Problem Solving

Good problem-solving skills can help the service member or veteran cope with stress and reduce anxiety. Therapists will work closely with the service member or veteran to improve problem-solving skills. The following simple problem-solving steps can be effective in helping to break down problem solving into a more manageable task. Writing down some possible answers or choices can allow the person to better “see” options. Reinforcing the use of this technique is one way to promote problem solving, both in the rehabilitation therapy setting and at home.

  • Identify the problem or task. If the problem or task has many parts, break it down into one problem or one subtask at a time.
  • Brainstorm solutions. Think of two or three possibilities as solutions or strategies to fix the problem or complete the task.
  • Evaluate the alternatives. Consider the pros and cons of each possibility.
  • Choose a solution — the one that seems to be the best fit for the situation.
  • Try the solution or strategy out.
  • Evaluate the solution. If it didn’t work, try another solution to the problem or another approach to the task until you find the one that works.