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11:28 AM

Video: Child Therapists Share Six Ways to Cope with Difficult Emotions

10 in a series.

Just Breathe. Open Up. You Matter.

This is the meaning behind the Joy Campaign, which aims to prevent youth suicide. Cook Children's launched the effort in April after a record number of suicidal patients were admitted to our hospital. Over the past nine weeks, we've released a series of articles about this issue and the increasing need for mental health resources.

This week, we're giving families a tool to use during difficult times. Six of our therapists and psychologists created the coping skills videos below. They show different techniques kids and teens can use when they feel stress, anxiety and depression. These are the same coping skills our experts teach their patients. We hope these videos give young people a way to express themselves and foster hope for better days ahead.

“Coping skills are essential for children when they are having a hard time processing their emotions, or are unsure of how to handle their feelings,” said Lisa Elliott, Ph.D., psychologist and clinic manager of the Behavioral Health Clinic at Cook Children’s in Denton.

Whether it’s drawing how you feel, writing it down, acting it out, or even taking a moment to breathe, these videos illustrate how to reset your body and mind.

“While dealing with our emotions isn’t always easy, I find it is helpful for children to have resources that are easy to use when they are sad, mad, or even frustrated,” said Kim Cox, clinical therapist at Cook Children Medical Center. “If children know how to help themselves, they are more likely to do so instead of potentially doing something that isn’t safe.”

The coping skills in these videos are simple and don’t require much time or effort. They can be used anytime you want to create a sense of calm and improve mood.


View Kim Cox, Clinical Therapist
Kim Cox, a clinical therapist at Cook Children’s, gives you a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a coping skills bag with things you have around your house. This bag is filled with things that can help you calm down and focus on what you’re feeling, and redirect your negative thoughts.
View Lisa Elliott, Ph.D., Psychologist
Lisa Elliott, Ph.D., demonstrates how we can view our feelings like the clouds in the sky. Like clouds, feelings come and go and they change over time. The goal of this video is to understand that your emotions are constantly changing and moving, and they can always get better.
View Marissa Benners, Ph.D., Psychologist
Marissa Benners, Ph.D., explains how drawing your feelings helps you understand how you’re feeling and helps you track your mood from one day to the next. This exercise gives you an easy way to share how you’re feeling with your family and friends.
View Whitney Appleby, Ph.D., Psychologist
Whitney Appleby, Ph.D., explains how belly breathing and pinwheel breathing can help calm you down when you’re feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed. Simple breathing exercises can you help you calm your body, and redirect your energy.
View Traci Cocetti, Family Therapist
Traci Cocetti, a family therapist with Cook Children’s, dives deeper into what it means to be mindful and in the present moment. In this video you will learn different techniques you can use at any time to gauge how you’re feeling and how to calm your mind and body.
View Stephanie Golden, Family Therapist
Stephanie Golden, a family therapist at Cook Children’s, demonstrates how distorted thinking can impact your mood in a negative way. The goal of this video is to help you change the way you think to a more helpful and positive way.

About the Joy Campaign

Cook Children's Joy Campaign is a communication initiative that aims to encourage hope and resilience among children and teens.

Joy stands for: Just breathe. Open up. You matter.

The number of children and teens suffering from anxiety, stress and depression is skyrocketing. Sadly, Cook Children's has seen a record number of patients attempting suicide in the past year. The Joy Campaign is a suicide prevention communication initiative led by Cook Children's to bring hope and needed resources to children and families facing struggles and dark times in their lives.

Learn more about the Joy Campaign and available mental health resources here. 

Support Cook Children's Rees-Jones Behavioral Health Center

You can help support the work being done through the Rees-Jones Behavioral Health Center at Cook Children’s by making a donation today. Visit our website by clicking here.

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