Safe Coping Skill for PTSD


Safe Coping Skills List: 

from “Seeking Saftey: Cognitive Therapy for PTSD and Substance Abuse”

              By:Lisa M. Najavits, Ph.D

1. Ask for help-reach out to someone safe.

2. Detach from emotional pain ( grounding )-distract, walk away, change the channel.

3. Imagine-create a mental picture that helps you feel different.

4. Stay Safe-do whatever you need to do to put your safety above all.

5. Cry-let yourself cry.

6. Create Meaning-remind yourself what you are living for: your children? 

Love? Truth? Justice? God?

7. Try Something, Anything-a good plan today is better than a perfect one tomorrow.

8. Attend Treatment-Self help, therapy, medications, groups…anything that keeps you going.

9. Create a Buffer-put something between you and danger.

10. Soothing Talk-talk to yourself very gently ( as if to a friend or small child ).

11. Structure your Day-a productive schedule keeps you on track and connected to the world.

12. Reach for Community Resources-lean on them! They can be a source of great support.

13. Focus on Now-do what you can to make today better; don’t get overwhelmed by the past or future.

14. Get Others to Support your Recovery-tell people what you need.

15. Tolerate the Feeling-no feeling is final; just get through it safely.

16. Self Nurture-do something that you enjoy…take a walk, see a movie.

17. When in Doubt, Don’t-if you suspect danger, stay away.

18. Rethink-think in a way that helps you feel better.

19. Get Organized-you’ll feel more in control with lists, to do’s, and a clean house.

20. Take Good Care of your Body-eat right, exercise, sleep.

21. Compassion-listen to yourself with respect and care.

22. Persist-never, never, never give up.

23. Pace Yourself-if overwhelmed, go slower; if stagnant, go faster.

24. Tallk Yourself Through It-self talk helps in difficult times.

25. Create a New Story-you are the author of your life; be the hero who overcomes adversity.

26. Protect Yourself-put up a shield against destructive people, bad environments.