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What Is Problem-Solving Therapy?

Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." She has a Master's degree in psychology.

problem solving therapy questions

Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania.

problem solving therapy questions

Verywell / Madelyn Goodnight

Problem-Solving Therapy Techniques

How effective is problem-solving therapy, things to consider, how to get started.

Problem-solving therapy is a brief intervention that provides people with the tools they need to identify and solve problems that arise from big and small life stressors. It aims to improve your overall quality of life and reduce the negative impact of psychological and physical illness.

Problem-solving therapy can be used to treat depression , among other conditions. It can be administered by a doctor or mental health professional and may be combined with other treatment approaches.

At a Glance

Problem-solving therapy is a short-term treatment used to help people who are experiencing depression, stress, PTSD, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and other mental health problems develop the tools they need to deal with challenges. This approach teaches people to identify problems, generate solutions, and implement those solutions. Let's take a closer look at how problem-solving therapy can help people be more resilient and adaptive in the face of stress.

Problem-solving therapy is based on a model that takes into account the importance of real-life problem-solving. In other words, the key to managing the impact of stressful life events is to know how to address issues as they arise. Problem-solving therapy is very practical in its approach and is only concerned with the present, rather than delving into your past.

This form of therapy can take place one-on-one or in a group format and may be offered in person or online via telehealth . Sessions can be anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours long. 

Key Components

There are two major components that make up the problem-solving therapy framework:

  • Applying a positive problem-solving orientation to your life
  • Using problem-solving skills

A positive problem-solving orientation means viewing things in an optimistic light, embracing self-efficacy , and accepting the idea that problems are a normal part of life. Problem-solving skills are behaviors that you can rely on to help you navigate conflict, even during times of stress. This includes skills like:

  • Knowing how to identify a problem
  • Defining the problem in a helpful way
  • Trying to understand the problem more deeply
  • Setting goals related to the problem
  • Generating alternative, creative solutions to the problem
  • Choosing the best course of action
  • Implementing the choice you have made
  • Evaluating the outcome to determine next steps

Problem-solving therapy is all about training you to become adaptive in your life so that you will start to see problems as challenges to be solved instead of insurmountable obstacles. It also means that you will recognize the action that is required to engage in effective problem-solving techniques.

Planful Problem-Solving

One problem-solving technique, called planful problem-solving, involves following a series of steps to fix issues in a healthy, constructive way:

  • Problem definition and formulation : This step involves identifying the real-life problem that needs to be solved and formulating it in a way that allows you to generate potential solutions.
  • Generation of alternative solutions : This stage involves coming up with various potential solutions to the problem at hand. The goal in this step is to brainstorm options to creatively address the life stressor in ways that you may not have previously considered.
  • Decision-making strategies : This stage involves discussing different strategies for making decisions as well as identifying obstacles that may get in the way of solving the problem at hand.
  • Solution implementation and verification : This stage involves implementing a chosen solution and then verifying whether it was effective in addressing the problem.

Other Techniques

Other techniques your therapist may go over include:

  • Problem-solving multitasking , which helps you learn to think clearly and solve problems effectively even during times of stress
  • Stop, slow down, think, and act (SSTA) , which is meant to encourage you to become more emotionally mindful when faced with conflict
  • Healthy thinking and imagery , which teaches you how to embrace more positive self-talk while problem-solving

What Problem-Solving Therapy Can Help With

Problem-solving therapy addresses life stress issues and focuses on helping you find solutions to concrete issues. This approach can be applied to problems associated with various psychological and physiological symptoms.

Mental Health Issues

Problem-solving therapy may help address mental health issues, like:

  • Chronic stress due to accumulating minor issues
  • Complications associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Emotional distress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Problems associated with a chronic disease like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes
  • Self-harm and feelings of hopelessness
  • Substance use
  • Suicidal ideation

Specific Life Challenges

This form of therapy is also helpful for dealing with specific life problems, such as:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Dissatisfaction at work
  • Everyday life stressors
  • Family problems
  • Financial difficulties
  • Relationship conflicts

Your doctor or mental healthcare professional will be able to advise whether problem-solving therapy could be helpful for your particular issue. In general, if you are struggling with specific, concrete problems that you are having trouble finding solutions for, problem-solving therapy could be helpful for you.

Benefits of Problem-Solving Therapy

The skills learned in problem-solving therapy can be helpful for managing all areas of your life. These can include:

  • Being able to identify which stressors trigger your negative emotions (e.g., sadness, anger)
  • Confidence that you can handle problems that you face
  • Having a systematic approach on how to deal with life's problems
  • Having a toolbox of strategies to solve the issues you face
  • Increased confidence to find creative solutions
  • Knowing how to identify which barriers will impede your progress
  • Knowing how to manage emotions when they arise
  • Reduced avoidance and increased action-taking
  • The ability to accept life problems that can't be solved
  • The ability to make effective decisions
  • The development of patience (realizing that not all problems have a "quick fix")

Problem-solving therapy can help people feel more empowered to deal with the problems they face in their lives. Rather than feeling overwhelmed when stressors begin to take a toll, this therapy introduces new coping skills that can boost self-efficacy and resilience .

Other Types of Therapy

Other similar types of therapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) . While these therapies work to change thinking and behaviors, they work a bit differently. Both CBT and SFBT are less structured than problem-solving therapy and may focus on broader issues. CBT focuses on identifying and changing maladaptive thoughts, and SFBT works to help people look for solutions and build self-efficacy based on strengths.

This form of therapy was initially developed to help people combat stress through effective problem-solving, and it was later adapted to address clinical depression specifically. Today, much of the research on problem-solving therapy deals with its effectiveness in treating depression.

Problem-solving therapy has been shown to help depression in: 

  • Older adults
  • People coping with serious illnesses like cancer

Problem-solving therapy also appears to be effective as a brief treatment for depression, offering benefits in as little as six to eight sessions with a therapist or another healthcare professional. This may make it a good option for someone unable to commit to a lengthier treatment for depression.

Problem-solving therapy is not a good fit for everyone. It may not be effective at addressing issues that don't have clear solutions, like seeking meaning or purpose in life. Problem-solving therapy is also intended to treat specific problems, not general habits or thought patterns .

In general, it's also important to remember that problem-solving therapy is not a primary treatment for mental disorders. If you are living with the symptoms of a serious mental illness such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia , you may need additional treatment with evidence-based approaches for your particular concern.

Problem-solving therapy is best aimed at someone who has a mental or physical issue that is being treated separately, but who also has life issues that go along with that problem that has yet to be addressed.

For example, it could help if you can't clean your house or pay your bills because of your depression, or if a cancer diagnosis is interfering with your quality of life.

Your doctor may be able to recommend therapists in your area who utilize this approach, or they may offer it themselves as part of their practice. You can also search for a problem-solving therapist with help from the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Society of Clinical Psychology .

If receiving problem-solving therapy from a doctor or mental healthcare professional is not an option for you, you could also consider implementing it as a self-help strategy using a workbook designed to help you learn problem-solving skills on your own.

During your first session, your therapist may spend some time explaining their process and approach. They may ask you to identify the problem you’re currently facing, and they’ll likely discuss your goals for therapy .

Keep In Mind

Problem-solving therapy may be a short-term intervention that's focused on solving a specific issue in your life. If you need further help with something more pervasive, it can also become a longer-term treatment option.

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Shang P, Cao X, You S, Feng X, Li N, Jia Y. Problem-solving therapy for major depressive disorders in older adults: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials .  Aging Clin Exp Res . 2021;33(6):1465-1475. doi:10.1007/s40520-020-01672-3

Cuijpers P, Wit L de, Kleiboer A, Karyotaki E, Ebert DD. Problem-solving therapy for adult depression: An updated meta-analysis . Eur Psychiatry . 2018;48(1):27-37. doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2017.11.006

Nezu AM, Nezu CM, D'Zurilla TJ. Problem-Solving Therapy: A Treatment Manual . New York; 2013. doi:10.1891/9780826109415.0001

Owens D, Wright-Hughes A, Graham L, et al. Problem-solving therapy rather than treatment as usual for adults after self-harm: a pragmatic, feasibility, randomised controlled trial (the MIDSHIPS trial) .  Pilot Feasibility Stud . 2020;6:119. doi:10.1186/s40814-020-00668-0

Sorsdahl K, Stein DJ, Corrigall J, et al. The efficacy of a blended motivational interviewing and problem solving therapy intervention to reduce substance use among patients presenting for emergency services in South Africa: A randomized controlled trial . Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy . 2015;10(1):46. doi:doi.org/10.1186/s13011-015-0042-1

Margolis SA, Osborne P, Gonzalez JS. Problem solving . In: Gellman MD, ed. Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine . Springer International Publishing; 2020:1745-1747. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-39903-0_208

Kirkham JG, Choi N, Seitz DP. Meta-analysis of problem solving therapy for the treatment of major depressive disorder in older adults . Int J Geriatr Psychiatry . 2016;31(5):526-535. doi:10.1002/gps.4358

Garand L, Rinaldo DE, Alberth MM, et al. Effects of problem solving therapy on mental health outcomes in family caregivers of persons with a new diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or early dementia: A randomized controlled trial . Am J Geriatr Psychiatry . 2014;22(8):771-781. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2013.07.007

Noyes K, Zapf AL, Depner RM, et al. Problem-solving skills training in adult cancer survivors: Bright IDEAS-AC pilot study .  Cancer Treat Res Commun . 2022;31:100552. doi:10.1016/j.ctarc.2022.100552

Albert SM, King J, Anderson S, et al. Depression agency-based collaborative: effect of problem-solving therapy on risk of common mental disorders in older adults with home care needs . The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry . 2019;27(6):619-624. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2019.01.002

By Arlin Cuncic, MA Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." She has a Master's degree in psychology.

Salene M. W. Jones Ph.D.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Solving problems the cognitive-behavioral way, problem solving is another part of behavioral therapy..

Posted February 2, 2022 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan

  • What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
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  • Problem-solving is one technique used on the behavioral side of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • The problem-solving technique is an iterative, five-step process that requires one to identify the problem and test different solutions.
  • The technique differs from ad-hoc problem-solving in its suspension of judgment and evaluation of each solution.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, cognitive behavioral therapy is more than challenging negative, automatic thoughts. There is a whole behavioral piece of this therapy that focuses on what people do and how to change their actions to support their mental health. In this post, I’ll talk about the problem-solving technique from cognitive behavioral therapy and what makes it unique.

The problem-solving technique

While there are many different variations of this technique, I am going to describe the version I typically use, and which includes the main components of the technique:

The first step is to clearly define the problem. Sometimes, this includes answering a series of questions to make sure the problem is described in detail. Sometimes, the client is able to define the problem pretty clearly on their own. Sometimes, a discussion is needed to clearly outline the problem.

The next step is generating solutions without judgment. The "without judgment" part is crucial: Often when people are solving problems on their own, they will reject each potential solution as soon as they or someone else suggests it. This can lead to feeling helpless and also discarding solutions that would work.

The third step is evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of each solution. This is the step where judgment comes back.

Fourth, the client picks the most feasible solution that is most likely to work and they try it out.

The fifth step is evaluating whether the chosen solution worked, and if not, going back to step two or three to find another option. For step five, enough time has to pass for the solution to have made a difference.

This process is iterative, meaning the client and therapist always go back to the beginning to make sure the problem is resolved and if not, identify what needs to change.

Andrey Burmakin/Shutterstock

Advantages of the problem-solving technique

The problem-solving technique might differ from ad hoc problem-solving in several ways. The most obvious is the suspension of judgment when coming up with solutions. We sometimes need to withhold judgment and see the solution (or problem) from a different perspective. Deliberately deciding not to judge solutions until later can help trigger that mindset change.

Another difference is the explicit evaluation of whether the solution worked. When people usually try to solve problems, they don’t go back and check whether the solution worked. It’s only if something goes very wrong that they try again. The problem-solving technique specifically includes evaluating the solution.

Lastly, the problem-solving technique starts with a specific definition of the problem instead of just jumping to solutions. To figure out where you are going, you have to know where you are.

One benefit of the cognitive behavioral therapy approach is the behavioral side. The behavioral part of therapy is a wide umbrella that includes problem-solving techniques among other techniques. Accessing multiple techniques means one is more likely to address the client’s main concern.

Salene M. W. Jones Ph.D.

Salene M. W. Jones, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Washington State.

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Problem Solving

problem solving therapy questions

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Introduction & Theoretical Background

Problem Solving is a helpful intervention whenever clients present with difficulties, dilemmas, and conundrums, or when they experience repetitive thought such as rumination or worry. Effective problem solving is an essential life skill and this Problem Solving worksheet is designed to guide adults through steps which will help them to generate solutions to ‘stuck’ situations in their lives. It follows the qualities of effective problem solving outlined by Nezu, Nezu & D’Zurilla (2013), namely: clearly defining a problem; generation of alternative solutions; deliberative decision making; and the implementation of the chosen solution.

The therapist’s stance during problem solving should be one of collaborative curiosity. It is not for the therapist to pass judgment or to impose their preferred solution. Instead it is the clinician’s role to sit alongside clients and to help them examine the advantages and disadvantages of their options and, if the client is ‘stuck’ in rumination or worry, to help motivate them to take action to become unstuck – constructive rumination asks “How can I…?” questions instead of “Why…?” questions.

In their description of problem solving therapy Nezu, Nezu & D’Zurilla (2013) describe how it is helpful to elicit a positive orientation towards the problem which involves: being willing to appraise problems as challenges; remain optimistic that problems are solvable; remember that successful problem solving involves time and effort.

Therapist Guidance

  • What is the nature of the problem?
  • What are my goals?
  • What is getting the way of me reaching my goals?
  • “Can you think of any ways that you could make this problem not be a problem any more?”
  • “What’s keeping this problem as a problem? What could you do to target that part of the problem?”
  • “If your friend was bothered by a problem like this what might be something that you recommend they try?”
  • “What would be some of the worst ways of solving a problem like this? And the best?”
  • “How would Batman solve a problem like this?”
  • Consider short term and long-term implications of each strategy
  • Implications may relate to: emotional well-being, choices & opportunities, relationships, self-growth
  • The next step is to consider which of the available options is the best solution. If you do not feel positive about any solutions, the choice becomes “Which is the least-worst?”. Remember that “even not-making-a-choice is a form of choice”.  
  • The last step of problem solving is putting a plan into action. Rumination, worry, and being in the horns of a dilemma are ‘stuck’ states which require a behavioral ‘nudge’ to become unstuck. Once you have put your plan into action it is important to monitor the outcome and to evaluate whether the actual outcome was consistent with the anticipated outcome.

References And Further Reading

  • Beck, A.T., Rush, A.J., Shaw, B.F., & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression . New York: Guilford. Nezu, A. M., Nezu, C. M., D’Zurilla, T. J. (2013). Problem-solving therapy: a treatment manual . New York: Springer.
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How to Use Problem-Solving Therapy with Your Clients

8 questions you can ask to help clients solve problems faster.

“Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out.”

– Anton Chekhov

“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.”

– Gever Tulley

A common fantasy is of a golden and entirely problem-free future. Sound familiar? The assumption of such a fantasy is, of course, that a life free of problems is (a) possible and (b) by definition, one of happiness.

But could you really live without problems?

We are problem-solving creatures. 1 I suspect we can only be truly happy if we have problems, because rising to challenge gives life meaning. 2 But, paradoxically, we often feel un happy until we have solved our problems. Ah, the paradox of being human! But if we dig into this, the paradox dissolves.

This is because some problems are more problematic, depressing, and overwhelming than others. Some problems are intriguing and fun, while some are depressing and limiting, or at least seem like that. Problems are the fertilizer that helps us grow and develop. But, of course, it’s the kind of problems we have, and how we respond to them, that determines how meaningful life is for us.

Research has found that the kind of happiness associated with taking and getting is less physically beneficial for people than the kind we experience when we seek to help other people and make the world better in some way. The kind of happiness, or perhaps I should say enjoyment, associated with drug taking and drinking, for example, had similar effects on the body to the stress response from terrible adversity. 3

Which leads us to a cliché, but one worth considering.

The more you give, the more you get

When we help others, even when we help ‘us’ rather than simply ‘I’, we are seeking to solve problems that are connected to a sense of a wider, more meaningful life. This kind of satisfaction tends to be more nourishing. Simply looking for repeated thrills or highs can, pretty quickly, start to feel as meaningful as continually trying to fill a bucket with no bottom to it. A ‘bucket list’ is all very well… if the bucket being filled leads to fulfillment .

So, we can, I think, learn a lot about a person from their stated problems. Compare “My life isn’t providing me with meaning!” with “How can I make a difference?”

It’s a terrible cliché to say: “The more you give the more you get” but I would add to this truism “… especially when you forget about getting.”

But if finding solutions to problems and rising to the challenge of making things better can give us that all-important sense of meaning, what is the problem with problems?

Problematic problems

Problems become problematic when our clients lose hope that they can solve them, and especially when they can’t stop thinking about them.

Learned helplessness causes our clients to wrongly feel they’re less empowered than they actually are. They may have come to feel that life simply happens to them, and it had better treat them kindly because they don’t have any influence over life.

The other problem with problems is when people can think of nothing else. If we mull over our problems in the absence of hope, then we become dangerously vulnerable to depression. 4,5 If we feel we can’t solve problems, then we may substitute imagination and circular thinking for action.

If a person doesn’t have volition over where they place their attention, they will find that their focus becomes locked on what makes them feel bad. They will feel unable to withdraw their attention from that particular focus. We see this locking of attention, and difficulty withdrawing it, in addiction, obsession, and, of course, depression.

Sometimes, this kind of locked attention on problems can prove to be worse than the problems themselves.

The problem behind the problem

Because professionals like to slice reality thinly, problem-solving therapy has come to be seen as a type of therapy.

But all therapy is problem-solving therapy. Either we seek to help our clients ‘solve the problem’ by feeling and thinking differently about it, or we help them find ways to solve an actual practical problem (or both!).

Seek to establish how many of your clients’ problems are themselves maladaptive attempts to solve problems.

A client may have come to you for help because they are a control freak . But what problems is their control freakery maladaptively trying to solve? Anxiety ? Fear ? Jealousy ?

The first part of a therapy session, along with building rapport , is information gathering . So what questions can we ask our clients about their problems as a first step to helping them solve them?

Problem-solving therapy questions

Clients come to us when they have some kind of problem. Sometimes they have multiple problems. First off, we need to ask them if they feel the problem is soluble in practical terms or if they need to find ways to feel and think differently about the situation.

In addition, we can ask:

  • Have they been using problem-solving strategies, consciously or otherwise, that cause them further problems? Examples might be trying to inflexibly exert control in ways that cause problems or excessive drinking as a way to self-medicate for anxiety.
  • Have they been worrying about problems that could arise in the future? If so, it’s clear they’ve been misusing their imagination. We can help them imagine differently or even suspend imagination and therefore better tolerate uncertainty .
  • To what extent does their life feel meaningful to them? We can ascertain through listening to our clients to what extent they have been meeting their primal emotional needs in balance.
  • What was happening in their lives generally when the problem first developed?
  • How do they generally go about solving problems? What is their problem-solving style? Displacement (alcohol or drugs)? Ignoring (head in the sand)? Anger ? Passivity ? Could they learn to think and solve problems differently?
  • What ways they have already tried to deal with their problem? What has worked? What hasn’t worked? If I find my client has tried something before with success, I may want to do more of that with them. Reinventing the wheel is a waste of time.
  • Do they normally solve problems well but have come to a situation that cannot simply be solved through common and generally effective problem-solving strategies? If so, they may simply need support and emotional help to lower anxiety around problematic situations. Sometimes the way to ‘solve a problem’ that can’t immediately be solved in a practical way is to deal with it better and respond differently on an emotional level .
  • What resources do they have in terms of their environment, relationships, and personal resources? We can help them build up a sense of these resources and utilize them more fully.

Clients often have problems dealing with the uncertainties of life. We can remind them that the opposite of certainty needn’t necessarily be uncertainty, but rather can be an openness to discovery.

But we can also form problem-solving strategies with our clients.

Clients often come to us because they don’t know which way to go in life . They may not even know what they want. Maybe they have simply been living life in terms of what they don’t want.

We can help them clarify the problem, but also start to look beyond it.

You could be in a beautiful landscape with wonderful paths to follow, but if you walk around continually holding a large rock right in front of your eyes, that is all you will see. Talk of which path would be good for you to follow might feel meaningless, because all you see is the close-up rock.

We can help our clients put down their ‘rocks’ to see what path they might like to travel beyond the problem.

So how can we do this? Well, we can:

  • calm them so that multiple perspectives are more easily perceived,
  • use solution-focused language and questions ,
  • get a sense of what they do want , not just what they don’t want,
  • develop with them the steps to take along their desired path, and
  • have them hypnotically rehearse their desired outcome.

A good practitioner will also be able to help their clients devise practical solutions sometimes. If we get a sense of the steps a client might need to take in order to solve some real-world problem, then we may be able to offer ideas or help them form a plan to get the help they need from other professionals. For example, I have put clients in touch with physiotherapists and even legal experts.

Clients may be our problems, but I prefer to think of them as challenges. Actually, better than that – we can see them as our guides to what is truly possible for people.

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About Mark Tyrrell

Psychology is my passion. I've been a psychotherapist trainer since 1998, specializing in brief, solution focused approaches. I now teach practitioners all over the world via our online courses .

You can get my book FREE when you subscribe to my therapy techniques newsletter. Click here to subscribe free now.

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(1) http://www.i-c-r.org.uk/publications/monographarchive/Monograph33.pdf

(2) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797614531799

(3)  https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/07/25/1305419110.short

(4) https://www.apa.org/monitor/nov05/cycle

(5) https://ijmhs.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1752-4458-8-53

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solution-focused questions for therapy and coaching

Ayisha Amatullah

  • December 18, 2023

101 Solution-Focused Questions for Therapy and Coaching

Solution-focused therapy and coaching use carefully crafted questions to promote self-reflection, awareness, and change.

This guide contains 101 unique questions that inspire clarity and action across various areas, such as personal growth, relationships, career planning, and mental health.

These questions empower individuals to find their own solutions and chart their unique paths toward fulfillment.

In This Post

  • 1 Problem-Free Talk Question
  • 2 Strength-Based Questions
  • 3 Positive Reinforcement Questions
  • 4 Future Perfect Questions
  • 5 Miracle Questions
  • 6 Scaling Questions
  • 7 Scaling Follow-Up Questions
  • 8 Counter Finding Questions
  • 9 Exception Questions
  • 10 Coping Questions
  • 11 Reframing Questions
  • 12 Externalization Questions
  • 13 Goal Setting and Action Planning Questions
  • 14 EARS Questions
  • 15 EARS Questions for Follow-Up Sessions
  • 16 Solution-Focused Questions for Conflict Resolution
  • 17 Solutions-Focused Questions for Managers to Use with Employees
  • 18 Health-Focused Questions
  • 19 Solution-Focused Questions for Children
  • 20 Solution-Focused Questions for Couples
  • 21 Solution-Focused Questions for Families
  • 22 Passion Discovery Questions
  • 23 Trauma-Informed Questions
  • 24 Crisis Situation Questions
  • 25 Solution-Focused Cognitive Restructuring Questions
  • 26 Solution-Focused Questions for Stress Management
  • 27 Take Home Message

Problem-Free Talk Question

These questions shift focus from problems to strengths and identify solutions in a client’s life.

  • What are some things you enjoy doing in your spare time?
  • Can you share a recent event that made you happy?
  • What is one aspect of your life where you’re feeling content?

Strength-Based Questions

Strength-based questions empower individuals to achieve their goals by uncovering personal strengths and resources.

  • What skills or abilities are you most proud of?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you used your strengths to overcome a challenge?
  • What is something positive others say about you?

Positive Reinforcement Questions

These questions acknowledge and reinforce the client’s strengths, successes, and positive efforts.

  • Can you share a recent action or behavior you’re proud of and why it made you feel good about yourself?
  • What positive changes have you noticed in yourself when you engage in this behavior?
  • How can we celebrate these positive behaviors to encourage more of them in the future?

Future Perfect Questions

Future Perfect Questions promote positivity, motivation, and direction by envisioning the future where goals are achieved.

  • Can you describe what your ideal future looks like?
  • What would that look like if everything were going perfectly in your life?
  • What steps could you take to move closer to this perfect future?

Miracle Questions

The Miracle Question is a therapy technique that encourages envisioning an ideal future where problems do not exist, fostering creativity, hope, and clear goals. Suppose a miracle happens overnight, and when you wake up, your problem is solved.

  • What would be the first thing you notice?
  • What other changes would you notice after the miracle?
  • How would your daily routine change after the miracle?

Learn more about How to Use the Miracle Question

Scaling Questions

Scaling questions help clients measure their progress by assessing their feelings, situations, or goals on a spectrum in therapy and coaching.

  • On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your current situation?
  • How confident are you in your ability to reach your goals on a scale from 1-10?
  • What would it take for you to move one step up on that scale?

Scaling Follow-Up Questions

After clients rate their progress, follow-up questions explore what has contributed to their current rating.

  • What specific actions or changes have contributed to your current ranking?
  • Can you share an example of your progress since our last session that reflects your current rating?
  • What small steps could you take that might help you move up one point on the scale?

Counter Finding Questions

Counter-finding questions allow for recognizing potential solutions based on the future perfect or how previous challenges were handled.

  • Can you recall a time when you faced a similar challenge and found a way to handle it effectively? What strategies did you use then?
  • Are there any instances in the past where you’ve been resilient in the face of adversity? What helped you stay strong?
  • What are some of the positive behaviors or habits you’ve developed that have helped you manage your current situation?

Exception Questions

Exception Questions uncover moments when the problem didn’t occur, providing insights for overcoming challenges.

  • Can you think of a time when the problem was not as intense or was absent?
  • What was different about that time?
  • What strengths or resources helped during that time ?

Coping Questions

Coping Questions recognize resilience and develop strategies for handling difficulties.

  • How have you managed to keep going despite the challenges?
  • What strategies have you found helpful in dealing with your situation?
  • How have you been taking care of yourself during this difficult time?

Reframing Questions

Reframing questions helps clients view their situation differently, potentially transforming barriers into opportunities.

  • How can we view this problem in a different light?
  • What positive aspects can we find in this situation?
  • How can we turn this challenge into an opportunity?

Externalization Questions

Externalization is a therapy and coaching technique that separates clients from their issues.

  • If you could give a name to your problem, what would it be?
  • How would things change if the problem were outside of you instead of being a part of you?
  • What would it look like to have control over the problem rather than it having control over you?

Goal Setting and Action Planning Questions

Goal Setting and Action Planning questions involve creating SMART goals and a step-by-step plan to achieve them.

  • What are some concrete goals you would like to work towards?
  • What steps can you take this week to move closer to your goals?
  • How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal?

EARS Questions

EARS means Empathy, Ask, Reflect, and Summarize. It is used to understand, probe, mirror, and encapsulate the conversation’s key points.

  • How are you feeling about your situation currently?
  • What are some things you would like me to know about your experience?
  • What I’m hearing is …, is that correct?
  • So, to summarize, …, does that capture everything?

EARS Questions for Follow-Up Sessions

EARS is also used to track progress and changes since the previous session.

  • Empathy: “I can see that you’ve been working hard since our last session. Can you tell me more about what feels different now compared to before?”
  • Ask: “What changes have you noticed in your behavior, thoughts, or feelings since our last meeting?”
  • Reflect: “So, you’ve mentioned that you’re feeling more confident and less anxious. That’s a significant step forward.”
  • Summarize: “From what you’ve shared, it sounds like you’ve made substantial progress since our last session, particularly in the areas of confidence and anxiety management. Is that a fair summary?”

14 Solution-Focused Techniques for Therapy and Coaching

Solution-focused questions for conflict resolution.

Conflict resolution solution-focused questions facilitate dialogue, self-reflection, and problem-solving skills.

  • Can you describe the conflict from your perspective? What about from the other person’s perspective?
  • On a scale from 1-10, how would you rate the severity of this conflict? What factors contribute to this rating?
  • What have you tried so far to resolve this conflict? What was the result?
  • Can you recall a time when you resolved a similar conflict successfully? What strategies did you use then?
  • How would you like this conflict to be resolved? What does the ideal outcome look like to you?
  • What steps can you take to move towards your desired outcome?
  • How might your relationship with the other person change once the conflict is resolved?
  • Can you identify any strengths or resources you have that could be useful in resolving this conflict?

Solutions-Focused Questions for Managers to Use with Employees

These questions are designed to guide employees toward enhancing their performance and productivity.

  • Can you identify an area of your work where you’d like to improve? What specific steps can you take towards this improvement?
  • Can you share an instance where you felt particularly satisfied with your performance? What factors contributed to this success?
  • What professional milestones would you like to achieve in the next six months?
  • What specific actions can you take this week to advance toward these milestones?
  • How can I assist in facilitating your progress towards these goals?
  • Can you think of a piece of feedback you recently received? How has it influenced your work?
  • Can you recall a challenging situation at work? What did you learn from that experience? How can you apply these learnings to future situations?

Health-Focused Questions

These questions are tailored to help clients explore their health-related concerns, promoting a healthier lifestyle and improved well-being.

  • What activities or practices have you found beneficial to your health? How might you incorporate more of these into your daily routine?
  • Can you recall a time when you felt at your healthiest? What were you doing differently then?
  • What would it be if you could make one immediate change to improve your health?
  • What short-term and long-term goals do you have for your health? How might you begin working towards these goals?
  • Can you identify any resources or support systems that have been or could help improve your health?
  • What strategies have you used in the past to successfully introduce a new health habit or eliminate an old one?
  • How might you celebrate your health successes and milestones in a way that encourages continued progress?

Solution-Focused Questions for Children

Solution-focused questions help children express their feelings and thoughts. The following questions are designed to be easily understood by children.

  • If your day was an animal, what animal would it be and why?
  • Can you tell a story about a time when you felt really happy?
  • If a magic wand could solve your problem, what would be different?
  • Can you think of a time when you solved a big problem? What did you do?
  • If you could ask any superhero for help, who would you ask and why?
  • What do you like the most about yourself?
  • Can you tell me about someone you look up to? What makes them special?
  • What is one thing you do really well?
  • Can you draw or describe how you imagine your future self? What do you see?
  • If you could have any superpower to help you with your problem, what would it be, and how would you use it?
  • Can you think of a time when something was hard, but you managed to do it? What was helpful for you then?
  • If a friend faced the same problem, what advice would you give them? How could you apply that advice to your own situation?

Remember, while working with children, creating a safe and comfortable environment where they can express themselves freely is essential. Encouraging creative responses like drawing or storytelling can make the process more engaging for younger children.

Solution-Focused Questions for Couples

These questions foster understanding, connection, and communication within the relationship.

  • Can you share a moment when you felt particularly connected as a couple? What were you doing or talking about?
  • How do you show appreciation and love for each other in your daily life?
  • If your relationship were a dance, what type of dance would it be and why?
  • Can both of you identify a common goal or dream for the future? What can you do to work towards that goal together?
  • Can you recall a time when you successfully navigated a conflict as a couple? What strategies did you use?

Solution-Focused Questions for Families

These questions aim to promote family cohesion, communication, and mutual understanding.

  • Can each family member share something they appreciate about the family?
  • Can you recall a time when the family worked together to solve a problem? What strategies did you use?
  • If your family were a team, what would be your team name and why?
  • How do you celebrate achievements or milestones as a family?
  • Each family member, please share a quality that you admire in another family member.
  • Remember, these questions are not meant to highlight deficits but rather to facilitate discussions about strengths and resources within the relationship or family.

Passion Discovery Questions

These questions are designed to help clients uncover their passion and interests, potentially guiding their personal and professional development.

  • Can you recall a moment when you felt incredibly alive and engaged? What were you doing at that time?
  • Is there an activity or task you love so much that you lose track of time when doing it?
  • If you had all the resources (time, money, connections) necessary, what would you love to learn or master?
  • Imagine you have a week off with no obligations whatsoever. How would you spend your time?
  • Are there any topics or subjects you can’t stop reading or learning about?
  • Have you ever felt a strong sense of satisfaction or accomplishment from completing a task or project? What about that task or project made you feel that way?
  • What would you love to do if fears or barriers were not an issue?

Remember, the objective of these questions is not to put pressure on finding a definitive answer but to spark exploration and self-discovery.

Trauma-Informed Questions

These questions are designed to assist clients who have experienced traumatic events . They focus on resilience, coping mechanisms, and personal growth while avoiding triggers or re-traumatization.

  • Can you remember a time when you felt safe and secure despite the difficult circumstances around you? What helped create that sense of safety?
  • Without going into the details of the event, can you share any coping strategies or resources that have been helpful for you during difficult times?
  • Do you do certain things that help you feel grounded when you start feeling overwhelmed?
  • Can you think of a time when you felt empowered or regained a sense of control in your life? What contributed to that experience?
  • What small steps could you take to make your environment feel safer or more comfortable?
  • Can you identify any personal strengths or qualities that have helped you through difficult times in the past?
  • Looking towards the future, what are some goals or dreams you have? How can you begin taking steps toward achieving them?

Remember, it is crucial to approach these questions with sensitivity and respect, ensuring the client feels safe and heard. Always be prepared to adjust or forgo certain questions if they cause discomfort.

Crisis Situation Questions

These questions are designed to assist clients in navigating crises . They focus on identifying resources, implementing coping strategies, and fostering resilience in the face of adversity.

  • Can you think of a time in the past when you faced a difficult situation and came out of it? What strategies did you use then that could be applied to this situation?
  • In moments of calm within the crisis, what do you notice helps to bring about that calmness?
  • What are some immediate actions we could take to alleviate the most pressing issues in this crisis?
  • Who are the people in your life who can support you during this crisis? What specific forms of support can they offer?
  • Are there any helpful resources or tools you’ve found in past crises that you could utilize now?
  • Despite the crisis, are there any positive aspects of your life that you can lean on for strength or comfort?
  • Looking beyond the crisis, can you envision a future where you have successfully navigated this situation? What does that look like?

It’s essential to approach these questions with empathy and understanding. Always be ready to modify the line of questioning if it seems to result in distress or discomfort.

Solution-Focused Cognitive Restructuring Questions

These questions are tailored to assist clients undergoing cognitive therapy. They identify and challenge irrational thought patterns, foster self-awareness, and promote cognitive restructuring.

  • Can you think of a recent situation where your thoughts affected your feelings? What was the thought, and how did it make you feel?
  • Are there any recurring thoughts that seem to bring you down? How can we test the validity of these thoughts?
  • When you experience a negative thought, are there alternative, more positive interpretations of the situation that you might be overlooking?
  • Can you identify a situation where you successfully replaced a negative thought with a more constructive one? How did that make you feel?
  • Could you describe a time when you broke a cycle of negative thinking? What strategies did you use for that?
  • How can we use your strengths and resources to help alter unhelpful thought patterns?
  • Looking forward, can you think of a situation that might trigger negative thinking, and how could you respond differently to it?

Approach these questions with compassion and understanding, creating a safe environment for clients to explore their thoughts and feelings. Modify the line of questioning if it appears to cause distress or discomfort.

Solution-Focused Questions for Stress Management

These questions are designed to assist clients dealing with stress. They aim to identify stressors, develop coping mechanisms, and foster resilience and relaxation techniques.

  • Can you identify specific situations or triggers that often result in feelings of stress for you?
  • How does stress manifest physically, emotionally, and cognitively for you?
  • Can you recall a time when you successfully managed stress? What strategies did you use?
  • What activities or practices do you find relaxing or soothing when you’re feeling stressed?
  • What positive changes could you make in your daily routine to help manage stress?
  • Who are the supportive people in your life that you can lean on when you’re feeling stressed?
  • Looking forward, what small steps could you start taking today to better manage stress in the long term?

Take Home Message

Solution-focused questions aid in various approaches, such as cognitive therapy, stress management, and crisis management. They help identify strengths, foster resilience, challenge negative thoughts, and encourage proactive coping. Therapists must approach questions empathetically, prioritizing client comfort and mental wellbeing.

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problem solving therapy questions

30 Problem Solving Scenarios for Speech Therapy Practice

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Problem solving scenarios.

  • Your friends came over to your house for a movie night. One of your friends brought another friend so there are more people than you planned for. You want to pass out the drinks but you only have five cans of soda and you need 6 for everyone to have one. What could you do?
  • After basketball practice you go back to the locker room with your team to shower and change. When you are done dressing, you can't find your shoes. What could you do?
  • You have been waiting all day for lunch to come because you are starving. Finally class gets over and you get to go to lunch. Except when you go to get to your lunch, it's not there. You probably left it at home. What could you do?
  • There is a guy in your class who is always mean to you. He always bumps you when he walks by and he calls you names. He knocks stuff out of your hands and makes you feel stupid. You don't think you can take it anymore. What could you do?
  • You really want to invite this new girl/guy to come to your birthday party, but you have never talked to them before. You are worried they will say no. What could you do?
  • You rode the bus to school today and on the way in people are pointing and laughing at you. You go in the bathroom and see that you have pink gum all over the back of your pants. What could you do?
  • You wake up and see that your alarm never went off. So you are starting your morning 15 minutes later than you planned. It is a really important day at school and you cannot be late. What could you do?
  • You are giving a group presentation in front of class and it's your turn to talk. All of the sudden you sneeze. You cover it with your hand, but now your hand is full of stuff you sneezed out. What could you do?
  • You are eating dinner at a fancy restaurant with your parents and their friends. You have a really messy dinner and accidentally flip a noodle into the lady's lap. They are busy talking and don't notice it. What could you do?
  • You are taking a test and there is no talking allowed. You are writing your answers on the paper and your pencil breaks. What could you do?
  • You are taking a test and the guy behind you asks you for help. He wants to know what you put for question number two. What could you do?
  • You are at a birthday party and you have waited in line for a long time for your turn to hit the pinata. It is finally going to be your turn and it looks like the next hit will break the pinata. But you suddenly have to go to the bathroom. What could you do?
  • You are hanging outside with your friend and she decides to pick your neighbor's flowers. She gives you the pretty handful of flowers and right then your neighbor opens the door. She asks you why you picked her flowers. What could you do?
  • You borrowed your sister's skates one day without asking and they broke while you were using them. What could you do?
  • You are eating at a friend's house and the mom piles your plate full of food. It looks really good and you want to eat it all but you can't because you just ate a snack. What could you do so you don't hurt her feelings?

SEE ALSO:   The Best Free App for Speech Therapy

problem solving therapy questions

  • Your teacher was working at her desk.  You wanted to ask her a question, but she didn't see your hand raised. What should you do?
  • You started to do your work, but you weren't sure if you were doing it right. What should you do?
  • You were playing tether-ball and were the champion so far.  In the next game, you slightly touched the rope.  Only one student saw you touch the rope. What will you do?
  • The teacher is giving directions, but your friend sitting next to you keeps talking.  You can't hear the directions. What should you do?
  • You didn't do your homework.  Your teacher was upset with you. What should you do?
  • You finished eating and felt a burp coming. What are you going to do?
  • You were waiting to swing.  When it was your turn, another boy jumped in front of you and took the swing. What would you do?
  • You waited a long time, but your mom didn't come to pick you up after school. What should you do?
  • A bully threatened to beat you up after school. What should you do?
  • A boy on the playground keeps pushing you and making you mad. What would you do?
  • You were sitting in class doing your work and you hear the fire alarm. What should you do?
  • An adult you didn't know came on to the playground and asked if you would help look for his lost dog. What would you do?
  • You forgot your lunch at home. What would you do?
  • The person sitting behind you keeps tapping your chair with his foot. What should you do?
  • You finished your work early. What should you do?

This list of functional words was professionally selected to be the most useful for a child or adult who has difficulty with problem solving scenarios.

We encourage you to use this list when practicing at home.

Home practice will make progress toward meeting individual language goals much faster.

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) are only able to see students/clients 30-60 mins (or less) per week. This is not enough time or practice for someone to handle Problem solving scenarios.

Every day that your loved one goes without practice it becomes more difficult to help them. 

SEE ALSO:   The Best Books for Speech Therapy Practice

Speech therapy books for targeting multiple goals

We know life is busy , but if you're reading this you're probably someone who cares about helping their loved one as much as you can.

Practice 5-10 minutes whenever you can, but try to do it on a consistent basis (daily).

Please, please, please use this list to practice.

It will be a great benefit to you and your loved one's progress.

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71+ Free Social Problem-Solving Scenarios

Do you have kiddos who struggle with their social problem-solving skills? Teach your students the simple process of how to solve a problem along with having them review how well their solution worked or didn’t work.

Learning to problem solve is an essential skill that is used not only throughout childhood but also into adulthood. Social problem solving is the ability to change or adapt to undesirable situations that arise throughout our day. On a daily basis, a child will encounter social problems that they will need to solve. Anything from arguing with another student, to hurting a friend’s feelings, to having a difficult conversation, or working with others.

Start with Small Problems

Many of the “problems” children encounter are often small problems which the child may be over-reacting to, such as wanting a different coloring crayon or wanting to be first in line, however, these small problems are still very real to the child. Practicing problem-solving with these small problems can be a great learning opportunity. Children can practice problem-solving with a small problem which can help them learn how to handle bigger problems in the future.

Problem Solving Importance

Social problem-solving skills are critical to a child’s social interactions, personal and professional relationships. A child’s ability to handle change, cope with stress, and handle challenges improves with a child’s ability to successfully solve social problems.

The ultimate goal is that the child will be able to solve social problems all on their own, but until they can independently solve a problem they will need to learn how to communicate and self-advocate to positively solve their problems.  

Students with Autism Problem Solving

Students with autism and other social challenges need to learn to problem solve as well. These social problem-solving skills will help them throughout their childhood and into their adulthood. Children can be taught how to problem solve through a guided process of breaking down the problem and using simple steps to solve the problem. Learning specific steps to problem-solving can allow children to remember how to solve a problem when they become overwhelmed or stressed. Although learning to solve a problem independently can take some time and practice it is well worth the investment to have a child who can eventually solve most social situations in a positive manner on their own.

Make Problem Solving Easier with this Freebie!

Download yours today to get started.

problem solving therapy questions

Problem Solving Form

Teach your students the 4 steps to becoming a social problem-solver.

  • Identify the problem. For instance, start by having your student identify the social problem.
  • Create three solutions. Also, have your student come up with three different solutions that they could use to solve the problem that they identified.
  • Identify the consequences. Then, identify the consequence for each individual solution.
  • Pick the best solution.  Lastly, have your student identify which of their three solutions is the best choice Then have your student put into words why they think that solution is the best solution.

Problem Solving Graphic Organizer

What we learnt about solving problems is don't freak out, if one thing doesn't work , try something else out. And work together as a team. #melthammathsweek #MELTHAMPUPILVOICE @problemsolveit pic.twitter.com/iVm1Im4Aue — yr6melthamce (@yr6melthamce) February 4, 2019

Problem Solving Review Form

After your students go through the social problem-solver have them use the social problem-solving review form.

  • What happened.  For instance, after your student tried their solution have them explain what happened next.
  • Review the results. Also, have your student identify whether or not their solution got them the results they wanted.
  • Use this solution again. Furthermore, have your student identify whether or not they would use this solution again in the future to solve the same or similar problem.
  • What would you do differently? Finally, have your student explain what they would do differently if they didn’t get the results they wanted or if they wouldn’t use that solution again in the future.


71+ Social Problem Scenarios + 6 Blank Scenarios

Use the 71 social problem-solving scenarios to have your students get great experience practicing how to solve a social problem. Also, included are 6 blank scenarios. Then laminate them so you can use them over and over again. Therefore, create social problems that the student experiences and needs help solving.

Problem Solving Scenarios

Wordless Video teaching Problem Solving

Watch this super cute wordless animation with your students and have them discuss the problem they see and how to best solve the problem.

Use this as a fun practice example to get your students started towards learning how to problem-solve.

Demonstrate Through Modeling

  • Model and discuss empathy. First and foremost, children need to understand how another person might be feeling in a given situation in order to become a good social problem solver. The student needs to learn how to “stand in someone else’s shoes” for a little bit. One way you can work on this skill is during the reading time you can focus on how a particular character in the story might be feeling. Ask questions, such as, “How do they feel right now? How would you feel in that same situation? Why do you think they feel that way?”, etc.
  • Model problem-solving skills as the teacher. When you are faced with a problem you can solve the problem by thinking aloud for the students to hear how you solve a problem. You can state the problem, then come up with possible solutions, then identify the possible consequences to each solution, then pick and explain why a solution is the best option. For example, you could say, “I was hoping to take the class outside for a stress walk around the track before the reading test, but the problem is that it is raining outside. I could still take you outside, but then you will get wet, or we could walk the halls, but then we’d have to be really quiet because there are other classes learning, or we could just skip the walk and take the reading test, but then you might not do as well on the test. I think based on all of those solutions the best solution will be to walk the hallway, but you guys will have to promise to be quiet so that we don’t disrupt other classes. Modeling the problem-solving process can be very helpful for the students to watch, observe, and later implement themselves.

Teach Communication

  • Have students communicate how they are feeling . Teaching your students to share their emotions in a respectful way can improve their ability to problem-solve. Have students use an “I” sentence frame, such as, “I feel _____ (insert feeling word) when _____ (identify what made you feel that way).” For example, “I felt sad when Jackson broke my favorite pencil” or “I was mad when I wasn’t picked to be first in line. “This way students can communicate how they are feeling using honest and open communication. Teaching students to appropriately communicate their emotions can help solve some social problems from the beginning.

Encourage Independency

  • Encourage your student to problem solve. If your student is struggling to problem solve independently encourage them to do so using open-ended questions, such as “How could you fix this problem?” “What would be a fair solution?” “What would happen if you used that solution?”, etc.
  • Let the student try to problem solve independently. Give your students the space to try and solve their own problems using the guided strategies. Try not to come running to their rescue for every little problem. Some problems are small and a great opportunity for the student to learn and practice. If an adult does all of the problem solving for a student then what are they really learning. Give your students the time and space they need to practice solving small problems on their own. Of course, if it is a bigger or more serious problem then have an adult help guide the problem-solving process.
  • Tell an adult. Remind your students that there are still some problems that are too big for them to solve on their own and that it is okay to get help from an adult to solve big problems. For example, if the student doesn’t feel safe, someone is being hurt physically or emotionally, or if they tried to solve a problem independently but it didn’t work and they need help. Let them know that it’s okay to tell an adult.

Teach How to Disagree and How to Make Up

  • Discuss how to disagree respectfully. Remind your student that they won’t always agree with their teacher, friends, classmate, or parents and that’s okay. Even the people we like might have different opinions, interests, and likes than we do. However, even if we disagree with someone we should still treat them with respect. Treating someone with respect means to not call them names, ignore them, yell or hit them. It means that you do try to create solutions that both parties can agree with and to apologize when we hurt others’ feelings.
  • Role-play how to make up. Practice in everyday life how to make up after a social problem .

Get your free social problem solver today!

I hope you and your students love this freebie!

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What is the role of solution-focused therapy in solving your mental health problems?

S olution-focused therapy is short-term psychotherapy. As the name suggests, it's a modality focused on helping you find solutions.

Generally, clients can be divided into two categories. Some are unaware of what's contributing to their problems and reach out to therapy to seek awareness. Meanwhile, others are well aware of their problems and need solutions.

In this case, solution-focused therapy comes into play and can be extremely useful. Sometimes, we reach a point where we feel that we have come to a standstill.

We may seek help from friends, family or colleagues, but at times that does not suffice. That's when we turn to therapy.

What is solution focused therapy?

Solution-focused therapy is one of the most popular types of therapy . However, unlike other modalities, this therapy focuses your attention on the present and the future.

It helps to see how you can envision your life without these problems. If you have come across the term psychodynamic or psychoanalytical therapy , you would know that the primary focus is on resolving things from the past.

This therapy emphasizes collaboration. The therapist will not provide you with direct solutions. Rather, both of you will have to work together towards achieving your goals. That would also mean that you have to actively work on activities outside the session to reach solutions.

Additional emphasis will be placed on how you cope with personal and professional situations. The therapist will help you recognize your strengths and work around the problems.

What are some common solution-focused therapy techniques?

Even a single session can impact your mental health , as mental health professional uses various tools and techniques in the session.

The tools designed in therapy are used to elicit information and solutions from you. You might feel that you need to seek out a therapist if they don't tell you what to do directly.

The goal of therapy, though, is to empower you to reach your own solutions and make your decisions. Here are the most common techniques used in SFT:

#1 Miracle question

How will your life be when you wake up tomorrow and your problems disappear? This question is often posed to clients during the session. Of course, therapy is not going to magically remove your problems.

However, with this question, you are able to potentially think less about the problem and more about the things you can do to reach a solution.

#2 Finding exceptions

When we are stuck with a problem, we feel that our life is miserable, and there's nothing good about it.

These problems slow down our thinking process, and we are not able to look at situations different from these. That'ss where your therapist will ask you to find exceptions.

#3 Scaling questions

On a scale of one to ten, where do you think you are stuck? If it's two, why do you think it's not a zero, and what do you need to go beyond two. Scaling questions help us assess the situation more objectively and not be stuck in the extremes.

Solution-focused therapy is for those who want to opt for short-term psychotherapy.

It may not be applicable for those with traumatic experiences or other serious mental health issues, though. The only reason is that for these cases, you need more care and time to get to the roots.

Perhaps, understanding your past becomes important. If you are someone who doesn't meet this, feel free to opt for solution-focused therapy.

Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master's degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.

What do you think of this story? Tell us in the comments section below.

What is the role of solution-focused therapy in solving your mental health problems?

5 REBT Techniques, Exercises, and Worksheets

rebt techniques

Ellis trained as a clinical psychologist but found the options for treating his patients lacking. His dissatisfaction with the results he was seeing drove him to develop his own brand of therapy that emphasized action instead of talk.

Read on to dive deeper into the theory behind REBT and look at some of the techniques and interventions that you might practice with this type of therapy.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free . These science-based exercises will provide you with detailed insight into Positive CBT and give you the tools to apply it in your therapy or coaching.

This Article Contains:

A brief look at the theory, what techniques does rebt use, examples of rebt in action, common rebt questions, a look at rebt interventions, 3 rebt worksheets (incl. pdf), recommended books on the topic, a take-home message.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is based on the idea that it is not the things that happen to us that cause our problems; it is our thoughts and thinking patterns that lead to the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral issues that challenge us (Dryden, David, & Ellis, 2010).

This idea is captured in the acronym ABC:

A – The activating event or adversity B – Our beliefs about the event, ourselves, and the world in general C – The consequences of our emotions and behaviors

Ellis believed that far too much emphasis was placed on the activating events and that most of the consequences were actually determined by our beliefs (Albert Ellis Institute, n.d.).

This was a significant shift from the prevailing ideas of the day, and it gave new hope to clients who were frustrated with their lack of results from traditional therapy; after all, if our beliefs are the real culprit rather than the events, then we have much more control over the consequences than we may have thought.

REBT practitioners believe there are two categories of cognition: hot and cold. Cold cognition refers to the way we initially think about and understand what happens to us, while hot cognitions are evaluations of our cold cognitions (Turner, 2016).

We don’t have much control over our cold cognitions, as those are formed early on and are generally not consciously understood; however, we can influence how we evaluate those cold cognitions.

Further, REBT distinguishes between healthy negative emotions (or HNEs) and unhealthy negative emotions (or UNEs). HNEs follow from adverse events that we approach with rational beliefs and adaptive behaviors, while UNEs stem from irrational beliefs and maladaptive behaviors (Turner, 2016). REBT aims to help clients reduce these irrational beliefs and replace them with rational beliefs.

Grounded in these innovative ideas, REBT was designed as a practical approach to help people learn techniques that would allow them to overcome their obstacles and cope with life’s challenges more effectively.

rebt in action

Problem-solving techniques

Cognitive restructuring techniques.

  • Coping techniques (Raypole, 2018)

Each category of technique corresponds to part of the ABC model , giving clients techniques to use at each step.

Problem-solving techniques are intended to help clients address the A in the ABC model, addressing the activating event or adversity head on. Popular problem-solving methods include:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Assertiveness
  • Social skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Conflict resolution skills

Cognitive restructuring techniques are focused on helping the client change irrational beliefs (Clark, 2013).

Techniques include:

  • Logical or rationalizing techniques
  • Guided imagery and visualization
  • Using humor and irony
  • Exposing yourself to whatever you fear
  • Disputing irrational beliefs

Coping techniques

When a client can’t change the event and is struggling even though they are using rational thinking, coping techniques can help.

These techniques can include:

  • Mindfulness
  • Breathing exercises

problem solving therapy questions

Download 3 Free Positive CBT Exercises (PDF)

These detailed, science-based exercises will equip you or your clients with tools to find new pathways to reduce suffering and more effectively cope with life stressors.

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By filling out your name and email address below.

In a typical REBT session, the therapist will likely go over the “ABCs” with the client.

For example, here is a sample transcript from a session of REBT:

Client : I had a really difficult presentation at work this week, and I totally blew it.

Therapist : Tell me about it.

C: Well, I stumbled a little while presenting, and I just felt so stupid. In the end, there were tons of questions from management that I didn’t anticipate, and that makes me feel like I missed the mark on the whole presentation.

T: It sounds like you got your point across and engaged your audience, but maybe you didn’t give a perfect presentation. Why does that upset you so much?

C: I feel like I must not be a very good employee if I don’t hit the mark every time.

T: And so what if you don’t hit the mark every time?

C: I guess it’s not that big of a deal to miss the mark every once in a while.

T: We all make mistakes. It seems like it wasn’t giving an imperfect presentation that upset you; it was how you judged yourself afterward that made you feel down on yourself.

C: Yeah, I think you’re right. I shouldn’t feel so bad though; everyone makes mistakes.

At this point, the therapist will likely help the client come up with some statements based on their irrational belief that they must be perfect for every presentation. They might come up with statements like:

“I must ace my presentation, or I am a bad employee.” “I must be a model employee, or I have no value at all.” “I must present with ease, or I am incompetent.”

Next, the therapist will help the client explore some alternative beliefs, like:

“It’s okay to slip up sometimes.” “Making a mistake doesn’t mean I’m worthless.” “Even if I botch a presentation, I can still be a good employee overall.”

If you’re interested in seeing how the professionals apply the principles and techniques of REBT, check out this four-video series from Albert Ellis and his protégé Janet Wolfe.

Some of the most common questions in REBT relate to how it works and how it differs from other forms of therapy. For example, below are three common questions and the corresponding answers:

  • Question: How can REBT help me?
  • Answer: REBT can help you learn more about yourself and the irrational beliefs that are damaging you or holding you back, and it can teach you how to address these irrational beliefs when they crop up.
  • Question: Will REBT keep me from feeling emotions?
  • Answer: No, REBT will not keep you from feeling emotions; however, it will help you to recognize them, accept them, and respond to or cope with them in a healthier way.
  • Question: Do I need to go every week? For how long?
  • Answer: No, you do not need to go every week. You and your therapist can work out a schedule that works best for you. You might go every week at first, but every-other-week sessions and monthly sessions are also common. Sessions are usually between 30 and 60 minutes, but this is also dependent upon you and your therapist. Whatever works for you is a good length!

To dive even deeper into REBT, check out the Albert Ellis Institute’s Frequently Asked Questions section, where they tackle further questions like:

  • I’ve heard that REBT tries to do away with negative emotions altogether by making people think logically and objectively. Is that true?
  • But aren’t feelings such as anger and anxiety normal and appropriate?
  • With all this emphasis on “me,” doesn’t REBT encourage selfishness?
  • Does REBT force its own beliefs about what’s rational on people?

Rational emotive behavior therapy vs. cognitive therapy?

If you’re wondering how REBT is put into practice with clients, this section is for you. There are tons of resources out there for practitioners or those interested in trying the techniques for themselves.

Check out the activities, exercises, and worksheets listed below.

3 REBT activities and exercises

Imagine the Worst

Catastrophizing involves “worst-case” thinking and can be an extremely common cognitive distortion. Frequently, we fear the uncertainty of potential negative events, even despite a lack of objective facts to support their occurrence (Quartana, Campbell, & Edwards, 2009).

This can help them realize that:

  • The worst-case scenario is unrealistic and thus unlikely to occur.
  • Even if it did occur, the worst-case scenario will probably still be tolerable.
  • In the event that it happens, they would still be able to manage the outcome and prevent it from becoming catastrophic.

Blown Out of All Proportion

This technique involves both imagery and humor, combining two of the cognitive restructuring techniques for maximum effectiveness. It builds on “worst-case imagery” for reasons that will become obvious.

In a session, the therapist would ask the client to imagine that the thing they fear happening the most actually happened. However, instead of allowing the client to visualize it realistically, the therapist will guide them in visualizing it to an extreme, blow entirely out of proportion (Froggatt, 2005).

When things are this exaggerated, they become funny. Laughing at their blown-up fears will help the client get control over them. This exercise isn’t right for every fear, but it can be extremely useful in many cases.

You’ll find this intervention, with examples, in the Imagine The Worst PDF above.

Disputing Irrational Beliefs (DIBS) Handout

One of the most popular cognitive restructuring techniques is called disputing irrational beliefs (DIBS) or simply disputing (Ellis, n.d.). The point of DIBS is to question yourself on some of your limiting or harmful beliefs and essentially “logic” them out of existence.

Here are the questions to ask yourself, outlined in our Disputing Irrational Beliefs Handout :

  • What is the self-defeating irrational belief I would like to dispute and reduce?
  • Am I able to support this belief with objective facts?
  • What proof is there that this belief is false?
  • Is there any proof that this belief is true?
  • What is the worst possible outcome that could occur if I fail to get what I believe I must? What’s the worst possible outcome if I do get what I believe I mustn’t? What other negative things could happen to me?
  • What positive things could I cause to happen if my undesirable scenarios pan out?

Although this technique can be highly effective for irrational beliefs, it will not always work for your deepest or long-held beliefs. These are harder to dispute but not impossible; Ellis recommends recording your irrational belief and several disputes to the belief, then listening to it repeatedly and even allowing your therapist, therapy group, or loved ones to listen to it with you.

This technique has been adapted from Techniques for Disputing Irrational Beliefs by the Albert Ellis Institute into a client handout (Ellis, n.d.). For a more detailed exercise, check out our Challenging Questions Worksheet below.

Worksheets can make a great addition to REBT for clients or a satisfactory substitute for therapy in people with milder issues.

Check out these three worksheets on REBT techniques below.

1. Increasing awareness of cognitive distortions

Although it’s not necessarily an REBT-exclusive technique, this worksheet can fit in nicely with an REBT focus. It guides the user through identifying the cognitive distortions (irrational beliefs) that they hold.

First, the worksheet lists 11 of the most common cognitive distortions:

  • All-or-nothing thinking
  • Overgeneralizing
  • Discounting the positive
  • Jumping to conclusions
  • Mind reading
  • Fortune telling
  • Magnifying (catastrophizing) or minimizing
  • Emotional reasoning
  • Should statements
  • Labeling and mislabeling
  • Personalization

Once the user reads through the common cognitive distortions and some examples, they can move on to the worksheet. It’s split into three columns with instructions for each:

  • Feelings – Write down what feelings you are experiencing; these can include emotions and physical sensations.
  • Thoughts – Notice what thoughts are associated with your feelings and write those down here.
  • Cognitive distortions – Analyze your thoughts; is there a cognitive distortion there, or are your thoughts rational?

Take a few minutes each day to complete a row in this worksheet for at least one week, and you will improve your ability to identify your irrational beliefs, which is the first step toward correcting them. You can find the Increasing Awareness of Cognitive Distortions worksheet in the Positive Psychology Toolkit© .

2. Leaving the Comfort Zone

This worksheet will help educate the user on the four zones and motivate them to step outside of the comfort zone.

First, it defines the four zones:

  • Comfort zone : the space in which we feel safe and in control; things are easy, and we know what to do.
  • Fear zone : an uncomfortable space marked by uncertainty; we don’t know what to expect or what to do.
  • Learning zone : another uncomfortable space, but not as bad as the fear zone; we begin to acquire new skills and expand our comfort zone.
  • Growth zone : when we stay in the learning zone long enough, it becomes the growth zone, where we become comfortable with our new skills and experience.

Next, it directs the user to identify a comfort zone situation. It should be something coming up that will require the user to step out of the comfort zone and into the fear zone.

Once the user has identified a situation, they are instructed to identify their personal signs of fear or symptoms of their experience with fear.

In addition to noting the signs of fear, the user should identify what they would lose out on by not stepping into the fear zone. What opportunities or new potential benefits would they miss out on?

Further, the user should note the long-term possibilities of staying in the learning zone. How might they transform as a person? What could they gain from being in this zone over time?

Finally, the user finishes the worksheet by reflecting on how they would feel about themselves if they stuck it out in the growth zone, and how it would affect their relationships with others.

This worksheet can help users reframe their thoughts about their fears and face them. You can find it in the Positive Psychology Toolkit© .

3. Challenging questions worksheet

This worksheet can help the user question their irrational beliefs and stop them in their tracks.

First, it lists 10 common irrational beliefs that users may recognize in themselves:

  • I am only as good as what I achieve.
  • If they don’t love me, then I’m worthless.
  • Other people should follow the rules I know to be right.
  • It’s not okay to have this feeling. I should just be happy.
  • The problems in this relationship are all my fault/their fault.
  • This situation is hopeless; nothing will ever improve.
  • If this person doesn’t like me, then other people must feel the same way.
  • I must be able to do it all; if I can’t, then there’s something wrong with me.
  • My life is too hard. Life shouldn’t be this difficult and frustrating.
  • Anger is not safe; I must not let myself get angry about this.

Then, it lists 12 challenging questions the user can use to confront their irrational belief:

  • What is the evidence for or against this idea?
  • Am I confusing habit with a fact?
  • Are my interpretations of the situation too far removed from reality to be accurate?
  • Am I thinking in all-or-nothing terms?
  • Am I using words or phrases that are extreme or exaggerated like always , forever , never , need , should , must , can’t , and every time ?
  • Am I taking selected examples out of context?
  • Am I making excuses? I’m not afraid; I just don’t want to go out. The other people expect me to be perfect. I don’t want to make the call because I don’t have time.
  • Is the source of information reliable?
  • Am I thinking in terms of certainties instead of probabilities?
  • Am I confusing a low probability with a high probability?
  • Are my judgments based on feelings rather than facts?
  • Am I focusing on irrelevant factors?

The worksheet leaves space for the user to pick one belief and four challenging questions to answer with a new, healthier perspective on the irrational belief.

problem solving therapy questions

17 Science-Based Ways To Apply Positive CBT

These 17 Positive CBT & Cognitive Therapy Exercises [PDF] include our top-rated, ready-made templates for helping others develop more helpful thoughts and behaviors in response to challenges, while broadening the scope of traditional CBT.

Created by Experts. 100% Science-based.

Given the popularity of other types of therapies , REBT has not gained the mainstream recognition that it deserves for its realistic approach and practical techniques. As such, you won’t find as many books about it as you might for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or Dialectical Behavior Therapy, but there are some excellent options, including a few books from the founder himself.

Check out these books to learn more:

  • How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything—Yes, Anything! by Albert Ellis (Available on Amazon )
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy: A Therapist’s Guide  by Albert Ellis and Catharine MacLaren (Available on Amazon )
  • A Guide to Rational Living by Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper (Available on Amazon )
  • A Primer on Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy by Windy Dryden, Raymond DiGiuseppe, and Michael Neenan (Available on Amazon )
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (Therapies of Psychotherapy) by Albert Ellis and Debbie Joffe Ellis (Available on Amazon )

In this piece, we went over the basic ideas behind REBT, learned about the techniques used, and walked through a few sample exercises and activities. I hope you have a better understanding of this type of therapy and its potential to help those struggling with irrational thoughts and harmful beliefs.

What are your thoughts on REBT? Does it make sense to you? Do you believe that our thoughts about what happens to us are more important than what actually happens to us? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. For more information, don’t forget to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free .

  • Albert Ellis Institute. (n.d.). Rational emotive behavior therapy . Retrieved from https://albertellis.org/rebt-cbt-therapy/
  • Clark, D. A. (2013). Cognitive restructuring. In S. G. Hoffman, D. J. A. Dozois, W. Rief, & J. Smits (Eds.), The Wiley handbook of cognitive behavioral therapy (pp. 1–22). John Wiley & Sons.
  • Dryden, W., David, D., & Ellis, A. (2010). Rational emotive behavior therapy. In K. S. Dobson (Ed.), Handbook of cognitive-behavioral therapies (3rd ed.) (pp. 226–276). Guilford Press
  • Ellis, A. (n.d.). Techniques for disputing irrational beliefs. Retrieved from http://albertellis.org/rebt-pamphlets/Techniques-for-Disputing-Irrational-Beliefs.pdf
  • Froggatt, W. (2005). A brief introduction to Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy . Rational.org. Retrieved from https://www.rational.org.nz/prof-docs/Intro-REBT.pdf
  • Quartana, P. J., Campbell, C. M., & Edwards, R. R. (2009). Pain catastrophizing: A critical review. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics ,  9 (5), 745–758.
  • Raypole, C. (2018). Rational emotive behavior therapy. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy
  • Turner, M. J. (2016). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), irrational and rational beliefs, and the mental health of athletes.  Frontiers in Psychology ,  7 .

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What our readers think.

Steve A Johnson, PhD, ScD

The cognitive distortions mentioned in this article are typical of CBT rather than REBT. The latter has only four dysfunctional beliefs: demandingness, awfulizing, frustration intolerance and global negative rating of self, others, life, the world, and some add psychological processes.

Julia Poernbacher

Yes, that is absolutely right! Thank you for your feedback.

Kind regards, Julia | Community Manager


I thoroughly enjoyed the read. I made more sense to me and helping me to finish my course with ease. This article was very helpful

Kilama Peterson

It’s always pleasure I love the content as a psychology student


I have been using this technique for 20 years in later life(I’m a pensioner) after a sad childhood. It helps with major life-long depression, even tho it gets tedious at times. It is well worth the slog!


Is there anything about Emotional Control Card?

Nicole Celestine, Ph.D.

While we do not discuss the Emotional Control Card technique here, this is highly relevant and useful as a ‘homework’ component of REBT.

For anyone wondering, the practice was put forward by Sklare, Taylor, and Hyland (1985) . They encouraged their clients/research participants to carry a wallet-sized card around with them which listed negative emotions in two columns: intense and mild .

When feeling overwhelmed by an intense emotion like ‘abandoned’ or ‘furious’, people were encouraged to engage in rational self-talk to change their emotional state to the corresponding mild version of that emotion (e.g., abandoned –> a bit unimportant; furious –> agitated).

It’s a useful technique that’s still used today. 🙂

– Nicole | Community Manager


From where can we download pdf of REBT worksheet ?

Hi Shrushti,

The PDF of the REBT Worksheet is available to members of the Positive Psychology Toolkit. You can learn more about this toolkit here .


that was great. it was usfull to me.


problem solving techniques really help me,thank you so much

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3 Positive CBT Exercises (PDF)


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    Problem-Solving Therapy A Treatment Manual Arthur M. Nezu, PhD, ABPP Christine Maguth Nezu, PhD, ABPP Thomas J. D'Zurilla, PhD ISBN: 978--8261-9919-5 Digital Product. ... • Question catastrophic words and assess real damage potential of situation • Challenge overgeneralizations

  8. Problem-Solving Therapy: How It Works & What to Expect

    Medical Reviewer: Trishanna Sookdeo, MD, MPH, FAAFP. Published: August 23, 2023. Problem-solving therapy (PST) is an intervention with cognitive and behavioral influences used to assist individuals in managing life problems. Therapists help clients learn effective skills to address their issues directly and make positive changes.

  9. What is Solution-Focused Therapy: 3 Essential Techniques

    Asking good questions is vital in any form of therapy, but SFBT formalized this practice into a technique that specifies a certain set of questions intended to provoke thinking and discussion about goal-setting and problem-solving. One such question is the "coping question."

  10. Problem Solving

    Problem Solving is a helpful intervention whenever clients present with difficulties, dilemmas, and conundrums, or when they experience repetitive thought such as rumination or worry. Effective problem solving is an essential life skill and this Problem Solving worksheet is designed to guide adults through steps which will help them to generate ...


    Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond, 3rd ed. (2020), and Beck, J. S. Cognitive Therapy for Challenging Problems (2005). As noted in these books, the decision to use any given worksheet is based on the therapist's conceptualization of the client. The worksheets are inappropriate for some clients, especially

  12. Problem-Solving Therapy

    Problem-solving therapy is a cognitive-behavioral intervention geared to improve an individual's ability to cope with stressful life experiences. The underlying assumption of this approach is that symptoms of psychopathology can often be understood as the negative consequences of ineffective or maladaptive coping.

  13. PDF Session 2 Problem-Solving Therapy

    Seven Steps to Problem Resolution. There are seven steps to solve a problem: Step 1: Identifying the Problem Step 2: Setting the Goal Step 3: Brainstorming Options Step 4: Weighing the Pros and Cons Step 5: Selecting the Best Option(s) Step 6: Creating an Action Plan Step 7: Evaluating the Outcome.

  14. How to Use Problem-Solving Therapy with Your Clients

    Problem-solving therapy questions. Clients come to us when they have some kind of problem. Sometimes they have multiple problems. First off, we need to ask them if they feel the problem is soluble in practical terms or if they need to find ways to feel and think differently about the situation.

  15. 14 Solution-Focused Techniques for Therapy and Coaching

    Scaling is a pivotal technique in solution-focused therapy, where clients are asked to rate their problem on a scale, typically from 1 to 10. Purpose: The primary purpose of Scaling is to provide a visual and measurable representation of the client's issues and progress. It assists clients in recognizing incremental improvements that may ...

  16. Classic Therapy Questions Therapists Tend To Ask

    37 Classic and Common Questions Therapists Often Ask. One aspect of therapy is partnering with a client in problem solving. Probing deeply into our clients' lives through thought-provoking questions is often the bulk of what happens in talk therapy. Inquiring about clients' situations in a nonjudgmental way and with genuine curiosity and ...

  17. 101 Solution-Focused Questions for Therapy and Coaching

    1 Problem-Free Talk Question. 2 Strength-Based Questions. 3 Positive Reinforcement Questions. 4 Future Perfect Questions. 5 Miracle Questions. 6 Scaling Questions. 7 Scaling Follow-Up Questions. 8 Counter Finding Questions. 9 Exception Questions.

  18. 9: Problem Solving Therapy

    Problem-Solving Therapy (PST) for Suicide Prevention is a brief form of evidence-based treatment that teaches and empowers patients to solve the here-and-now problems contributing to suicidal ideation, self-directed violence and hopelessness. It has been shown to help increase self-efficacy and reduce risk of self-harm and suicide.

  19. Therapy Questions Every Therapist Should Be Asking

    Shannon L. Alder. The very first question in therapy is usually about the presenting problem or the chief complaint for which the client comes to therapy, often followed by an exploration of the client's past experience with therapy, if any, and their expectations of future outcomes of therapy. 1.

  20. 30 Problem Solving Scenarios for Kids & Teens

    Home practice will make progress toward meeting individual language goals much faster. Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) are only able to see students/clients 30-60 mins (or less) per week. This is not enough time or practice for someone to handle Problem solving scenarios. Every day that your loved one goes without practice it becomes more ...

  21. 71+ Free Social Problem-Solving Scenarios

    71+ Social Problem Scenarios + 6 Blank Scenarios. Use the 71 social problem-solving scenarios to have your students get great experience practicing how to solve a social problem. Also, included are 6 blank scenarios. Then laminate them so you can use them over and over again. Therefore, create social problems that the student experiences and ...

  22. What is the role of solution-focused therapy in solving your ...

    Of course, therapy is not going to magically remove your problems. However, with this question, you are able to potentially think less about the problem and more about the things you can do to ...

  23. 5 REBT Techniques, Exercises and Worksheets

    5 REBT Techniques, Exercises, and Worksheets. 19 Jan 2020 by Courtney E. Ackerman, MA. Scientifically reviewed by Gabriella Lancia, Ph.D. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a style of short-term Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy ( CBT) that was developed in the 1950s by a doctor named Albert Ellis ( The Albert Ellis Institute, n.d.).