- The purpose of distress tolerance is to replace dangerous behaviors with safer coping strategies and reduce a crisis orientation.
- Distress tolerance includes a broad list of coping skills to make pain more bearable, provide a mindful distraction, and improve the moment.
- A coping plan is designed to provide short-term interventions, needs to be immediately accessible, needs to be practiced when not in crisis, needs to become part of the client’s new everyday routine, and remains an ever-evolving work in progress.
Greetings, and welcome to the final video in this module on distress tolerance. We have covered a lot of material in this module, so let’s summarize everything we have learned into three main points.
Point number one, the purpose of distress tolerance is to replace impulsive, dangerous, addictive, or suicidal behaviors, in other words, behaviors which tend to make things even worse, with safer, more effective coping strategies. In other words, the purpose of distress tolerance is to reduce a crisis orientation. Therefore, you can think of distress tolerance as harm reduction or damage control. The goal is not necessarily long-term change, that’s where later skills will come in handy. The goal is also not necessarily to reduce or eliminate pain, but rather to find ways to make pain more manageable.
Point number two, distress tolerance includes specific coping mindsets such as radical acceptance, everyday acceptance, and willingness. Distress tolerance also involves pre-coping skills such as the STOP acronym, or the HALT acronym, and pros vs cons.