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The 3-As with Methods

Acknowledge, Assess, Assist logo

Applying the 3-A Coping Framework components of Acknowledge, Assess, Assist empowers you to monitor yourself with awareness. You strengthen inner resiliency and wellbeing by obtaining a new language and new perspective for coping NOT with the "symptoms" but rather the reactions to circumstances of adversity and situational loss.

Wherever there is adversity, there is situational loss.

What is Situational Loss?

Situational loss is the loss of a person, thing, or quality, resulting from alteration of a life situation, including changes related to illness, body image, environment, and death.  (Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. 2009),

The 3-A Coping Framework involves using the words:

Acknowledge, Assess, Assist® 

Acknowledge the realities involving situational loss due to adversity;

Assess the reaction and impact;

Assist by acknowledging and assessing and using strategies in order to cope with the reality you are facing. 

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The 3-A Assist Methods

Within the Assist Component of the 3-A Coping Framework:

Acknowledge, Assess, Assist


The 3-A Coping Framework can be customized to accommodate your unique situation since I am familiar with various assist methods. Below is a description of some of them:

Grief Processing

Grief is commonly known to be a reaction to death but there are many other situational losses that occur such as job layoff, financial loss, illness in the family. I can assist you in acknowledging and assessing from a loss perspective, equipping you to face reality with a validating context and facilitate processing the grief. I am familiar with different ways to address loss and accommodate your unique situation. In assessing, your reaction to situational loss may look like depression or stress. Acknowledging the loss context assists in normalizing the experience so it is less overwhelming and less pathological. Other assist methods are incorporated to facilitate the grief process. Benefits include reducing tension, resolution and peace.


Mindfulness can be a grief facilitation aid. By assisting you to be mindful, you will become attentive to what is happening in the here and now externally and internally, allowing things to be just as they are, being kind and non-judgmental of yourself. Potential benefits include better mood, better sleep, lower blood pressure, improved concentration, and clarity. Meditation is the primary exercise for practicing mindfulness. I devised a modified version for those who have problems meditating for long periods. This version involves a series of brief engaging exercises interspersed with short meditation.

Self Compassion

In self compassion, you are encouraged to turn compassion inward, treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would to a struggling friend or family member - helpful for grief facilitation. Due to past social conditioning and experience within your family, school, and culture, showing compassion for yourself may be hard to do.  Most people have an inner critic, that judgmental voice that pushes you to correct mistakes, be productive. We can explore all of these.

Internal Family Systems (IFS)

In IFS, the individual operates as a system made up of multiple parts with the undamaged inherent true Self at the core. “The Self is like an orchestra conductor who helps all the parts to function harmoniously as a symphony rather than a cacophony” – Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. The objective of this method is to encourage you to become more Self-led. This aligns with the objective of the 3-A Framework of monitoring yourself with awareness, empowering to “Know thyself”. Other objectives are to bring the whole system into harmony and healing past wounded parts.

Cognitive Reframing

I can assist you in assessing and acknowledging how your attitude, beliefs and thoughts influence your emotions and behavior. There are several cognitive distortions that can influence. One of them is jumping to conclusions by mind reading. For instance, if you see a co-worker in the drug store on the weekend and s/he is not friendly, you may think that this co-worker does not like you or may think you did something to upset the coworker on the job. It turns out the co-worker had a headache. On Monday, the co-worker is friendly. You were distressed needlessly. it was not about you.

SEEE For Yourself

Getting back to basics

Sleep/Rest; Exercise; Eat Well; Enjoyable Moments

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