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Coping Skills – What Are They?

You have good coping skills when you are able to ‘tolerate’ problems or difficult situations without them having any significant negative impact on your life, or on your ability to ‘function normally’.

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People with effective coping skills may be described as ‘resilient’ to problems. This does not mean that they do not encounter the same life challenges as everybody else but rather that when they do occur that they have less impact on them.

Resilience is a complex phenomenon and it is determined by a wide range of bio-psycho-social factors but more importantly, anybody can learn to develop better coping skills and become more resilient.

Because our experience of life is completely subjective and individually constructed (known as perceptual constructivism), people will generally develop coping skills or coping mechanisms consistent with their internal beliefs and experiences leading to coping mechanisms that may make things worse rather then better! These are known as ‘maladaptive coping skills’.

Maladaptive Coping Skills

Maladaptive copings skills are those strategies or mechanisms that people ‘develop’ that work on one level (what we call ‘coherent’) but on another level lead to more significant problems. It is this paradox that gives rise to the definition ‘maladaptive’.

Alcohol abuse and drug abuse are classic examples of a maladaptive coping skills as they almost certainly allow a person to ‘escape’ from uncomfortable feelings (‘it works’) but generally lead to more significant associated problems as a result.

The same is generally true with self-harming strategies (like cutting) as it allows the self-harmer to ‘externalise’ the uncomfortable internal feelings and provides a way of coping. Of course, this invariably leads to more significant problems.

Maladaptive coping skills usually arise due to not knowing about more useful strategies or because there is little choice about what can be done practically.

Maladaptive strategies may also exist because they ‘made sense’ when they were originally ‘created’ (in childhood for example) but are no longer relevant to the life ‘context’ today. In many cases these unhelpful mechanisms continue to be ‘utilised’ as they have become ‘habitual’.

Improving Your Coping Skills

Here at Tranceform Psychology we have been helping people to develop a range of coping skills and strategies using the Thrive Programme. Thrive is a psycho-educational process that helps a person develop self-insight through understanding their core (limiting) beliefs and how they may be leading to limiting paradigms, unhelpful thinking or thought processes. It also teaches a person a range of new and better adapted coping skills that build greater resilience to problems and challenges.

Taking place over 10 weeks (one hour per week) and structured around the Thrive workbook, the Thrive Programme can help you to make significant and sustainable changes to your perceptual understanding of the world around you.

Thrive Video

Click on the video below to find out more about the Thrive Programme for coping skills.

FREE Initial Consultations

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We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial assessment to chat about your coping skills or how to develop more effective ones. During this 50 minute consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.

At TranceForm we believe that therapy & counselling should be a collaboration between therapist and client so it’s very important to be able to meet PRIOR to agreeing any kind of help. Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.

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Maypole House
Yew Tree Court
Maypole Street

TranceForm Psychology Clinic Wombourne, Wolverhampton

Opening Hours

Monday – Closed
Tuesday – 10:00 to 20:00
Wednesday – 10:00 to 20:00
Thursday – 10:00 to 20:00
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Sunday – Dr. Somal only – call for details

All sessions by appointment only.

Mobile Paul: 07434 776125
Mobile Joan: 07434 776504
Mobile Justina: 07880 491106

Contact Paul

I specialise in the following Therapies:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Analytical Therapy

Call me on 07434 776125


Get In Touch With Us....

Don't hesitate to get in touch with us to find out how Tranceform could help you to achieve your goals and aspirations or overcome problems. We offer ALL prospective clients a FREE initial consultation to discuss all the options available to you.


Maypole House
Yew Tree Court
Maypole Street

E-mail TranceForm

Mobile Paul: 07434 776125
Mobile Justina: 07880 491106
Mobile Joan: 07434 776504

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Psychology, Therapy & Mental Health Counselling in Wolverhampton, Wombourne, West Midlands, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Dudley, Kingswinford, Bridgnorth, Telford, Shrewsbury, West Bromwich and Birmingham since 2009.

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