Bouton, M. E. (2000). A learning-theory perspective on lapse, relapse, and the maintenance of behavior change. Health Psychology, 19, 57-63.
Coping skills training acknowledges that addicts generally use addictive substances or behaviors to regulate their own moods; they self-medicate to avoid uncomfortable feelings (Scott et al., 2001). This technique focuses on helping clients learn positive coping skills for addressing challenges and the unpleasant emotions they invoke.
The objective of coping skills training is to enhance and develop clients' internal locus of control. When clients achieve this control, they will possess the requisite skills to take charge of the emotions that influence positive behavioral choices. Clients learn that they can alter their unwanted moods and increase their self-confidence more by taking constructive actions than by using psy-choactive drugs (Kern & Lenon, 1994).
Clinicians use the following five-step model: (1) Assessment; (2) Establishing commitment (to stay clean and away from unwanted emotions); (3) identifying feelings (to learn how to identify emotions); (4) Homework (e.g., daily journal-ing); and (5) Setting goals that meet client needs and measuring progress (Scott et al., 2001).
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