Coping Skills in Recovery

Skill development is an important part of the recovery process. Coping skills in recovery and mindfulness skills are crucial for long-term progress in recovery. Learning to better manage and regulate your emotions, build a healthy skillset for day-to-day stressors, and find ways to deal with cravings or momentary urges to relapse can be invaluable. Skill development is one of the key goals of our treatment plans here at The Verve.

Why do coping skills in recovery in recovery matter? Because they can often mean the difference between struggling with an acute episode or relapse and finding yourself in control again.

One thing that recovery always teaches people is that life stressors can, time and time again, lead us to struggle where we might have succeeded before. Developing the right skillset to deal with these stressors is important.

Skill development is also a crucial part of dialectical behavior therapy. DBT is historically used in the treatment of borderline personality disorder, as well as other high-risk mental health conditions that involve self-harm or suicidal ideation. Developing coping skills in recovery involves training via DBT has continued to show promise and relevance in relapse prevention training, as well as the overall recovery process.

Overview of Our Coping Skills in Recovery Training

Skill development at The Verve involves several different fields of focus. These are:

  • Mindfulness
  • Emotional regulation
  • Diversions
  • Social support
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Healthy habits
  • Prevention skills
  • And much more

Coping skills are also at the heart of our skill development programs here at The Verge. This includes relaxation techniques, deep breathing techniques, journaling, and utilizing calming imagery.


Important Life Skills in Recovery And Long-term Success

Here at The Verve, we find different fields of skill development crucial at different stages of the treatment process, depending on a client’s needs.

Individualized care is important to us – rather than take every client through the same journey, we find that every client’s needs call for very different treatment plans and potential modalities. Some of our most important fields of skill development at The Verve include:


Coping skills in recovery focus on stress management and alleviating pressure immediately, especially after a particularly hard day or during acute episodes.

Journaling – Journaling involves writing about personal experiences, or jotting down a few notes about the given day. Journaling is part consistency, and part honesty. Putting your thoughts to paper can help you re-evaluate them and reconsider whether they are helpful or negative.

Breathing Techniques – Breathing in a certain way can help activate the parasympathetic nervous system and induce a physiological response that calms the heart, and in turn, the mind. It can counteract the adrenaline that rushes through you during anxiety, and put you in a better state of mind. Breathing techniques also help facilitate mindfulness.

Imagery Techniques – Imagery techniques are often used in different therapy methods to help clients return to a safe and welcoming space in their mind when things get tense or frightening during treatment.


These are skills that center around avoiding and preventing relapses, especially in cases of substance use, or co-occurring mental health disorders.

Avoiding Triggers – Learning to avoid triggers can be a skill, especially over multiple years. As time goes on, becoming better at knowing what triggers you can safely re-engage with, and which you should continue to ignore becomes important.

Improving Sleep Hygiene – Poor sleep hygiene can drastically affect a person’s mood, cognitive abilities, memory, and mental health. Better sleep can give you a better chance at recovery.

Consistent Exercise Planning – Exercise is another great way to reduce cravings. The endorphins released during exercise can help reduce the need for another hit, and consistent exercise can give you a reason to continue to stay sober.

Medication Adherence – Treatment adherence for your mental and physical health conditions is another way of creating an important routine for yourself, one that helps give you an additional means of defense against a relapse.

Better Eating – This involves both a balanced diet and a healthier relationship with food, especially if a client has a history of disordered eating or extremely stringent food rules.


These are skills that are traditional in dialectical behavior therapy.

Mindfulness Training – Mindfulness training has been adapted into several different talk therapy methods, including DBT. Mindfulness originates in Eastern Zen philosophy, and is centered around focusing on the present moment and letting go of the past.

Distress Tolerance – One of the key differences between DBT and other forms of talk therapy is that it focuses on accepting that things are bad before they can get better. Distress tolerance means developing the means to tolerate difficult and uncomfortable emotions.

Emotional Regulation – More than just managing your emotions, emotional regulation is also about learning to accept how you feel, and embrace your feelings, rather than bottling them away until they boil over.

Interpersonal Skill Development – Whether that means knowing when to say no and recognize abuse, or becoming better at letting people through emotionally, interpersonal skill development is critical for all forms of recovery.


Individualized care with an individual carer. At The Verve, every client is paired with a treatment professional who can make sure that their needs are met and accounted for. Mental health treatment to us is about more than the target condition – we find that it’s important to see our clients as a whole, and to take a holistic approach with every new member of the Verve Community.

In addition to peer-to-peer treatments, we also offer support groups, group therapy sessions, family therapy, and ample resources to continue your recovery journey at home and in the community. Treatment at The Verve is often just the first step.


Here at The Verve, we want to help you achieve your best self. To us, that means putting your best foot forward each day – and learning something new. Our skills development programs aim to provide our clients with ample fresh experiences, to facilitate personal growth, and to supplement our ongoing treatment programs.

We think that recovery is about more than just a fresh start. At The Verve, it’s about making a commitment to a better self, and a better tomorrow.

Don’t wait for the chance to lead a better life. Get started today! Dial (202) 816-6006 or send us a message via our contact form. We can assist you on topics of treatment and long-term recovery, offer information about our ongoing peer-to-peer programs or group treatments, and offer specialized treatment plans for high-stress working professionals.

Recovery from addiction, mental health needs, or whatever life may throw our way, takes more than just a fresh start.

It takes a dedicated support team, a robust recovery community, and a tailored therapeutic program to help you realize your potential. The Verve IOP is here to help you, your family, and your entire recovery support team navigate the road ahead, together.

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