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by Sandra K Negley MTRS CTRS, Ester RA Leutenberg
Life Skills and Coping Skills for Teens A Reproducible Workbook for Groups and Individuals
Teen life is filled with many opportunities, challenges, demands, desires, obligations and surprises. As teens’ attempt to negotiate this array of responsibilities they also encounter profound physical, psychological and cultural changes. This multiple transitional period requires teens to face WAY TOO MUCH and they often find themselves totally overwhelmed. Some teens meet challenges head-on with innate resiliency, while others struggle to find meaning. Regardless of the teens’ location along the spectrum, all teens will benefit from learning life skills and coping skills for teens. Acquiring insight, building and maintaining relationships, learning stress management skills, and strengthening self-reliance and wellness skills will support teens as they strive to become well-balanced individuals. The ultimate goal of Life Skills to Help Teens Balance WAY TOO MUCH! is to provide the therapist, group facilitator or lay leader, resources that can be implemented in individual or group experiences. Multifaceted activity techniques teach teens the essential life skills necessary to balance the diversity of demands placed on them as well as the demands that they place on themselves.
The six chapters include these excellent coping skills for teens:
Insight Skills – Insight is the ability to understand oneself, others, and the surrounding events or situations, to intuitively sense what is occurring and to be able to reflect and discuss with deeper meaning. Developing skills that improve teens’ insight will assist teens in understanding themselves and their approach to life while acquiring the competence to make change when necessary.
Relationship Skills – Building and maintaining positive, healthy and nurturing relationships is a significant part of teen life. Relationships allow individuals to facilitate their own expressions, reflections and intimacy. Developing relationship skills will assist teens in building and maintaining their own healthy social network.
Stress Management Skills –The goal of balancing life demands is not to eliminate stress, but to learn how to manage the stress. Developing stress management skills will assist the teens in identifying their personal stressors, stress symptoms, and a variety of coping techniques. It is important that they are equipped with an array of stress management skills. Stress is a part of life and individuals experience and cope using their own preferred techniques.
Self-Reliance Skills – To be one’s own person and to function independently is the aspiration of most teens, but the demands during this transitional phase are confusing. Developing self-reliant skills will assist the teen in learning to be responsible and accountable, regulating emotions, and developing trust. These skills contribute to a strong personal sense of Self, which is established from feeling independent and self-reliant.
Wellness Skills – Healthy living and creating a sense of wellness is a lifelong endeavor. In order to feel good and live a long, healthy life, it is essential to engage in wellness behaviors. Developing wellness skills will assist the teens to establish good physical and mental health, and promote an active lifestyle now and throughout their life span.
Reflecting on Skills that Create Balance – This chapter is uniquely designed to enhance reflection and process the skills that are used throughout the workbook, and to evaluate the teen’s understanding of insight, relationship, stress management, self-reliance and wellness skills. Developing reflection and processing skills will assist the teen in continuous growth of the multitude of skills necessary TO BALANCE WAY TOO MUCH!