Every human being starts his or her existential journey with the period of maximum plasticity, with childhood, that is why the echoes of good things and, unfortunately, the bad ones that happen to us, mark us both emotionally and socially throughout life. Therefore, child abuse repercussions leave their mark on a person’s development and maturity, both in adolescence and especially in adulthood, and especially on women. Stress management coping skills to be used by women abused in childhood are less-known.
In psychology literature, coping is described as a dynamic process in which intentional physical or mental actions are involved, based on a stressor, oriented towards internal or environmental conditions. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) define coping as “cognitive and behavioral change efforts to cope with external or internal demands that lead to of exceeding individual’s personal resources”.
Efforts to cope with stress are directed towards the cognitive and behavioral effort of the individual to reduce, control and tolerance internal or external demands that exceed personal resources, involving three stages: anticipation (warning); confrontation (impact); post-confrontation.
In the view of Folkman and Lazarus, the person crosses two evaluation stages. The first time is the analysis of the resources in an attempt to answer the question “Why do I have it to overcome this situation?”, then an assessment of the intuitive possibilities and actions involved in the environmental feed-back reactions, looking for the answer to “What can I do?How will the environment react to my actions? What are my strategies to fight?” The focus on certain coping strategies chosen will be based on the answers to these questions, which play an essential role in the complex process of self regulation.