COPE. CALM. CARE.

Learn the skills to improve your life.

COPE, CALM and CARE are skills models and resources designed to help people recover from trauma, build personal resilience, and engage in healthy living.

The COPE Model

COPE SKILLS = THINKING SKILLS

Feelings are the easiest to notice, but are harder to change than thoughts, so we will start with thoughts. By changing unhealthy thoughts and reactions, we can develop positive feelings and healthy behaviors.

CHECK, OBSERVE, PLAN, EXECUTE

  • Check for your automatic reaction (thought)
  • Observe the emotion and behavior connected to the reaction.
  • Plan an alternative thought, reaction, or response
  • Execute positive change though practice and repetition

C = CHECK

  • Check for your automatic reaction (first thought) to people and situations.
  • Notice how you are responding and question why you are responding in that way.
  • Is there a different, or healthier way for you to respond? What are your options?

O = OBSERVE

  • Observe both the emotion and the behavior that comes from the automatic thought reaction you have.
  • Identify the chain reaction between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
  • By observing how things are connected, you can then plan for change.

P = PLAN

  • Plan an alternative response.
  • Come up with several reasonable options and alternatives to your original reaction.
  • Prepare to choose and practice the new response, so it becomes automatic.

E = EXECUTE

  • Execute your plan to create the change you need in your life.
  • Practice new or alternative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that will lead to a positive and healthy change in your outlook and way of doing things.
  • You have the power to change your thinking!

The CALM Model

CALM SKILLS = DOING SKILLS (ACTIONS)

The CALM model is all about helping you remind yourself that you are in control of your body and its reactions to stress, panic, and anxiety. The COPE model taught thinking skills, and the CALM model teaches doing skills or active behaviors that can be used by children and adults to increase resilience and strengthen physiological responses to stressors.

CONTROL, ATTEND, LISTEN, MASTER

  • Control breathing and heart rate
  • Attend to the present moment
  • Listen to your thoughts & feelings
  • Master relaxation and body scanning

C = CONTROL

  • Control your breathing and heart rate. You can’t panic if your body isn’t in panic mode.
  • Slow your breathing by counting slowly to three for every breath in and out.
  • Use square breathing, or bubble breathing with children

A = ATTEND

  • Attend to the present moment (not getting caught up in the past or future) and tune in to what is happening within you and around you RIGHT NOW.
  • Use all your senses to help you attend to the present.

L = LISTEN

  • Listen to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
  • Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Acknowledge each and let them pass over you like a wave.

M = MASTER

  • Master your anxiety. Remind yourself that you are in charge and anxiety is not.
  • Use muscle relaxation and body scanning to put yourself into a relaxed state. Scan your body and use your five senses (while attending to the present and listening to your thoughts and feelings). Starting at your toes, check in on each area of your body; tighten the muscles and then relax them.
  • Try progressive muscle relaxation for adults and children.

The CARE Model

CARE SKILLS = BEING SKILLS

The COPE and CALM models are about thinking and doing. The CARE model includes reminders for being and growing. The CARE model is more personal, in that the activities and ways the skills are practiced are very unique to each individual. The CARE model is based on the idea of each person identifying and working toward his or her happiest, healthiest self.

CONNECT, ACCEPT, REASON, ENGAGE

  • Connected to other people or ideas
  • Accepting of change
  • Reasoned with choices or purpose for growth
  • Engaged in mindful living

C = CONNECT

  • Connect with other people, ideas, activities, groups, or causes that stimulate your personal growth and support you.
  • Connections are essential and very meaningful, even if small.

A = ACCEPT

  • Accept change and growth.
  • Accepting change, particularly when it is unexpected or negative is very difficult.
  • Mental and physical health and happiness are associated with the ability to be flexible and adapt to change by adjusting yourself to new situations and circumstances.

R = REASON

  • Reason with yourself about choices and behaviors.
  • Plan to devote your personal energy toward being the best person you can be, based on the characteristics you would like to develop. Spending energy on behaviors that are inconsistent with who you want to be results in discomfort and unhappiness.
    The self pyramid activity in the adult tool kit can help get you started with this.

Hierarchy of Needs, A Theory of Human Motivation, Abraham Maslow, 1943

E = ENGAGE

  • Engage actively in mindful living.
  • Developing a commitment to a person, idea, group, or activity that is bigger than yourself, and using that commitment to find purpose and motivation in your life is an important part of caring for yourself and enjoying mental health.