Build Coping Strategies

The counselor emphasizes the importance of coping strategies:

C: We’ve talked about your high-risk situations for triggering marijuana use. This is important because many people are unaware of how they put themselves at risk for using. Now we’ll focus on coping with these situations in ways that will help you resist the urge to smoke.

You’ve already read the Learning New Coping Strategies [presents form 1A]. Let’s take a few moments to go through it and identify the strategies you’ve tried and others that might work.

Remember, some strategies involve things you can do or specific actions you can take, someinvolve ways of thinking, and some involve other people or your surroundings.

The counselor records responses on the Marijuana Use Self-Awareness Record (form 4A) and summarizes the list. The counselor follows up by asking for other examples.

Assign Between-Session Exercises

The counselor gives the client a blank copy of the Marijuana Use Self-Awareness Record and asks the client to document episodes of craving or desire for marijuana between this session and the next one. In addition, the counselor chooses an appropriate assignment from among the following and reviews the instructions with the client:

• Write a Future-Self Letter (form 4B)

• Increase your Pleasant Activities (form 4C)

• Practice Relaxation Training (form 4D).

If struggling with boredom is a particular problem, the counselor gives the client the Boredom Management handout (form 4E).

Review and Conclude Session

The counselor reviews the content of the session, asks the client for feedback, responds empathically to his or her comments, and troubleshoots any difficulties. The counselor explains that the client will report back on his or her efforts to complete the between-session exercises at the next session.