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Practice the Skill of Coping Ahead

By Jackie Chavez AMFT

We often fear the worst.

When we are concerned about a future event it's common to get stuck imagining worst-case scenarios. The coping ahead skill gives you strategies to better prepare for potentially stressful events and successfully navigate them when they occur.

4 Steps to Coping Ahead

1) Imagine the future event or scenario that you are worried about. What might you feel and think in the midst of this scenario? How might you act?

2) Instead of ruminating on worst-case scenarios, we want to shift our focus to what we can say and do to respond successfully if the worst were to happen. Picture yourself dealing with those feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in an effective manner.

  • What can you do to deal with the situation successfully?

  • How can you act to help yourself cope well and do well?

  • What can you do to soothe yourself and set yourself up for success?

3) As the future event approaches, you may find yourself dwelling on it often. To help reduce worry, practice what you will say and do to cope effectively whenever the future event comes to mind.

4) Prior to the event, take time to practice the coping skills you listed (Step 2) that you plan to use if/when the event or scenario takes place.


Let's talk about the hard stuff.

Artesian Collaborative is a mental health practice based in Chicago. We excel at guiding individuals and teams through tense and difficult topics - and helping them feel good about it.

Our therapists provide mental health counseling for individuals, couples, and families. Our team also leads corporate and community trainings in the areas of Stress Management, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, and Relational Leadership.


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