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.