Coping Ahead

“Coping Ahead” is from DBT and Marsha Linehan.

Coping ahead can be a wonderful tool. For the events and situations we can either anticipate or expect coming, we can prepare ahead of time how we might be able to most effectively manage it.

Taking the steps to prepare, and cope ahead, can make a huge difference. Not just in the moment itself but for the aftereffects as well.

Utilize all your tools, tips, and tricks to help you cope through what could otherwise be a distressing situation. Whether it means having a coping kit on hand, or creating something that is unique to the situation, find what will help you, and make sure to have it ready.

  1. Describe the situation that is likely to prompt problem behaviour.
    – Check the facts. Be specific in describing the situation.
  2. Decide what coping or problem-solving skills you want to use in the situation.
    – Be specific. Write out in detail how you will cope with the situation and with your emotions and action urges.
  3. Imagine the situation in your mind as vividly as possible.
    – Imagine yourself in the situation NOW, not watching the situation.
  4. Rehearse in your mind coping effectively.
    – Rehearse in your mind exactly what you can do to cope effectively.
    – Rehearse your actions, your thoughts, what you say, and how you say it.
    – Rehearse coping effectively with new problems that come up.
    – Rehearse coping effectively with your most feared catastrophe.
  5. Practice relaxation after rehearsing.

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