Coping Skills at the Clinical Psychology Center

ASU psychology clinic launches group to improve stress coping skills

By

Robert Ewing

Nobody is immune to stress, and chronic stress can have serious physical and mental consequences.

Sources of stress can include the demands of school and work, loneliness or conflict in relationships, financial difficulties, the never-ending stream of information from news outlets, or even stress from using social media.

To teach people the skills needed to improve their ability to cope with stress, the Arizona State University Department of Psychology will launch a new option for group therapy at the Clinical Psychology Center. The new group is called “Coping Skills,” and the first session begins at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, and will be each Wednesday for the remainder of the spring semester.

“Too often, people ignore stress or don’t know how to cope. Our group is designed to help teach the skills to manage those stressors in a healthy way,” said Leena Bui, a psychology graduate student who will run the program. 

The weekly group is intended for anyone who wants to learn techniques that are applicable to everyday stressors. The service is available to ASU students, faculty, administrators and community members.

“It doesn’t matter if someone is struggling with anxiety, depression or everyday life stressors, we are here to help,” Bui said.

The group is designed to teach skills that are beneficial for a broad range of problems that all have stress in common.

Overwhelmed with stress, unable to cope

Recently, over 85% of college students reported feeling overwhelmed during the previous year, and 30% reported that stress negatively affected their academic performance. This lack of coping can lead to challenges in the classroom, social settings and even to depressive symptoms or anxiety. 

Students might be unaware of resources available to them or feel uncomfortable with the stigma attached to therapy. In a group setting, people can feel validated by being around other individuals who are struggling with similar problems.

Many people experiencing depressive symptoms think they are the only ones dealing with the issue. But more than 20% of people have experienced some level of clinical depression at one point in their lives. 

The Clinical Coping Skills program is based on research from ASU’s Matthew Meier, associate director of the Clinical Psychology Center. The group uses a cognitive behavioral therapy approach, which improves mental health and prevents long-term mental health problems.

The techniques taught in the group are based on research, and the group will focus on teaching skills that can be implemented in the daily lives of the participants. These skills include strategies for efficient communication, problem solving, improving motivation to make a change, seeing a problem from a different perspective, taking a step back and accepting a situation for what it is. 

“Each week, we will learn about a technique by going over what it is, how it applies to specific scenarios and then apply it,” Bui said.

Group therapy can work as well as one-on-one therapy and can also be more cost-effective.

For more information about the Coping Skills group, please visit the Clinical Psychology Center Website or call the Clinical Psychology Center at 480-965-7296.

ASU’s Clinical Psychology Center was established in 1959 as an outpatient clinic and training facility for doctoral students in clinical psychology. The mission of the Clinical Psychology Center is to provide outstanding service to clients using evidence-based best practices.