Coping and Copers: What It Is to Cope, Personalities, and Effective and Non-Effective Coping Strategies

2054 WordsSep 30, 20129 Pages
Coping and Copers: What it is to Cope, Personalities, and Effective and Non-effective Coping Strategies Kerry Williams Psychology of Stress The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand Coping and Copers: What it is to Cope, Personalities and Effective and Non-effective Coping Strategies This essay discusses coping, a complex process exercised by people to suppress, change, or eliminate stress or threat. This essay also discusses copers, that is, people who exhibit certain personality characteristics, known as distress resistant personality patterns, which can significantly influence whether they stay healthy or become ill. Also covered are coping strategies, -strategies people draw upon to solve life’s stressors, some effective, while…show more content…
Problem focused strategies are strategies that centre on changing areas of a situation (i.e., the stressor itself), and are referred to by Gilhooly (1989) and Greeno (1978, as cited in Westen et al.) as a method of changing one situation into another to meet an objective. This includes trying to remove the stressor itself, mapping out ways to resolve the situation, or seeking help or advice from others, in an effort to alter the situation (Westen et al.). Emotion focused strategies are approaches that work toward changing an individuals thoughts (about the stressful situation) and changing any unpleasant emotional consequences caused by the stressful situation or other people. The use of thought records for instance, is a common strategy that allows the individual to examine and alter their thoughts, feelings, and behaviour, created by stress eliciting stimuli, such as a marriage breakup or divorce. Coping, in a practical sense, involves changing one’s perception of the stressor, or the stressor itself. Coping is effective when the problem, and any negative emotions and feelings associated with the problem, is resolved, and the individual is able to function effectively in their life roles (Hamburg, Elliott, & Parron, 1982). Effective coping

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