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The Psychology of Coping Skills

The human brain is a powerful thing. It can control all of the body’s functions, store memories, and make decisions that will affect your life in more ways than you know. But how do you enhance these abilities further? One way is through coping skills, which enable you to effectively deal with uncontrollable situations. However, when the going gets tough, it’s easy to lose sight of what works best for us. In this article, we’ll explore what are some coping skills and the various strategies such as coping skills therapy you can use to live a more fulfilling life.

What coping skills mean

Coping skills are tools or techniques, meaning you can use them to help manage difficult feelings, reduce stress, or establish a sense of normalcy in your life. Sometimes, these strategies might be intentional decisions but other times, they’re automatically the way you respond when life throws curve balls. 

Coping mechanisms often come into play during tough periods like illness or the unexpected death of a loved one. It’s important to know what your options will be for handling these moments. These coping strategies can help individuals adapt and maintain their emotional wellbeing, especially in times when they feel lost.

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The difference between coping skills and self-care

Coping skills are your backup plan to get through difficult times, but self-care is the way you prepare for them. Self-care refers to things like exercise, reading, journaling, time with loved ones, and nutrition that can help reduce stress levels. Coping skills give us a foundation for our conscious and subconscious reactions to external stressors. When we’re running on empty, we can become more sensitive to those stressors, meaning that our coping skills may not be in place to help us reflect on rather than react to the stressor. When you know healthy ways of responding by learning what some coping skills are and what they can do for you, this makes all things easier on yourself mentally and physically, especially when combined with coping skills therapy. 

Types of Coping Strategies

When we’re faced with a challenge, it can be easy to think that there’s only one way of overcoming the obstacle. Coping mechanisms are different from person to person, and while some may make your life better in certain situations, others might not. An example is the avoidant coping mechanism which is characterized by ignoring or otherwise avoiding the problem: meaning passive coping skills can lead to a buildup of unaddressed problems and anxiety which might cause more harm than good in the long run.

On the other hand, people are better able to cope with stressors when they’re actively involved in the process. Active coping methods such as problem-focused and emotion-focused skills involve conscious attempts to minimize stressors.

Problem-focused coping

In coping skills therapy, problem-focused coping techniques are usually linked to methods of dealing with problems to reduce stress. People who like to complete tasks in their list of priorities and wonder what are some coping skills they can work on should adopt problem-based strategies. With this approach, you have to remember that small steps are a part of life, and there should be a balance between self-compassion and good momentummeaning in utilizing coping skills, some problems are very clear and anything you can do to move to a goal can lower your stress.

Emotion-focused coping

This is a great way to manage and reduce emotional stress, and using coping skills can mean you focus on emotions instead of the event. Exercise with your dog, take a bath, or spend time in nature. It’s important not to judge yourself when feelings arise; rather, use techniques like mindful breathing so that they don’t escalate into anything more than what you can handle at any given moment in time.

Coping mechanisms and mental health

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Effectively using coping skills may mean improvement in your emotional self-worth and mental well-being. However, life’s challenges, whether they are large or small, can be difficult at times. If you’re feeling stuck in an unhealthy pattern of coping, our team would love to work with you on creating a plan for long-term success. 

Therapy provides support, a safe space, and the opportunity to learn new ways of coping and working on improving your mental health and well being, one session at a time. Get started by reaching out today!

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EMDR Therapy Explained: How It Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Do you want to achieve your goals but feel like something is holding you back? EMDR therapy may be the answer. This therapy can help people overcome the barriers they’ve been facing that have prevented them from achieving their desired outcome. The process involves remembering, processing, and releasing emotions around traumatic or stressful events in order to reduce their emotional impact on your life today. Read on to find out what EMDR therapy is and how it works.

What are the Benefits of EMDR?

EMDR has been around for more than 30 years, helping people with severe traumas and other painful life experiences. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a method that many therapists in the world have chosen to help their clients overcome traumatic situations.

EMDR Therapy Explained

What is EMDR therapy and how does it work? EMDR starts by focusing your attention on a given object, such as following the movement of a hand in a linear or circular pattern. What makes the EMDR benefits unique is how it works in redirecting your eye movements, all while recollecting memories that caused trauma. EMDR is employed by psychologists and therapists both domestically and internationally, proving to be an effective method for helping overcome distressing memories. It was first developed and introduced by psychologist Francine Shapiro back in the ‘80s when she observed that repeatedly moving her eyes along a pattern helped her decrease the negative emotion that’s related to her painful memories of the past.

8 Phases of EMDR

EMDR consists of eight phases, with each stage equally important than the rest.

Phase 1 and 2 (Planning & Preparation)

Your therapist will spend time getting to know you and your past so that they can best help during the therapy process. They’ll also work with you on a plan of action tailored just for you, which is great because it means progress on EMDR benefits will be made more quickly. It’s important to note that EMDR sessions may cause some discomfort, but this is normal and very common due to the release of repressed memories from your brain into consciousness.

Phase 3 (Assessment)

When recalling memories in a therapy session, it is understandable when mixed emotions are triggered. This phase asks you to identify important events that are associated with your distressing memories and visualize an image that best represents them. Your therapist will walk through your memories by recalling them in short amounts so as not to overwhelm you during the session.

Phase 4 to 7 (Desensitization until Closure)

The EMDR process is a clever mix of light and movement. The therapist uses moving hand gestures or an electronic device that bounces lights back and forth across your eyes at varying speeds. This helps uncover and break down memories associated with traumatic events, so they don’t affect you as much anymore.

Phase 8 (Reevaluation)

The final phase will determine what needs to be adjusted in your therapy session. If there has been almost no improvement, your therapist might have to add in a few factors to your current plan that’s coming from the discoveries during the sessions to achieve improvement over time.

EMDR Benefits Among People Diagnosed with PTSD

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Traumatic events can have a lasting impact on the human psyche. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common amongst veterans or people who had immense distress in the past, and the United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has recommended EMDR for people who experience PTSD symptoms. A 2018 study discussing the benefits of EMDR versus traditional treatment techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown that EMDR performs better than the latter in helping patients recover from PTSD and anxiety. At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, your treatment plan may draw from both modalities of psychotherapy, depending on your unique situation.

Living Life Without Regrets

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It’s time to take the first step towards your goals. Whether you want relief from anxiety, a more fulfilling career, or better relationships with loved ones and friends, EMDR therapy benefits can help you achieve what matters most in life by helping to resolve emotional trauma. We hope this article has helped answer when we’ve explained what EMDR therapy is and how it works as an effective technique for many people who are struggling emotionally. Book a phone consultation with our licensed mental health counselor today to get started!

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