Learning Coping Skills
Wouldn’t it be great if we were all taught healthy coping skills as children? To be prepared for the world and all of the relationships, conflicts, personalities and challenges that it has in store for us? Yes, that would have been amazing! Unfortunately, most of us did not leave childhood with that strong set of coping skills in our toolbox. Would you like to accumulate those at this point in your life? Keep reading!
What are coping skills?
Coping skills are tools that we learn in life to deal with challenging people, circumstances, and scenarios. Ideally, we are taught these coping skills as young as babyhood, believe it or not! Not all of these skills are cognitive or even verbal. Much of what we can learn are preverbal skills. If we did not learn these early on, do not fret.. it is never too late to learn and implement new skills!
There are concrete coping skills that are helpful in many situations like dealing with anxiety, panic attacks, immediate activation and “in the moment” soothing techniques. These are very CBT based and extremely useful to deal with moments where panic hits or when a stress response starts to take over.
There are also deeper coping skills that we can utilize that we either already have that have been implemented to survive our day to day since we were quite young OR that we can now learn and utilize at any age.
What do coping skills look like?
When you come to The Holding Space, one of the things we focus on is the therapeutic relationship that develops over time.
Coping styles look different depending on what is needed in any given moment and who is utilizing that particular coping style. As mentioned before, coping styles can come in the concrete form and they also come in a deep, energetic form. In a concrete form, a coping style can be something like learning how to be in your breath to alleviate panic. It can be learning how to pause before responding. When treating couples, we may teach them how to pause, take a deep breath, and utilize active listening in order to have more effective communication. We may teach couples how to use touch to ground one another when activation occurs to assist in co-regulation.
On a deeper level, we can learn how to use our energy and emotions to cope with various challenges. For example, when someone is used to not feeling “seen” or “heard” in their life, they may unconsciously develop a way to disconnect from people when they feel that happening. This helps them feel safe and no longer at risk of being hurt. We help you get to know this part of you and help you understand why it is there, the purpose it served, why you needed it, and how you can now, at times, decide to not use it. This means taking risks that others might be able to actually attune to you. Don’t worry, we help you learn how to take that risk in a way that feels safe enough. Baby steps. Nothing too scary all at once! We help you take these risks in a gentle and loving way.
Can coping skills be unconsciously learned?
Absolutely, yes! When you come to The Holding Space, our therapists are trained to deep dive into your psyche and help you uncover what some of those unconscious defenses/ coping skills are and help you acquaint yourself with them on a conscious level. From zero to five years old, we create the blueprint for our life.. this includes your coping skills that your brain magically creates in order to make sure you get everything you need as a new human in the world. We are using these coping skills on a daily basis, mostly unbeknownst to us! It is almost like we are being puppeteered by our unconscious. Here at The Holding Space, we help you meet these parts of your subconscious and integrate them into your conscious self. At that point, you then know these coping skills and can decide if you need them at any given moment. They no longer run the show, you do!
What does it look like to learn new coping skills in therapy?
When you come to The Holding Space, we focus a lot on the therapeutic relationship that develops overt time. Once our therapist has formed a safe and secure attachment with you, we get to being some of these new ideas, practices and modalities right into the room! We can talk about the coping skills that are needed, make suggestions, but we can also practice them together.
Here at The Holding Space, we help you identify the past and present issues that are specific to you, and we offer an individualized, holistic approach to address them. This starts with welcoming our clients into a warm and accepting environment, which we believe is necessary for creating the trust and safety needed for any therapeutic work. Once these minimum requirements for the therapeutic relationship have been established, your therapist will work with you to explore how your present challenges are both impacting and being impacted by your overall mental health and wellbeing. Your therapist may integrate different treatment modalities (link to our services page) into this exploration, which allows for a more holistic approach to your unique needs and goals.
Who does therapy for learning new coping skills work for?
Everyone! We all need coping skills to get through life ion various ways. Nobody gets through life unscathed and challenges are a natural part of life. Let us help you find some ease in your life and in dealing with these challenges.
Start Therapy at The Holding Space in Los Angeles, CA Today!
Remember, you are never alone in your healing. Our dedicated team of therapists are here to support you and your journey. To see if The Holding Space might be a fit for you and your unique needs, follow the steps below:
Reach out to schedule a free consultation.
Speak with an experienced therapist.
Begin finding peace in your life.
Other Therapy Services Offered at the Holding Space in Los Angeles, CA
Our licensed and professional therapists have extensive experience in helping individuals learn new and old coping skills. We provide depth therapy, among other forms of therapy, in Los Angeles, CA, to help you holistically approach your healing and overall mental health. We also specialize in other therapy services including Depression treatment, Therapy for Addiction, Couples Therapy, Art Therapy, and Brainspotting. Contact us today to learn more about our Los Angeles-based practice.