Cope Ahead Skill
The Cope Ahead Skill is intended to have us consider how we might be prepared in some way to help us reduce stress ahead of the time we are asked to do some task. All of us at one time or another have had to give a presentation. Before the presentation, we likely wrote up some notes or did some research on the subject. We do this in order to increase our chances of communicating a message to others successfully. This is an example of coping ahead of time.
- 1Describe the situation that is likely to prompt problem behavior. Check the facts. Be specific in describing the situation. Name the emotions and actions likely to interfere with using your skills.
- 2Decide 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.
- 3Imagine the situation in your mind as vividly as possible. Imagine yourself in the situation now, not watching the situation.
- 4Rehearse 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 to say it. Rehearse coping effectively with new problems that come up. Rehearse coping effectively with your most feared catastrophe.
- 5Practice relaxation after rehearsing.
A supervisor may have noticed that you were not giving 100% on a specific day and may want to talk about it. You may want to think about what was going on in your life at the time that was making it difficult for you to give 100%. You may want to write down a couple of notes so that you can stay focused on answering in the way that will reflect your values.
As another example, imagine that someone in your family has not been speaking with you or other members of your family. You intend on spending time with them, how will you open the door to communicate? Again, you may want to make a few notes regarding questions that you would feel comfortable asking.