Psychologist Beth Cohen. Photo courtesy of UC Davis Staff Development and Professional Services

UC Santa Barbara Academic & Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) Senior Consultant and Psychologist Beth Cohen will hold a discussion on psychological healing titled “The Impact of the Isla Vista Tragedy: One Year Later” Wednesday and Thursday at noon in the University Center in preparation for the upcoming anniversary of the events of May 23 last year.

In these discussions, Cohen will explore the lasting impacts of trauma on the I.V. and UCSB communities and different types of healing processes individuals may experience.

According to Cohen, the discussion will focus on the community-wide and individual reactions to traumatic events.

“I’m going to do a lot of education about post-traumatic stress disorder, about how trauma can affect people and they don’t even know it, some of the research around trauma and then ways of healing,” Cohen said.

Cohen said she encourages I.V. and UCSB community members to recognize the long-lasting effects of trauma.

“To give you an idea, there are a number of cases right now that I am working where actual people, faculty and staff specifically, are having trouble working and didn’t know why,” Cohen said. “Truth was that they were traumatized and they didn’t know it. The important thing is that education around trauma is vital … trauma is very treatable.”

Cohen aims to help those affected by the events of May 23 last year understand their emotions are normal, ASAP Coordinator John Berberet said.

“It’s our way of helping people come to terms with it or help people find some meaning and moving on, not in the spirit of forgetting or disregarding, but to find some meaning and understanding,” Cohen said.

The important thing is that education around trauma is vital … trauma is very treatable. – Psychologist Beth Cohen

Berberet said one goal of the discussion is to help the individuals understand repressed emotions that may surface during the week of May 23.

“People that experience and examine trauma in the past in another part of their life — some of that stuff can get stirred up again when another traumatic event happens,” Berberet said.

Berberet said he anticipates that the first anniversary of the events of May 23 last year will be difficult for I.V. and UCSB.

“Especially with the first anniversary, there’s something about our human nature we sort of reassess and reexamine what is going on in our lives that we to have memorialize to help us heal,” Berberet said.

Berberet said I.V. residents and UCSB students, staff and faculty have found unique ways of healing since May 23 last year.

“Wonderful people are finding … ways of dealing or finding memorials or rituals that are moving forward for the community,” Berberet said.

ASAP encourages faculty and staff to attend one of the two sessions and also welcomes students to the discussion, in addition to the services Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) will continue to offer throughout the week.