3 Simple Steps to Better Cope with Life’s Challenges – With a CBT Therapist

Written by: Nick Ortner

Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed with an emotion, or struggling with a stressor in your life?

I think it’s pretty safe for me to assume the answer is yes

The truth is, we all get overwhelmed by emotions from time to time. And we all can feel stuck in those challenging moments, unsure of the best course of action.

So, what can we do to cope more effectively with the challenges of life

Luckily, we have renowned clinical psychologist and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) expert Dr. Claire Hayes here to help. 

Read on to discover Dr. Hayes’ simple, three-step process that will help you navigate the hardest of moments with greater ease, so you can move forward feeling more empowered. 

Plus, make sure to stick around to learn about the latest, groundbreaking meditation techniques we’ve been exploring

Spoiler: When you merge two transformative techniques, you end up with a dynamic duo that can revolutionize your daily experience.

Meet Dr. Claire Hayes

Headshot of Dr. Claire Hayes, a Tapping and CBT therapist

Dr. Claire Hayes is a renowned clinical psychologist, lecturer, author, researcher, and educator. She has dedicated her life to helping individuals of all ages understand and manage anxiety.

With over 40 years of training and experience, and two Masters degrees and a PhD, she empowers individuals, groups, and organizations to apply evidence-based psychological principles to navigate life’s challenges effectively.

Within her clinical practice, Dr. Hayes expertly integrates EFT Tapping techniques with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to offer a holistic approach to mental well-being.

We had the unique opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Hayes, and learn all about how to most effectively combine the power of Tapping with the principles of CBT.

Tapping + CBT: A Power Combination

In her work with clients, Dr. Hayes has found that EFT Tapping is an extremely effective tool for reinforcing the key principles she uses in her work. 

Tapping particularly pairs well with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I helps people to calm and regulate their nervous systems so that they can create more powerful shifts in how they feel, think, believe, and act.

As Dr. Hayes explains,

I use Tapping as a clinical psychologist to help people have more tools that they can use to really focus on their feelings, their thoughts, their beliefs, and their actions in a way that makes a difference in empowering them. 

I find Tapping really grounds the basic principles of CBT.

Dr. Hayes hasn’t just seen the positive effects of using Tapping alongside CBT with the clients in her therapy practice. She also uses Tapping herself and personally loves the technique!

She says, 

I do practice what I teach, and I find Tapping very useful for me on a personal basis

It has become a very, very powerful way for me to come back to myself, to ground myself, and to get a balance between my feelings, my thoughts, my beliefs, my actions. 
It helps me really take care of myself in the best way I can.

3 Simple steps to better cope with life’s challenges: Using ‘The ABC Coping Sentence’

Image of Dr. Claire Hayes' 'ABC Coping Sentence" with A for Acknowledge, B for Because, and C for Choose

To help people understand the basic principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dr. Hayes developed something called ‘The ABC Coping Sentence’ (©Hayes).

The ABC Coping Sentence helps you acknowledge how you feel, understand why you feel that way, and then choose your next course of action from a grounded, centered place. 

It’s a simple, three-step process. You can use it anytime you are experiencing a strong emotion and are having a hard time coping with one of life’s many stressors.

Here’s the formula: 

Step 1: A – Acknowledge 

First, you simply acknowledge whatever emotion is present for you. 

Noticing and acknowledging how we feel is a powerful first step in navigating any challenging moment.

When we give ourselves space to feel our feelings and simply witness our emotions without judgment, we can feel more calm, comforted, and reassured. This sets the stage for being able to move forward in a more empowering way.

Want to give it a try? Complete this part of the sentence:    

“I feel ____ .”

Step 2: B – Because  

Next, you validate why you’ve been feeling that way. 

Your feelings make sense, and they are here for a reason. 

You probably feel this way because of something going on in your life, or because of the thoughts that have been running through your mind. 

Maybe you feel sad because you are grieving a loss in your life. Maybe you feel anxious about an upcoming work presentation, because you’ve been thinking about everything that could go wrong during the presentation. 

Being honest about how we feel and why, without judging, criticizing, or trying to fix anything, allows us to be more compassionate and understanding with ourselves. This eases the process and helps us see ourselves and our situation more clearly.

Want to give it a try? Complete the next part of the sentence:  

“I feel ____ , because ____ .”

Step 3: C – Choose

Once we are able to acknowledge how we feel and why, we can move towards taking our power back and making an empowering choice. 

That brings us to the third and final part of the CBT Coping Sentence – choose.

In any given situation, no matter what’s going on around us, no matter how we are feeling, we always have the power to choose our next steps. 

So ask yourself: What choices can you make right now that would help shift how you feel? What can you do right now to move forward with greater ease?

Ready to complete the ABC Coping Sentence? Give it a try now: 

“I feel ____ , because ____ . But I choose to _____ .”


Here are some practical examples of the ABC Coping Sentence:

  • I feel worried, because I think people will judge me at the party. But I choose to breathe deeply and show up as my authentic self.” 
  • I feel overwhelmed, because I have a lot of things on my plate and my to-do list keeps growing. But I choose to do the very best I can one step at a time, and ask for support when I need to.”
  • I feel sad, because I lost something/someone I cared a lot about. But I choose to slow down, take gentle care of myself, and treat myself with self-compassion.
  • I feel embarrassed, because I think I made a mistake at work. But I choose to remember I am more than any of my feelings, thoughts, beliefs, or actions, and I choose to learn from this experience.”

Tap along with Dr. Claire Hayes in The Tapping Solution App

CBT and Tapping: Meditation combining these tools in The Tapping Solution App

Want to put the ABC Coping Sentence and other Cognitive Behavioral Therapy principles into practice?

We’re thrilled that we had the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Hayes to create an entire CBT + Tapping category in The Tapping Solution App. 

This unique blend proves to be a dynamic duo, revolutionizing the way you navigate your thoughts, emotions, and actions.

Now, whenever you need a tool to help you shift how you feel, think, believe, or act, you can combine the power of Tapping with the key principles from CBT and tap along with Dr. Hayes.

There are four sessions available in the app, led by Dr. Hayes herself:

  • Break Free from Unhelpful Habits
  • Understand and Release Emotions
  • Change Unhelpful Thought Patterns
  • Transform Limiting Beliefs

Tip: Click here on your mobile device to go straight to this category in the app. Or, search for the title of your choice in the app!

Here’s what others have been saying about these impactful Tapping meditations:

“❤💓I am currently taking a CBT course as suggested by my Dr. This session absolutely fits right in with my course! Thank you for bringing this to us. I am very grateful for this type of new tapping and CBT combination.


✨ ✨ ✨

“This meditation has enabled me to handle my fear about my husband’s cancer and to keep my sanity! It has helped me to feel calmer and in control of my anxiety. I do this prior to meditation, and it helps me settle much quicker. Thank you Dr. Hayes!” 


✨ ✨ ✨

“I tapped along ‘Change unhelpful thought patterns’ OMG what a Gem!!!!


✨ ✨ ✨

“All I can say is just wow both of these that I have done so far in this category are exceptionalI will be putting these on repeat, for me personally, I can see using each of them at different times of the day to help me focus on who I want to be and what I want to be doing.” 


✨ ✨ ✨

This is extra powerful, and she is so gentle… Acknowledgement of what is and than slowly opening the possibility to change is the careful step to self caring and love. What a beautiful extra gift for us from you is this person! 🙏” 


Curious to learn more? Go deeper with Dr. Hayes

If you’re interested in learning more about the ABC Coping Sentence, CBT techniques, managing anxiety, or other topics to enhance your mental well-being, be sure to check out the work of Dr. Claire Hayes at

With books, a clinical practice, video lectures, a program for managing anxiety in children, and more, Dr. Hayes is here to support you as you learn to cope with the stressors in your life.

Image of Choose Well, a book by Dr. Claire Hayes

Her fourth book, Choose Well: The ABC Coping Sentence, is out now. A guidebook for how to apply these principles in your daily life, this incredible book offers a simple and effective way to cope better with all of life’s myriad of challenges. I highly encourage you to check it out!

We’re so grateful that Dr. Hayes contributed her incredible expertise to the app, and we hope you get as much out of her teachings as we have!

Until next time… Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner

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Over 17 Million Tapping Meditations Played in Our App!
Get Instant Access to our "Releasing Anxiety" and "Sleep Support: Quiet The Racing Mind" Tapping meditations.
Yes, I agree to receive email messages from The Tapping Solution & understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy.