Problem Solving Skills You Gain in Treatment

Problem Solving Skills You Gain in Treatment

Therapy can teach you problem solving skills that will stay with you for years to come beyond therapy. When those under the influence are faced with problems that they feel unbearable, they solve them by doing drugs, drinking alcohol, or avoiding them altogether. Therapy will teach patients how to solve problems head-on so that they will be able to use those skills in the real world.

The first step to acquiring problem solving skills is by the therapist getting the patient’s emotional, cognitive, and physical symptoms. This will help the patient feel understood and will help link problems to the patient’s symptoms. The patient needs to make a list of problems such as work, money, relationships, health, etc. The symptoms should be an emotional response to the problems. The patient needs to know that if their problems are resolved, so will their symptoms.

The second step is to choose from the list of problems which is the most important and the easiest to solve. The patient needs to ask what the problem is, when and where does it happen, and who is involved. The large problems need to be broken down into small parts which could end up being several. After the patient reviews the problems carefully, they should select one or two problems to tackle with an achievable goal to be set.

The third step is for the patient to set one or more achievable goals and to make sure that in the beginning, the goals can be achieved quickly so that the patient will feel successful. The fourth step is for the therapist to ask the patient to brainstorm as many solutions as possible to the problems picked. The fifth step is for the patient to make a list of pros and cons for each solution and pick the solution that is achievable with the least disadvantages.

The sixth step is that the steps needed to achieve a solution are broken down into simple sub-steps and when they should be carried out. The final step should be for the patient to evaluate their progress by looking at the original problems, their progress, and being prepared to add new problems to the problems list. It may take a while to get towards long-term goal but the point is to learn how to problem solve constructively with the support of a loved one and without the use of abusive substances.


Castle Craig Hospital is a landmark of addiction and mental health treatment in Scotland, serving the UK, the EU, and patients from all over the world. Our commitment to long term abstinence has created a successful program of clinical and complementary therapies for mind, body, and spirit. Serving over 10,000 patients for more than 25 years, the Castle Craig model is proven in changing lives. Call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line for information: 0808 231 7723. From outside the UK please call: +44 808 271 7500

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