Coping Skills

I am working on The PTSD Workbook, 2nd edition, Mary Beth Williams, PhD, LCSW, CTS and Soili Poijula, PhD.  In their book, they refer to another book, A Clinical Handbook/Practical Therapist Manual for Assessing and Treating Adults with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (Meichenbaum 1994)  the authors noticed that there are personality traits that influence how much trauma affects a person.  Extroverts that are open, working towards goals, and have an ability to get along are more likely to cope with trauma in their lives.  Well great, I’m not an extrovert. However, openness,  working towards goals and ability to get along with others are learned skills.  There are other skills that also influence how well a person copes with trauma.

Internal locus of control – an ability to reward yourself for behavior and a belief that self-control is the key to coping.

Self-efficacy – believing in yourself and that you have within yourself the ability to over come.  Further explanation follow this link:

A sense of coherence – the belief that difficult situations can be understood, managed and be made meaningful.

Hardiness or emotional strength.

Optimistic attitude

Actively working at coping

Successfully resolved other crisis.

These were referenced to other articles the authors read and shared.  The back of The PTSD Workook is pages of articles and other books that they drew their information. (I love textbook type books because they reference other books and articles so I can look up these too.  Sometimes what I get out of the reading is different than what they shared.)

What I think is awesome about this list is other than extrovert these traits are learned skills.  Many of them are the things my counselor taught me and gave me homework assignments to learn to master these skills.  I don’t believe I am at mastery level but I have gained strength in many of these areas. I am continuing to improve on my coping skills.  My counselor called them tools to put in my ‘coping with life’ tool box to use as needed.  The best thing I got out of counseling was an awesome set of tools that help me cope with continued bumps and twists in my life.

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