What is Problem-Solving Therapy?

Problem-solving therapy refers to a psychological treatment that helps to teach individuals to effectively manage the negative effects of stressful events that can occur in life. Such stressors can be rather large, such as getting a divorce, experiencing the death of a loved one, losing a job, or having a chronic medical illness like cancer or heart disease. Negative stress can also result from the accumulation of multiple “minor” occurrences, such as ongoing family problems, financial difficulties, constantly dealing with traffic jams, or tense relationships with co-workers or a boss. When such stressful problems occur either they create psychological problems or exacerbate existing medical problems, such as coping with cancer or difficulties adhering to a medication regimen. Problem-solving therapy may be of help, either as a sole intervention or in combination with other approaches. Problem-solving therapy can also help people who have more complex problems, such as “wanting to find one’s personal meaning of life.” You can work with your psychologist to best determine how problem-solving therapy can be of help to you.

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