CBT – Problem-solving | Beck Institute


  • every session involves an agenda
  • every session involves problem-solving for those problems placed by the client on the agenda
  • problems including implementing their action plans
  • therapists often offer/suggest solutions – particularly when clients are depressed – but this is not the same as making the decision regarding solutions
  • when clients are depressed – their problem-solving skills typically decline
  • For e.g. – difficulty getting out of bed and getting to class/work on time
    • the suggestion may be to place the alarm clock across the room compelling the person to get out of bed – that is, to take the decision out of taking action [this is a behaviour activation strategy]
  • Another example – a person experiencing difficulty remembering to take their medication
    • the suggestion – to set an alarm reminder on his phone
  • However – the intent of therapy is to – as soon as possible – elicit solutions from the client themselves, instead of suggesting solutions
    • the therapist then tries to encourage the client to give themselves credit for what they did (to help themselves) – this encourages active problem-solving and independence

Source: https://psychwire.com/beck/resources/problem-solving


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