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Problem Solving

Problem Solving

Tracy
Okay. Our next topic is problem solving. Working on your problem solving skills can help you cope with the stress and reduce all that anxiety. Now that may sound simple, but when you’re feeling overwhelmed it can be… it can be hard to see what options you might have.

So first I want you to start with identifying the problem. Now if it has many parts, break it down into one problem at a time, and then brainstorm the solution. Think of as many possibilities as you can. And after that, review your options by considering the pros and the cons of each possibility. And from there, you choose that solution that seems to fit best for you, and try that solution out. Okay. Now if it doesn’t work, try another solution until you find the one that does.

Michelle
This is just what we did a few weeks ago, Tracy, when I was trying to figure out what to do about my job.

Tracy
So tell us what happened.

Michelle
You know, my boss has been very understanding, but my workload hasn’t gone away since Tom got hurt. The problem is that my job and income are important to us, but I can’t be there right now.

Tracy
So, you had to clearly identify the problem. What were some of the possible solutions?

Michelle
Well, I could quit, but that isn’t a viable option in the long term. I really love my job. I could work remotely while Tom’s in the hospital, but at this point it seems to be more than I can handle. The other thought was that I have a replacement come in on a short-term basis.

Tracy
Okay that’s great. Those were the possible solutions Michelle brainstormed. At the same time, she was assessing all those possibilities - - trying to see what the long-term effects might be. So, what did you finally decide?

Michelle
Well, I asked my boss if she could hire a temporary replacement for me - - just for a few months, you know. We’re trying that out for now, so we’ll see how it goes.

Tracy
Well if it doesn’t work out, you can always try another option. I mean that’s… that’s an excellent example, that’s really what we’re talking about.

Okay. Does anybody have any comments? Anything…

Megan
That seems pretty complicated, just to make a decision.

Michelle
Actually, it’s not at all. It’s just really looking at your options clearly. I found it really helped me.

Tracy
Great. Okay. I guess that’s it for now. I hope that over the coming week, you can really try to get some rest, take care of yourselves, eat healthy foods, look at some relaxation techniques, try to get some exercise. You know you’ll be in my thoughts this week. And I always look forward to seeing you. If you need me, give me a call. Okay. Take care.

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