Primary appraisal tells Sue that if she doesn’t pass her Biochemistry paper she will not have a chance to get into the physical therapy school. Thus this is a threatening event from her initial evaluation whether the event of passing will determine her entry into physical therapy school is stressful and she has to get at least a high B. She has even struggled with the class all semester despite her working hard.
Because now Sue has viewed the event of passing as stressful and threatening, she has made a secondary appraisal. She has evaluated her coping resources and options of dealing with the stress. Her tutor is helping and she is trying a variety of strategies to have her stay calm and perform her best on the exam. Sue feels like she has lost control as she often gets stressed in the exam that her mind goes blank; she even gets anxious about doing well on the exam as she enters the exam room and of her strategies nothing has really worked. Though Sue has a coping potential as she is trying a variety of strategies to stay calm, it seems like nothing is working for her.
Sue has different options of coping strategies: if she tries problem management strategy, then she has to find out what causes her stress and anxiety during exams that she forgets all that she has revised and then learn new skills on how to manage her problem. She also has the option of using emotion focused strategy as it involves release of pent up emotions, meditating, and use of relaxation procedures to manage hostile feelings. Though psychologists recommend the use of emotion management to women, it is recommended that she tries both problem and emotion management (Craine, R. 1985).
Sue should try to use cognitive therapy to overcome her difficulties to change her thinking behavior and emotional responses, this is to positively change her thoughts and help her relax before she attempts her exam paper. She should also try deep breathing before she attempts her exam, in this way oxygen is ingested which is a therapy for anxiety disorder.Â A cognitive-behavioral therapy with medication is usually effective for most anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorderÂ Â Â (Harvard Health Publications, 2007)