4 Coping Skills for When You Reach Your TIPPing Point

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Like you’ve reaching your TIPPing point?

In today’s video I’m sharing with you the 4 coping skills (DBT’s Crisis Survival skills) you NEED to be using when you feel so overwhelmed that you’ve reached your TIPPing point.

you should watch the video here:

Before I tell you what these four coping strategies are, I want to give you a little background about where they come from. The strategies I’m sharing with you today come from a therapy model called Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT. DBT was originally created to help people who were chronically suicidal, though I find it effective to use with teenagers in general because they tend to struggle with identifying, managing and expressing big emotions throughout the teen years.

DBT breaks healthy skill-sets down into different learning modules: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, Interpersonal Effectiveness and Walking the Middle Path (this one’s just for teens!)

The Distress Tolerance module is all about Coping Skills and categorizes them into 4 different lists. Today I’m focusing on what they call Crisis Survival skills.

These coping skills are great to use when you’ve already reached a high level of intensity. I’m talking an 8, 9 or 10 on a 0-10 scale. You may be on the verge, or actively experiencing a panic attack, crying, yelling, and thinking about acting on some other problem behavior.

Without further ado, here are the 4 Coping Skills you Need to be using when you reach your TIPPing point.

In order to remember these skills, DBT uses the acronym TIPP.

  • Temperature

  • Intense Exercise

  • Paced Breathing

  • Paired/Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Now that you know about these 4 strategies - let us know in the comments below which one you’re going to try first! And if you’re already using them, which ones are your favorites? You could really help someone else out by sharing your experience.

If you are concerned that you, or someone you know, may be considering killing themselves, please connect them with help.



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Mallory Grimste, LCSW - Teen Therapist

Mental Health Counseling for Anxious Tweens, Teens, and Young Adults | Woodbridge, CT