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Coping Skills Therapy

Patient and therapist meeting one on one

Coping Skills

During rehab, learning recovery or coping skills is an important part of the healing process. Research suggests that developing recovery skills is important for long-term sobriety because they help people avoid relapse too. For that reason, building these skills is a major focus during addiction treatment.

Woman meeting with a therapist

What are Coping Skills?

Recovery skills are a set of skills that help people manage negative situations and experiences. The goal is to help people gain a sustainable and healthy perspective of the world in general.

There are many types of skills, including coping skills for anxiety and depression that can help people fight addiction. However, why is it so important for people to learn skills for these mental issues? The main reason is that these conditions typically coexist with addiction. As a result, people have to learn how to deal with these issues in healthy ways.

Therapy can help people get to the root cause of depression and anxiety. However, these problems can arise again later in life.

After all, people can experience anxiety, depression and stress on a nearly daily basis. Coping skills for depression and anxiety can ensure that their symptoms don’t lead to relapse.

Woman talking to her therapist who is taking notes

Coping Starts with Avoiding High-Risk Situations

The first thing that Gateway’s anxiety treatment programs teach people is that they need to avoid high-risk situations. In order to do that, they should remember the acronym HALT, which stands for hungry, angry, lonely and tired.

These are four common factors that increase the risk of relapse. Thus, many coping skills revolve around helping people avoid HALT.

In fact, coping skills therapy talks in great length about the importance of eating right and getting enough sleep. When people don’t develop healthy sleeping patterns, they make poor choices. It’s also essential that they surround themselves with friends. The feeling of loneliness or isolation might make them want to use.

Coping Skills for Addiction

Anxiety and depression treatment centers in Illinois can help people avoid relapse. Also, the vast majority of these centers teach coping skills. So what are some of the skills that they learn to overcome addiction?


One of the most important coping skills therapy teaches patients is how to relax. Healthy relaxation techniques can help those in recovery subvert the thoughts and behaviors that lead to usage. But how does relaxation help? When people know how to relax, they can reduce stress and anxiety, which are two leading causes of depression. Because of that, experts say that relaxation is an essential part of overcoming addiction.


Beyond relaxation, another great coping skill is honesty. Having an addiction often requires people to lie to loved ones about their activities, drug use and much more. Staying honest makes it nearly impossible for them to keep up their addiction. Honesty relieves a heavy burden for patients. Addiction often fosters secrecy that separates individuals in recovery from their loved ones and the help they need. Honesty alleviates tension to help a patient reach a better, more relaxed state of mind.


Mindfulness is the idea of being present in the moment and aware of one’s internal experience. Patients can use mindfulness to recognize their emotions and urges as they happen, accept them without judgment and allow them to pass. Practicing mindfulness can be a part of a patient’s relaxation. 

Active Gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful tool for those in recovery. Patients can work through feelings of stress or depression by acknowledging others who may be struggling or the support networks that help them. While gratitude is not a final solution, it can help a patient transition from negative thoughts as they occur. 


There are various ways patients can benefit from therapeutic and recreational activities like exercise, yoga, art or music. Recreation can reinforce positive stress management tactics, boost self-esteem and combat depression. Recreational activities reconnect the neuro-pathways that addiction damages, leading to faster, smoother recovery. 

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Learn More About How Gateway can Help

Don’t settle for a rehab center that doesn’t know the value of recovery skills. Learn more about how coping skills can help you maintain a drug-free life after rehab. Reach out to Gateway today at 877–377–2027 to take the first step toward recovery.

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