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’.
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 our course of beliefs-based CBT which 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 a workbook, our course can help you to make significant and sustainable changes to your perceptual understanding of the world around you.
Transform Your Thinking & Develop Coping Skills
If you’re committed to coping better with your problems then we highly recommend following either our Advanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course with Paul, or the Changing Limiting Beliefs (CLB) Programme with Joan.
Both the CBT course and Changing Limiting Beliefs approach are highly successful & pragmatic psychological training programmes, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.
Our CBT programme is an evidence-based, research supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
FREE Initial Consultations
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.
For most mental health issues we recommend following our 10 session Tranceformental CBT Programme (an advanced version of empirically established Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to overcome a wide range of mental health and behavioural problems.
CBT is a proven, evidence-based form of therapy for developing a fundamental level of understanding into the dynamics of your problem, but also for learning new coping skills and strategies for sustainable change over your life.
Tranceformental CBT is available On-line as well as a one-to-one format in the clinic.
Visit Online Counselling for more details.