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September 15, 2008
Sacramento State Bulletin

New group for sexual assault survivors forming on campus

Sacramento State’s Student Health Center will host four sessions of “Yoga and Healing for Sexual Assault,” an innovative, evidenced-based program for sexual assault survivors. The two-part program consists of a yoga session led by respected instructor Tamara Lee Standard, and a group discussion focused on healing for sexual assault survivors led by Cathy Connors. Connors, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who has worked in the mental health field for over 15 years. Standard is an experienced yoga instructor who has been featured in Yoga Journal Magazine, SN&R and Enrolled Sacramento State students are encouraged to participate in the October 9, 16, 23 and 30 sessions. Each session is from noon to 1:15 p.m. in the Student Health Center Conference Room.

“We’ve received student interest before the semester started,” says Jessica Heskin, coordinator of Violence and Sexual Assault Support Services at the Health Center. Heskin is hopeful that the sessions will give survivors immediate tools to reduce anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder symptoms. “We want the students to leave that day with something that may help them.”
According to Heskin, “Yoga helps decrease symptoms by utilizing relaxation techniques. The memory of the trauma is imprinted on the human body; yoga helps reconnect the survivor with their physical self, thereby reestablishing a friendly/positive relationship with one’s body.” A number of research studies have shown that yoga in conjunction with more traditional therapy decreases Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms in veterans. Similar services have begun to be provided at rape crisis centers in the country. These sessions would be a first at Sacramento State.

Interested students should contact Cathy Connors 278-3367, before Sept. 28. Connors will conduct a brief, confidential screening. There is no charge for this group, and again is only for enrolled Sacramento State students.  For more information about the Student Health Center or Violence and sexual assault support services, contact Heskin 278-3799. This program is sponsored by Student Health Services, Psychological Counseling Services and the Women’s Resource Center.

About the writer:
Sacramento State’s Angelo Williams can be reached at 278-6156.


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