“Staying Empowered After a Traumatic Event”

Norco College Dean of instruction lectures on how to deal with stress and conflict

Written by Tyler Reese

To lighten the burdens or resolve any internal conflicts college students may battle, a lecture known as “Staying Empowered After a Traumatic Event” took place at Riverside City College in the Digital Library and Learning Resource Center Auditorium.

In light of the tragedies that befell American citizens such as the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, the Student Health and Psychological Services held a lecture March 17 with guest speaker Kevin Fleming, the dean of instruction for Norco College, as a means to help students with  struggles they may be going through or dealing with.

“Some people choose not to change,” said Johnathan Crawford, an RCC student. “But we’re prideful or that their ego is too inflated, they never will.”

For a better sense of understanding the phases of trauma Fleming started by displaying a diagram known as the “ABC” model, which stood for acting, belief and control, a variety of different ways to control one’s emotions and how to express them were given. Concern for one’s well being and the stress of everyday life were all taken into account with the acting portion of the diagram. For acting it was an acting event or active as in ongoing which stimulates the mind in different ways.

“You’re not used to it happening but when you hear or see certain things, memories can come flooding back into your mind without a moment’s notice,” RCC student Robert Dura said.

According to the lecture, the cause of an emotion is the belief part of the model and deals with triggers which cause us to remember certain events vividly. When we remember certain events vividly it is because the brain details the information we perceive in a different way whether it be a life lesson or precious memory.

“There’s a filter in our brain that allows us to channel emotional reactions and based on that reaction we can relive specific events that have already happened,” said Fleming.

Control, the third letter of the model’s acronym handles with shifted views and comfort. Moving on or getting passed a hard phase in life is the sum of “control” like realizations that the pain of loss and forget will stay but you can move forward to something better.

Before concluding the lecture, Fleming ended with a poem called “The Oak Tree” which symbolizes wisdom and enduring strength. Just like humans who struggle through the ups and downs in life the oak tree is honored for its endurance and nobility. So we too as human beings whether it be the ups or the downs in life, we can prevail in the end because to get where we our now, we have already endured for so long.