Occupational Therapy -> Self-regulation -> Coping Skills

Coping Skills

Coping skills refer to the strategies or tools one can use when he or she is dysregulated or not-regulated or in order to prevent dysregulation. Occupational therapists work with individuals across the lifespan to identify and utilize appropriate coping skills based on personal preferences and needs. Examples of coping skills used include the following: deep breathing, mindfulness or meditation, exercise, eating a snack or drinking water/coffee, etc., listening to music, coloring, and so many more.

Reference links

  • Relationship Among Caregiver Mental Health, Infant and Toddler Sensory-Processing Profiles, and Occupations 2
    Author: Gee and Abuchon-Endsley - Maternal mental health and role in infant and child sensory processing. Citation: Bryan M. Gee, Nicki Abuchon-Endsley; Relationship Among Caregiver Mental Health, Infant and Toddler Sensory-Processing Profiles, and Occupations. Am J Occup Ther August 2021, Vol. 75(Supplement_2), 7512505092p1. doi: https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2021.75S2-PO92
  • Steps For Implementation: Positive Reinforcement 2
    Author: Neitzel, J. (2009). Steps For Implementation: Positive Reinforcement. Chapel Hill, NC: The National Professional Development Center On Autism Spectrum Disorders, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, The University of North Carolina - Reinforcement is an evidence-based practice used to increase appropriate behavior and teach new skills (e.g., replacement behavior in place of an interfering behavior). This document outlines the steps for implementing positive reinforcement with learners with ASD. Positive reinforcement is the contingent presentation of a stimulus (i.e., reinforcer) immediately following a learner’s use of a target skill/behavior. This relationship between using a target skill/behavior and receiving reinforcement increases the future rate and/or probability that the learner will use the skill again.
  • Psychoeducation For Caregivers of People With Chronic Conditions: Systematic Review of Related Literature From 1995–2018 2
    Author: Rouch, Fields, Rodakowski, & Leland - Effectiveness of interventions for caregivers of adults with chronic conditions. Adequate caregiver training to promote maintenance of the caregiver's role. Interventions focused on individualized education, counseling, problem-solving training, and coping skill development contributed to improvements in caregiver knowledge. Citation: Rouch, S. A., Fields, B. E., Rodakowski, J., & Leland, N. E. (2020). Psychoeducation for caregivers of people with chronic conditions: Systematic review of related literature from 1995–2018 [Critically Appraised Topic]. American Occupational Therapy Association.
  • Occupational Therapy Interventions For Children and Youth With Challenges In Sensory Integration and Sensory Processing: A School-Based Practice Case Example 0
    Author: Gloria Frolek Clark; Renee Watling; L. Diane Parham; Roseann Schaaf - This case demonstrates the use of evidence-based strategies in school-based occupational therapy for a student with ASD and sensory processing difficulties whose occupational therapy evaluation identified specific challenges in the school routine that affected his occupational performance and participation. This case emphasizes the need to implement the following evidence-based evaluation and intervention procedures: - Conduct a comprehensive evaluation that includes screening all areas of occupation, record review, interviews, observations during natural routines, and assessment tool use (when applicable). - Use evaluation findings to hypothesize why participation challenges occur. - Work with the team to identify the student’s needs and create collaborative student IEP goals to address these needs (not therapy-specific goals). - Provide occupational therapy services that reflect the distinct value of occupational therapy in school settings. - Gather frequent quantitative data to determine the effectiveness of the intervention.
  • Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity On Anxiety 1
    Author: Elizabeth Anderson1 and Geetha Shivakumar1,2, - Exercise and cognitively based distraction techniques were shown to have equal effectiveness at reducing state anxiety, however, exercise was more effective in reducing trait anxiety (Petruzzello et al., 1991).

Activity List(s)

Goal Bank

  • When upset or overwhelmed, Jane will choose and utilize a calming strategy provided 3/5 visual choices to reach a regulated state with moderate assist from an adult with 90% accuracy across 3 sessions to promote increased successful participation in age-appropriate daily tasks. 3
  • Milo will engage in a tabletop task for 10 minutes to successfully participate in classroom dynamic, with visual and 50% verbal redirection to task, in 4/5 trials. 0
  • To demonstrate improved attention Catrice will complete an assigned fine motor activity/task without perseveration and in a functional period of time on 80% of opportunities over a 5 week therapy period. 4


  • Home Exercise Program Hand Strengthening preview

    Home Exercise Program Hand Strengthening

    Krystan Inman

    Hand strength is important to develop fine motor skills needed for daily tasks such as pencil grasp and handwriting, scissors skills and self-care such as dressing, eating, and brushing teeth.


  • Two-Step Directions At School preview

    Two-Step Directions At School

    Kevin Dias

    With this resource you can work on having your patient follow two-step directions for situations they may often encounter at school.

    Includes activity list


  • Zones of Regulation Activities preview

    Zones of Regulation Activities

    Glenna Nave

    List of activities to be used with each color zone to get back to the green zone.

    Includes activity list


  • TEIS: OT Referral Checklist preview

    TEIS: OT Referral Checklist

    Glenna Nave

    Checklist of common diagnoses and developmental delays that may indicate need for OT referral.


  • Kiki's Mood Match preview

    Kiki's Mood Match

    Bethany Ayer

    Emotional Regulation Resource. Mindfulness Resource. This is a two page document that uses concepts from the Zones of Regulation to identify emotions within yourself and others. This could also dou...