved ones, even if they are not close to the disaster, or in any immediate danger. It's normal to want to touch base with people you care about at times like this.
- Feeling upset that things aren't getting back to normal, or wondering how they'll ever be normal again.
- Feeling upset that others seem to be getting back to normal so quickly.
- Feeling down about whether or not it's appropriate to be worried about things that concerned you before the tragedy, and which now may seem trivial in comparison.
Dealing With Your Reactions
First, recognize that you have been exposed to a traumatic event and that it is bound to affect you in some way. Remember that there is no right or wrong way t think or feel about the traumatic event, and that any reaction you have it valid.
Be accepting of your own feelings and reactions, but understand that others around you may react to and cope with this event in ways that are very different from yours. You may feel that others are being inappropriately light-hearted or conversely, are being more somber than you feel yourself. As much as possible, try not to be judgmental. All of us will find slightly different ways to deal with this crisis
Talking to others about the event can be very helpful. Telling family or friends about your experience of the event and your feelings about it can be an important part of the recovery process.
Be patient with yourself as you resume the activities and tasks that are part of your everyday life. It may be difficult or impossible to plunge back into your schedule immediately; on the other hand, you may feel guilty if you do. Going on with your life in no way represent a a lack of respect for the gravity of the tragedy. In fact, it is only through people getting on with their lives that we can take care of each other and address the situations that caused and resulted from the disaster.
Be aware of how much information about the event you are able to take in. For some of us, having as much information as possible helps us cope; however, if you reach a point at which you feel overwhelmed by the stories and pictures in the media, you should avoid exposing yourself to them for a while.
Give help to others. The process of coming together to help each other can be profoundly healing for everyone involved, whether it is participating in organized assistance programs of just being a good listener to a friend.
In the hours and days following such tragedies, the initial shock begins to wear off, and other feelings may emerge, along with various psychological reactions that are common to people who have experienced a traumatic event. These psychological reactions often appear weeks or months after the event, and can manifest physically, cognitively, or emotionally.
Signs of Trauma Related Stress
Students can also experience a range fo reactions after experiencing sexual, gender based, and intimate partner violence. Sexual assault, sexual harrassment, stalking, and intimate partner violence occur on college campuses and can their impact can be wide ranging. Reactions to international, national, and regional tragedies can overlap with reactions from sexual, gencer based, and intimate partner violence.
Common physical reactions:
- Fatigue, exhaustion--even when you've slept
- Disrupted sleep
- Loss of motivation
- Restlessness, or inability to relax
- Nightmares or daydreams about the event
- Exaggerated startle reactions
- Digestive problems
Common cognitive reactions:
- Intrusive thoughts or pictures that you can't get our of your mind
- Disrupted concentration
- Difficulty making decisions
- Misplacing or losing belongings
- Difficulty remembering some part of the event
- Deliberate efforts to avoid thoughts and/or feelings about the event.
- Inability to focus on anything other than the crisis.
- Questioning why the violence happened to you
Common emotional reactions:
- Anger, irritability
- Strong reactions to reminders of the event (e.g., sirens)
- Worrying that an unpredictable tragedy might happen to you or someone you love
- Decreased interest in activities you usually enjoy
- Emotional numbness or feelings of detachment
- Feeling helpless
- Isolation or withdrawal
- Shame, guilt, self-blame
- Feeling like you are "in a haze"
- Feeling loss of control, especially over emotions
- Feeling disconnected from oneself and/or othe people
- Distrust of self and others
Common social/relational reactions
- Sexual difficulties
- Distancing/isolating from friends and family
- Decreased productivity
- Fear of being alone
- Difficulty in relaxing
- Increased drinking or drug use (not necessarily because of desire or for pleasure)
- Increased sexual activity (not necessarily because of desire or for pleasure)
- Difficulty keeping up with regular routine
Common worldview reactions
- Questioning and/or loss of faith
- Distrust of people
- Distrust of self and ability to make decisions
- Can decrease creativity
These reactions are painful, but as mentioned, are parts of the normal process of responding to an overwhelming event. There are some ways to promote emotional healing in yourself and in others.
- Recognize and accept your feelings as normal responses
- Be aware that feelings about previous traumatic experiences or losses may be stirred up for you by current event(s)
- Reach out and make contact with others when it's comfortable
- Maintain your usual schedule as much as you can, but be flexible--give yourself permission to take "time out"
- Get extra rest and set aside time to relax
- Eat regular, balanced meals even if you don't feel hungry
- Exercise or participate in some regular physical activity like walking
- Avoid using alcohol or drugs to cope
- Give and get support from people you trust
- Rely on ways of coping that have worked fro you in the past, like writing in a journal, listening to music, or meditating
- Try not to berate yourself for having any of these reactions. After all, they are signs of your humanity.
- Connect to communities that you trust
Some people have an intense and prolonged reaction to traumatic events called post-traumatic stress. Post-traumatic stress can significantly interfere with your functioning, and may not become apparent until months after a traumatic event. It is characterized by symptoms that include
- Flashbacks of the events
- persistent memory disturbances
- Persistent intrusive recollections of the events
- Self-medication, e.g. use of alcohol or drugs to avoid feelings
- Acute and persistent anger or irritability
- Persistent feelings of depression
- Persistent emotional numbness and/or flooding, or alteration between the two
- Hyperarousal, e.g. anxiety, edginess, hypervigilance
- Panic attacks
- Development of phobias
If you, or another student you know, is experiencing intense or prolonged reactions to this (or any) traumatic event, or if you'd just like another place to talk, please remember that the Furman Counseling Center offers confidential help and support, both in individual and group settings. To make an appointment, or to get more information, just stop by the first floor of Hewitt Hall, or call 854-2092.
Trauma, Sexual and Childhood Abuse Links
- In the wake of Trauma: Tips for college students. A helpful information from SAMHSA
- Coping with grief after community violence is a useful information about some signs of grief and anger, and provides some tips on how to cope with grief
- David Baldwin's trauma pages is an excellent site on trauma with many resources and downloadable articles, including several on child abuse and its long-term effects.
- Administration for Children and Families - Downloadable articles and statistics
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center
- Information, articles, and resources about sexual violence within and across multiple communities.
- Rape Abuse and Incest National Network
- 24 hour confidential online hotline, information for survivors and co-survivors, statistics, projects, and resources.
- Love is respect
- Chat at www.loveisrespect.org
Text loveis to 22522*
- Peer advocates offer support, information and advocacy to young people who have questions or concerns about their dating relationships. Provide information and support to concerned friends and family members, teachers, counselors, service providers and members of law enforcement. Free and confidential phone, live chat and texting services are available 24/7/365. Chat room, information about prevalence and dynamics of dating violence, articles about healthy relationships, quizzes about healthy relationships, and information about how to get help.
- The Network La Red
- The Network/La Red is a survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, BDSM, polyamorous, and queer communities. Rooted in anti-oppression principles, our work aims to create a world where all people are free from oppression. We strengthen our communities through organizing, education, and the provision of support services.
- The Network La Red offers information, resources, hotline services (617-742-4911(v) 617-227-4911(TTY)), and trainings for organizations and groups.
- NYC Anti-Violence Project
- AVP provides free and confidential assistance to thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected people each year from all five boroughs of New York City through direct client services and community organizing and public advocacy. AVP has a reporting violence resource, a free, bilingual (English/Spanish), 24-hour, 365-day-a-year crisis intervention hotline (212-714-1141), short-term, professional counseling for survivors of all forms of violence, advocacy and accompaniment, support groups, and legal service support.
To find out more, see our list of Sexual Assualt and Intimate Partner Self-Help Guides and Books
Self-Help Websites and Books
Below is a list of helpful websites and self-help books. They cover a wide range of topics, such as anxiety, depression, grief and loss, anger, procrastination, and identity. We have included resources for those who have these concerns as well as resources for friends and family who knows someone with these concerns.
We hope you find this information helpful, but remember, self-help materials can provide only general information and guidance. If you're concerned about how one of these issues is affecting your life, visit us in the Furman Counseling Center to talk it over.
- General Mental Health
- Self-Care, Wellness and Sleep
- Anxiety/Stress Management
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Depression/Bipolar Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Parental Divorce and resources
- Sexual Assault/Rape and Intimate Partner Violence
- Identity/Sexual Orientation
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Real Life Stories
General Mental Health
Tips for managing difficult emotions.
Six tips for taking control of your emotional health.
Improving emotional health: strategies and tips for good mental health.
Experiencing and expressing emotions.
Self-Care, Wellness and Sleep
Preventing burnout: signs, symptoms, causes, and coping strategies.
Tips for getting a good night sleep.
Self-care checklist. Assess how you are doing with your own self-care.
Self-injury: help, support and treatment.
Managing stress: a guide for college students.
The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook (5th Ed.) by Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, and Matthew McKay .Comprehensive workbook with instructions on how to relax and manage stress, inducing breathing, meditation, worry control, nutrition and exercise.
Don't Panic: Taking Control of Anxiety Attacks by R. Reid Wilson.Practical self-help book for reducing panic attacks.
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and Feel the Fear... and Beyond by Susan Jeffers. Both books offer techniques for confronting fears and anxieties to achieve inner strength and self-fulfillment.
The Worry Cure by Robert Leahy, Ph.D. Seven steps to stop worry from stopping you.
Borderline Personality Disorder
The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation &...Tolerance by Matthew McKay
Stop Walking on Eggshells by Randi Kreger. Essential tools and techniques on taking your life back when someone you care about has BPD.
I Hate You--Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality by Jerold J. Kreisman and Hal Straus
Marsha Linehan's youtube video, "Back from the Edge: Borderline Personality Disorder" provides clear explanation of the disorder coupled with individuals who have BPD speaking about their experiences and helpfulness of DBT
Darkness Visible by William Styron. A short autobiographical account of the author's encounter with severe depression
The Chemistry of Joy: A 3-Step Program for Overcoming Depression Through Western Science and Eastern Wisdom by Henry Emmons. Gives an introduction of how Western medicine and Eastern traditions view depression. Addresses depression from these perspectives. Offers a clear description of how to think about brain chemistry and what happens to depression suffers' brains.
Feeling Good by David D. Burns. Introduces readers to cognitive therapy and helps identify and challenge self-defeating beliefs.
64 Ways to Beat the Blues: From Blah to Bliss! Without St. John's Wort, Shopping or Too Much Ice Creamby Yolanda Nave. Short, illustrated, easy-to-read, fun reading to get over the blues.
Undoing Depression by Richard O'Connor. Written by a psychotherapist who once suffered from depression. Offers information and skills to combat it.
An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield, Jamison. Autobiographical book by psychiatrist with bipolar disorder.
Perfectionism vs. Healthy Striving.
Never Good Enough: How to Use Perfectionism to Your Advantage Without Letting it Ruin Your Life by Monica Ramirez Basco. For perfectionists (and those who think they might be) and those who live with one (a chapter). Provides tests/activities, examples, and way to cope with what can be a debilitating obsession.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene' Brown, Ph.D. L.M.S.W.
The Worry Cure: 7 Steps to stop worry from stopping you by Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D.
Tips to overcome procrastination.
Beat Procrastination and Make the Grade: A Life-Saving Guide for Students by Linda Sapadin. Step-by-step guide in dealing with procrastination. Deals with six types of procrastinators: perfectionists, dreamers, worriers, deifiers, crisis-makers, and over-doers. Offers strategies for each types.
Overcoming Procrastination by Albert Ellis and William Knaus. Discusses the causes of procrastination and offers tools to overcome it. Authors are psychologists.
The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. Written by another psychologist. Offers strategies to deal with procrastination.
Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now by Jane N. Burka & Lenora M. Yuen
Controlling anger before it controls you.
The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships by Harriet Lerner. Normalizes anger and offers a different way to understand and think about it.
The Forgiving Self: The Road from Resentment to Connection by Robert Karen. Written from a Western psychoanalytic perspective, this book explores forgiveness, loss and reconnection.
National Students of AMF Support Network: College students supporting college students grieving the illness or death of a loved one.
The Loss That is Forever: The Lifelong Impact of the Early Death of a Mother or Father by Maxine Harris. Stories from more than 60 women and men who have lost a parent, including famous figures like Eleanor Roosevelt, Virginia Woolf, and C.S. Lewis.
Don't Let Death Ruin Your Life: A Practical Guide to Reclaiming Happiness After the Death of a Love Oneby Jill Brooke. Addresses accepting loss and transforming it into a positive memory.
Recovery from Bereavement by Volin Murray Parkes and Robert S. Weiss. For readers who want to understand or help those who are recovering from losing someone.
The Farewell Chronicles: How We Really Respond to Death by Anneli Rufus. Explores the complex reactions to death (apathy, guilt, greed, relief, etc.) and the different ways we mourn.
Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss by Hope Edelman. About author's own story and stories of other women who have lost their mothers at a young age. A NYTimes Bestseller.
Living Beyond Loss: Death in the Family by Froma Walsh and Monica McGoldrick. Talks about the impact of loss on families. Also addresses spirituality, traumatic deaths, and loss in diverse cultures.
Living Through Personal Crisis by Ann Kaiser Stearns
Anorexia Nervosa: A Survival Guide for Families, Friends and Sufferers by Janet Treasure. Supportive and informative book for sufferers and their caregivers.
Overcoming Binge Eating by Christopher Fairburn. Based on scientific research, this excellent self-help guide has information about binge eating.
Surviving and Eating Disorder: Strategies for Family and Friends by Michele Siegel, Judith Brisman, and Margot Weinshel. Covers all eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder) and is also great for those who think they have an eating disorder.
Anorexia Nervosa: A Guide to Recovery by Lindsay Hall and Monika Ostroff. This text is written by two who have recovered from anorexia. In addition to sharing their experiences, they give an overview of the treatment researched.
Eating in the Light of the Moon: How Women Can Transform Their Relationship with Food Through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling by Anita Johnston, Ph.D.
8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder by Carolyn Costin & Gwen Schubert Grabb
Body Wars by Margo Maine, Ph.D.
Goodbye ED, Hello Me! by Jenni Schaefer
Healing Your Hungry Heart by Joanna Poppink, MFT
Hope, Help, and Healing for Eating Disorders by Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D.
Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, M.S.RD & Elyse Resch, RD
Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder by Johanna S.Kandel
Life Without ED by Jenni Schaefer
Making Weight by Arnold Anderson, M.D. & Leigh Cohn MAT, & Thomas Holbrook, MD
Man Up to Eating Disorders by Andrew Whalen, LCSW-C
Midlife Eating Disorder by Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D.
Regaining Yourself by Ira Scker MD & Sheila Buff
Restoring Our Bodies, Reclaiming Our Lives by Aimee Liu
Shattered Image by bruan Cuban
The Body Image Workbook by Thomas Cash, Ph.D
Women Food and God by Geneen Roth
Anatomy of Anorexia by Steven Levenkron, Ph.D
Beating Ana by Shannon Cutts
Decoding Anorexia by Carrie Arnold
Andrea's Voice...Silenced by Bulimia by Doris Smeltzer with Andrea Lynn Smeltzer
Bulimia: A Guide for Family and Friends by Roberta Sherman, Ph.D. & Ron Thompson, Ph.D.
Overcoming Bulimia Workbook by Randi Cabe, Ph.D., Traci McFarlane,Ph.D., Marion Olmsted, Ph.D
Binge Eating and Compulsive Overeating Workbook by Carolyn Cooker Ross MD
Break Free From Emotional Eating by Geneen Roth
Crave: Why You Binge Eat and How to Stop by Cynthia M. Bulik, Ph.D.
End Emotional Eating by Jennifer Taitz, Psy.D.
Food: The Good Girl's Drug by Sunny Sea Gold
Overcoming Overeating by Jane Hirschman & Carol H. Hunter
Smash: Story of a Drunken Girlhood by Koren Zailckas. Author tells her story as an "alcohol abuser" from age 14 to 23.
Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs, From Alcohol to Ecstasy by Cynthia Kuhn, Scott Sqartzwelder, and Wilkie Wilson Clear. Easy-to-read handbook about drugs, including how they work and their physical effects.
Sexual Assault/Rape and Intimate Partner Violence
The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura David. For women sexually abused as children (and their families and friends), this book discusses how to come to terms with the experience and heal.
After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back by Nancy Venable Raine. The author's journey from her rape on to recovery.
Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self by Susan J. Brison. The author shares her rape survivals. She relates rape to other violent and traumatic acts, like war, murder, and abuse.
Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence by Lisa Factora-Borchers and Aishah Shahidah Simmons. Shares the lessons, meomories, and vision of over fifty artists, activists, mothers, writers, and students who share their stories of surviavl or what it means to be an advocate and ally to survivors.
Thriving in the Wake of Trauma: A Multicultural Guide by Thema Bryant-Davis. Explanins how cultural factors affect our perception of, and recovery from, trauma triggered by events including sexual assault, domestic violence, racial and homophobic hate crimes and discrimation. Each chapter offers activities to aid recovery-from journaling, movement, music and spirituality to activism and social support.
Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a world without Rape by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti. Feminist, political, and activist writers present their idesas for a paradigm shift that dismantles how rape is understood in our culture and replaces with respect and understanding for female sexual pleasure and autonomy.
Trauma Stewardship: An everyday guide for caring for self while caring for others by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky. Explores the impact of working to support people who have experienced trauma and offers examples of intentional practice to increase mindful presence and decrease feeling of burn out and being overwhelmed.
Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman by Leslie Feinberg. This book documents the transgender experience through history and invites readers to consider the spectrum of gender possibilities. It presents the transgender experience as nothing new, but as it has existed throughout time.
Middles by Jeffrey Eugenides. A fictional account of an intersexed person and three generations of the person's Greek-American family. Pulitzer Prize winner.
Transgender Emergence: Therapeutic Guidelines for Working with Gender-Variant People and Their Families by Arlene Istar Lev. Provides views on assessment and treatment through a nonpathologizing lens that honors human diversity. A thoughtful and clear exploration of assessment and intervention issues with gender-variant people and their families.
Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink and Blue by Leslie Fenberg. A collection of Leslie Feinberg's speeches on transliteration and its essential connection to the liberation of all people. Easy to read and inspiring.
Gender Identities in A Globalized World by Ana Marta Gonzalez
Two Spirit People edited by Wesley Thomas
Transforming Families : Real Stories about Transgendered Loved Ones by Mary Boenke
She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jenny Finney Boylan
Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg
Gender Warriors by Leslie Feinberg
Female Masculinity by Judith Halberstam
Transgender Voices: Beyond Women and Men by Lori Girshick
Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein
Becoming a Visible Man by Jamison Green
She’s Not The Man I Married by Helen Boyd
The Transgender Child by Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper
Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian History from 1869 to the Present by Neil Miller
Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano
Ten Days to Self Esteem by David D Burns.
Author of Feeling Good, this manual provides techniques to help readers identify and challenge their self-defeating beliefs and distorted thinking.
The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships by Harriet Lerner. Normalizes anger and offers a different way to understand and think about it.
The Forgiving Self: The Road from Resentment to Connection by Robert Karen. Written from a Western psychoanalytic perspective, this book explores forgiveness, loss and reconnection.
The Two Step: The Dance Toward Intimacy by Eileen McCann. Illustrated (by Douglas Shannon), fun, and humorous book that covers all relationships, including heterosexual, homosexual, family, and friendship.
Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood. Helps the reader understand why women are attracted to the wrong men for the wrong reasons.
Emotional Vampires: Dealing with People Who Drain You Dry by Albert Bernstein. The author shows you how to spot and protect yourself from "emotional vampires" such as the self-serving narcissist, Histrionic drama queens, and hedonistic Antisocialists.
Attention Deficit Disorder
Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most Out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey. Offers advice and tips about how to live successfully with ADD. Written by two authors who have ADD themselves.
Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey, M.D.
The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to his White Mother by James McBride. A memoir and autobiography of an African-American biracial man who grew up in an all-black housing project in Brooklyn. The author describes how he and his mother grappled with issues of race, religion, and identity.
The Namesake by Jumpa Lahiri. Describes the cultural and generational issues faced by an Indian family. The main character is Gogol, the son of first generation Bengali parents, who struggles with his bicultural identity and an awkward name.
The Maria Paradox: How Latinas Can Merge Old World Traditions with New World Self-Esteem by Rosa Maria Gill and Carmen Inoa Vazquez. Authors introduce and concept of Marianismo, the traditional, subservient role of Hispanic women, and the way many Latina women define themselves. They present practical advice on how to integrate the Latin cultural tradition with an American way of life.
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat. This novel is about Sophie, a Haitian woman, who comes to New York to be reunited with her mother and learns about her mother's dark past. The author is a Barnard alum.
Sister of the Yam: Black Women and Self-Recovery by Bell Hooks. The author examines the various -isms (sexism, racism and capitalism) that Black women face and describes strategies for self-recovery and healing.
Making Waves: An Anthology of Writings By and About Asian-American Women and
Making More Waves: New Writings by Asian American Women edited by Elaine Kim, Lilia Villaneuca and Asian Women United of California. Both are collections of essays, poetry, and short stories by Asian American women who share their stories about immigration, identity, war, work, generational differences, injustice, and activism.
Making Face, Making Soul: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Women of Color edited by Gloria Anzaldua. A collection of essays and poetry by and about women of color.
Real Life Stories
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert. Gilbert's humorous, wide-ranging tale brings home the challenges of the search for self and the pain of loss. Reading about someone else's struggles illustrates the realization that these are universal themes and that you are not alone.
YELL-Oh Girls: Emerging Voices Explore Culture, Identity and Growing Up Asian American edited by Vickie Nam. Everyone usually find one story that speaks to them in this collection written by Asian-American girls and women. Use this book as an opportunity to connect with others' experiences and start to talk about your own.
Asian American X: An Intersection of Twenty-First Century Asian-American Voices edited by Agar Han and John Hsu. These stories speak to the search for identity and the tension between Eastern and Western values.
Beginning Mindfulness: Learning the Way of Awareness by Andrew Weiss. A practical step-by-step guide to mindfulness training.
The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. More than a how-to, this book conveys the joyfulness and playfulness that can come from mindfulness in everyday life.
Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chodron. Chodron writes about a Tibetan Buddhist technique, tonglen, in which one breathes in and pictures the most painful and difficult things and then breathes out and pictures clarity, calm and peace.
The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron.
Jon Kabat Zinn - Sitting Body Scan Guided Meditation - 1 hour 11 minutes
Jon Kabat Zinn - In the face of Emotional Upset 2017 - 20 minutes
Jon Kabat Zinn - Meditation Relieving Panic 2016 - 11 minutes
Reclaiming Courage - Progressive Muscle Rexation 2013 - 21 minutes
Dr. Jamie Marich : Progressive Muscle Relaxation 2014 - 15 minutes
Deepak Chopra: Meditation Exercise for Stress Relief 2013 - 15 minutes
A Grief Out of Season. When Parents divorce in Your Adult Years by Noelle Fintushel and Nancy Hillard. Second Chances: Men, Women and Children a Decade After Divorce by Judith Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee.
Naked Roommate: Parents Only by Harlan Cohen
Get Out of My Life, but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall? by Anthony E. Wolf
Letting Go: A parent's Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Levin Coburn
How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims
Set To Go www.settogo.org
Ted Talk by Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability
Brené Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.
Ted Talk by Eleanor Longden: The voices in my head
To all appearances, Eleanor Longden was just like every other student, heading to college full of promise and without a care in the world. That was until the voices in her head started talking.
TedxYouth Talk by Kevin Breel: Confessions of a Depressed Comic
In this emotional talk, Kevin Breel speaks from the heart about his story with depression, how it's impacted his life, and why he is ultimately grateful for it.
The Science of Happiness: An Experiment in Gratitude