All About Coping Strategies and How We Sometimes Inadvertently Choose Those That Are Maladaptive 

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What are Coping Strategies?

Coping strategies are the patterns of behaviour that we adopt that we believe will help us to cope with adversity or adverse situations.

These strategies are almost always developed from the point of view that they will be beneficial to us.

In general terms, we don’t create coping strategies that we believe will make things worse for ourselves or disadvantage us.

However, many of the most common coping strategies that we develop DO end up making things worse rather than better and in these cases we refer to them as maladaptive coping mechanisms.

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Maladaptive Coping Strategies

The most common coping mechanism that people use is known as avoidance.

Whilst there are a few situations where avoidance is absolutely the best coping strategy, for example, hiding from a Tiger that walks into your house (unlikely to happen in the UK we know!), overall avoidance tends to make matters worse.

The problem with avoidance is that you never get to find out if you actually COULD cope with any given situation.

Furthermore, the continued use of avoidance reinforces the internal belief that you CANNOT cope, even if you actually could!

Not only that, but once avoidance become fully ingrained as one of your coping strategies, you will almost certainly begin to develop anxiety about needing to avoid the situations that you don’t think you can cope with.

Adaptive Coping Strategies

On the other side of the coin are adaptive coping strategies.

Adaptive coping mechanisms are those that you create that produce beneficial outcomes and increase your belief in your ability to cope.

Doing things that you don’t want to do, rather than avoiding them, ultimately provides you with new skills and knowledge that boost your self-esteem.

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Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.

If you’d like to find out more about coping strategies or recovering from any of your mental health problems then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular issues and the different types of mental health counselling we offer (including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – CBT) without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.

The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.


Applied Psychology Solutions

If you’d like to learn how to overcome your mental health problems but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences and the World around you with the CORE Programme.

If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.

Counselling Locations

We offer Therapy and Counselling for Mental Health Problems for people living in:

  • Wombourne
  • Wolverhampton
  • West Midlands
  • Shropshire
  • South Staffordshire
  • Telford
  • Shrewsbury

You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.