Cope Ahead Skill

Coping Ahead involves strengthening and preparing ourselves to face stressful events in the future. By learning all the lessons and skills we learn in DBT, rehearsing them, or putting them into practice, we arm ourselves with the abilities to be more resilient and manage overwhelming emotions and situations more effectively. As part of life, coping ahead is all about practicing our mental management techniques and staying in tune with them constantly to cope ahead of time.

Strategy for Coping Ahead

Step 1: Visualize and Describe a Situation

Imagine a possible situation likely to cause you emotional stress, and describe it to yourself. Assess the facts and consider factors that act as emotional obstacles in your path.

Step 2: Consider the DBT Skill You Wish to Apply

Recall all the skills you have learned in DBT and think about which one is best suited to deal with the potential problem. Is it about problem solving or emotional management? Take your time to assess and decide wisely.

Step 3: Rehearse

Visualize the situation as accurately as possible and your role in it. Now think about how you would apply the skill you’ve chosen in a manner that would best suit the situation. Rehearse everything going through your mind, your actions, and your thoughts; you can even choose the worst possible scenario.

Step 4: Relax

Once the exercise is over, relax yourself by performing deep breathing or mindful techniques.


A perfect example of practicing coping ahead is dealing with a future interview. You could make a thorough search of the company acquainting yourself with its vision, mission, and goals. Prepare yourself for possible questions you might be sked in line with that. Consider the fact that you might even feel anxious during the interview and what would you need to do to relax yourself during the situation.