Psychology of Stress and Trauma
This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.
How do we cope with war, natural disaster, or terrorism? What about surviving experiences with abuse or torture? How are these experiences different or similar to routine life stresses like exams, getting divorced, or taking exams? How can you prevent or treat psychological problems that might arise after trauma? These are some of the overarching issues that will be addressed in this course.
As reflected in the media, our current global community has experienced seemingly overwhelming levels of trauma; recent years have seen sharp increases in the numbers of natural disasters as well as a shift toward increases in civilian exposure to war and terrorism. Moreover, a surprising number of Americans report exposure to other types of trauma such as abuse or assault. In some individuals, traumatic experiences may result in significant psychological difficulties, difficulties in interpersonal relationships, and physical health problems and may increase the likelihood that they experience future trauma. Numerous treatments have been found to prevent later problems and or to treat problems related to response to trauma.
This course will introduce students to the field of traumatic stress. Through lecture, discussions, projects and in class activities students will gain an understanding of how humans cope with trauma, what factors (i.e., aspects of the trauma, social support, personality and coping style, biology and genetics) predict who will have difficulty coping with trauma, and how we can treat trauma. There will be opportunities for exposure to major treatment approaches.