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DBT Cope Ahead Worksheet

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Coping ahead is an emotion regulation DBT skill that involves preparing ahead of time to deal with distressing situations. To prepare, a person can think of the triggering situation and take some time to plan what to do, say, and how to communicate.

The DBT Cope Ahead Worksheet asks clients specific questions about their potential triggers, the emotions that may arise when a situation happens, and the problem-solving skills they might use. On the bottom of the worksheet, they can find a note recommending deep breathing and relaxation to promote a sense of calm.

This worksheet helps boost self-awareness and build coping skills in kids and teens. For step number two, you can help a child brainstorm simple DBT techniques, such as taking slow deep breaths and weighing the pros and cons of a certain action. However, let them know that they’re free to choose whatever technique resonates with them the most. Our Cope Ahead DBT Handout can further support the coping ahead steps on this worksheet.

*This item is an instant digital download. A link to download your files will be emailed to you once payment is confirmed.

Want more resources like this? Check out our full catalog of DBT worksheets and handouts.


  1. Ching, W. Y. (2023). Effects of DBT emotional regulation skills training program on depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms and emotion regulation skills among Malaysian youth (Doctoral dissertation, UTAR).
  2. Rombaoa, J. P., Heshmati, S., Rodriguez, M., & Owen, T. (2023). Prioritizing lifestyle factors for effective emotion regulation: A daily study on first-year college students’ well-being during COVID-19.
  3. Turner, S. C. (2022). Development of the Coping Ahead Intervention for Latina First-Generation College Students.
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  • File: Fillable PDF
  • Size: 8.5" x 11"

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