Adaptive and Maladaptive Tools Copy

Therapist-taught tools in CCT are considered adaptive coping strategies. But there are lots of other things that may be adaptive that children are already doing, such as exercising, listening to music, drawing, etc. Differentiating maladaptive strategies—strategies that ultimately cause more harm in the long run or exacerbate symptoms—from adaptive strategies is crucial. 

Look at Nelson’s bedroom below.

Children develop coping strategies to deal with stress and trauma for a reason, and there is a functional purpose for all the ways they cope. The function of all attempts to deal with trauma is acknowledged and those things that would help them in the long run should be encouraged. 

Engage children in considering the pros and cons of their coping strategies in order for them to make informed decisions about what strategies they want to keep and further develop. These strategies will be added to the toolbox.