Problem solving is a healthy or adaptive coping strategy. 

When the conditions are amenable to change, the issue is important enough, and we are willing to devote energy and time (our two most valuable resources) to resolve it, then we better deal with it. 

Basic problem solving steps include:

  1. Definition of problem

  2. Evaluation (importance, priority compared to other issues)

  3. Listing of alternative plans (ask experts, find more about it)

  4. Ranking of solutions, selection of the best

  5. Implementation

  6. Outcome evaluation and feedback.

This six-step process produces one of two possible outcomes: 

  • Problem solved or 

  • Problem not solved. 

In the first case all is well! We need to find something else to worry about next.

The next lesson will examine the second case. We will discuss ways to modify our appraisal of an event we cannot solve, and ways to manage the related emotions.


Think of your number 1 problem. Use the six-step process. Select a solution and apply it. If it did not work, try another. Can you resolve the issue? If not, try another solution. Problem solved? If not, perhaps you should change the way you see it. Move to the next lesson. 

Dr Ro, Idiots are Invincible