aban404lClients come to us with a variety of concerns.  Some of them are not sure how to deal with situations and lack the healthy coping skills necessary to manage the circumstances in their lives.  For some persons, through talk therapy, they are able to identify their strengths and skills that they can put into practice.  However, it can be a little more of a challenge with other persons, and as clinicians they turn to us for help.

This year, I have been working on an online program through Hazelden with modules from the  Focus on Integrated Treatment curriculum.  One of the modules outlined steps to be considered when teaching coping skills.  Although this curriculum is geared towards integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders (specifically mental health and addiction), they can be applied to almost any client.  Here are a few of the steps for teaching coping skills (not in any specific order):

* Teach the client to self-monitor their symptoms

* Evaluate the client’s current coping skills

* With the client, identify new coping skills

* Use role play to practice new skills

* Assign homework to help client to practice new skills

* Follow up with client


Coping skills are important not only for our clients, but also for the clinician as part of their self care.  We all need to cope with life and the circumstances that we encounter.  I encourage you to think about your current coping skills and identify what areas of your life you need to learn new skills in order to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.


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