Structured personal problem solving will help you to;

  • Make a connection between the difficulties you are experiencing and the consequent emotional responses,
  • Become aware of resources that are available to you to help manage your problem,
  • Learn a systematic approach to overcoming difficulties,
  • Regain a sense of control over the issues,
  • Develop the skills to tackle further problems in the future.
Seven stages of personal problem solving

Stage 1. Clarifying the problem by;

Acknowledging and documenting the problems and listing any symptoms of stress, anxiety, anger or depression you may be experiencing.

Stage 2. Detail the problem

Give the problem detail. The important thing at this stage is not to try and solve the problem but to make sure you’re starting off with a clear idea of what the problem is about.

Stage 3. Listing possible outcomes

List all possible outcomes, thinking of as many possible options as you can. Include those that seem unrealistic or unworkable. Don’t evaluate these possibilities at this stage. Avoid saying to yourself, “that would never work.”

Stage 4. Evaluating the possible outcomes

listing the advantages and disadvantages of all the possible outcomes even those you don’t like.

Stage 5. Choosing the most likely outcomes

Figure out which of the listed outcomes (or which combination of solutions) is more likely to work.

Take a moment to consider the variables, and ask yourself.

  • All things considered, what is the most likely outcome/s?
  • What are the consequences of this outcome/s

Stage 6. Developing a plan of action

Here we plan out what implementing the solution will look like. The first thing to do may involve breaking down the solution into a series of activities.Think of the very first thing you would need to do to get the ball rolling. List the steps you will need to take, the sequence of tasks that will be necessary. Your action plan must include the following headings.

  1. Current issues,
  2. Medium term concerns and,
  3. Long term solutions.

Under each of the headings you should consider the following:

  • What obstacles might come up.
  • How to get around these obstacles.
  • Your existing skills to deal with the identified problems and obstacles and the need for help
  • Time lines

Stage 7. Implement the solution

By this stage you’ve really thought this through and done some serious planning. In this stage you will want to work out how well your solution worked (or is working, if it’s ongoing).

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