Charlotte Chapman

11 04, 2017

Tips for Partners of Survivors

By |April 11th, 2017|Blog, Counseling|0 Comments|

When you are in a relationship with someone who has been harmed, it is difficult to know how to help your partner while also managing your own reactions. Some of the reactions you may have are:

  • Anger
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Guilt or shame
  • Fearfulness
  • Denial
  • Frustration
  • Depression
  • Wanting to take action

Because of these reactions, it is sometimes helpful for you to seek support for yourself, in addition to your partner seeking help to recover from the violence. All of these reactions are normal responses to trauma – even when you did not experience a traumatic event directly yourself. Managing these reactions in a healthy way is key to being able to support your partner.

29 12, 2015

Tips for keeping new years resolutions

By |December 29th, 2015|Blog, Counseling|0 Comments|

Eat healthier.
Get more organized.
Exercise more.

These may sound familiar as resolutions we have all made many times. And then…the change doesn’t last. Changing habits is hard work but it can be done.

Here are some TIPS that might be helpful.

First: Make the change into a specific, reasonable goal. Eating healthier is too big a goal and too vague. Pick one thing you would like to change about your eating and focus on that for one month. Then once that change is successful, choose the next goal. For example, I will eat a healthy breakfast three times a week. This is a reasonable and manageable goal.

17 11, 2015

Tips for Mentally Healthy Holidays

By |November 17th, 2015|Counseling|0 Comments|

Expectations and Relationships

Many problems occur during the holidays because our expectations are unrealistic. One expectation is that it should be a magical time (and often it can be). We also tend to hope that everyone will act “their best” because of the holiday. We hope that everyone will forgive and forget. We expect our family to look like the ones on the Hallmark commercials. The media and advertisements can play a big part in creating our unrealistic expectations.

A healthier approach is to be more realistic. Trying to accept that you can only control yourself and not others will help as well. If you have family conflicts, do not expect them to go away because it is the holiday season. Sometimes conflicts can escalate at this time of year so “hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”

We suggest focusing on what makes the holiday meaningful for you. Also making plans to prevent over-extending, over-eating, over-spending and over-drinking will make for a healthier experience. If you are stressed, this can lead to more relationship conflicts.

One strategy is to limit the time you plan to spend with someone who you are having difficulty with and let them know ahead of time you have a limit.

One example: You have a friend who drinks too much and criticizes you. Let her know you will be by to visit with her for one hour during the time she is less likely to be drinking or plan to be with her at an event where she has limited access to alcohol.

Families and friends have expectations too and can make unrealistic demands on you at this time of year, especially for students who have been away from home. Everyone wants to see you! The same is true for someone who has recently gotten married or had a baby. Setting boundaries with loved ones is difficult so you may want to start practicing with that as early as possible.

Some suggestions: You can send an email or make a phone call to let them know ahead of time that you have a limited amount of time for visits. You can also make arrangements to see them at a time later in the year.

21 09, 2015
  • Motivational Interviewing
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    How we utilize Motivational Interviewing here at the Women’s Center

How we utilize Motivational Interviewing here at the Women’s Center

By |September 21st, 2015|Blog, Counseling|0 Comments|

One of the main approaches being used by the counseling staff at the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center is Motivational Interviewing. This is a collaborative conversation style approach for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change. This approach is strengths-based and is based on principles of partnership, acceptance, compassion and evocation. There are three different ways that staff at the Women’s Center are involved with Motivational Interviewing:  counseling, training and coaching members of the U.Va. community, and professional presentations.


Why is this an approach we want to use as part of counseling students? First, it matches the value of student autonomy that is part of the U.Va. culture. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is based on the assumption that change occurs when there is self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation. In other words, someone will not change because they are simply told to do so. Change occurs in a relationship where there is trust, empathy and a dialogue about what the person’s goals are for their own change process. The student is the one in charge of the change process and has many choices as to how they want to engage in this process.

It can also be used as a brief model so that it fits with students’ busy life styles. This evidence-based approach has been researched specifically with the age group of most students, so when used by professionals trained in the model, a motivational interviewing approach gets results. This is important to students so that they are not spending time with a counselor and feeling as though they are not making progress. The research suggests that this approach is helpful in getting the person engaged and in reducing their resistance to change.

26 08, 2015

Tips for a Healthy Start to the Academic Year

By |August 26th, 2015|Blog, Counseling|0 Comments|

Any change in life can cause stress, even a positive change. Whether you’re coming to U.Va. for the first time or returning to Grounds for your second, third, or fourth year, change can be stressful. Relationships are new or different, and you may find yourself in the middle of unfamiliar experiences and living spaces, all of which contribute to the excitement and challenge of adjusting to a new year. But any change presents a good opportunity for growth.

Amidst all the changes, taking the time to sit down with a friend or counselor can help you take full advantage of this opportunity to grow.