Problem Solving and Changing Emotions

Problem Solving

When solving the problems that result from a recurring event the following steps are helpful steps toward recovery from the effects of the problem. These steps assist an individual in effectively establishing new beliefs and emotional consequences.

Activating event. An activating event is the specifically the event that just happened in relationship with circumstances or another person or persons. In analyzing this event, an individual should review what he or she did. If it involves others, it helps to ask the questions, what did others do? What idea occurred to me? What emotions was I feeling?

Consequence. Consequence asks, what am I feeling? Am I feeling, anger, depression, anxiety, frustrated, self-pity, etc.? Am I behaving in a way that doesn’t work for me? (drinking, attacking, moping, etc.)

Beliefs. Beliefs serve a function. It is important that they are not dysfunctional. What do I believe about the activating event? Which of my beliefs are my helpful/self-enhancing beliefs and which are my dysfunctional/self-defeating beliefs?

Dispute. Dysfunctional beliefs should be disputed. What is that evidence that my belief is true? In what ways is my belief helpful or unhelpful? What helpful/self-enhancing belief can I use to replace each self-defeating or dysfunctional belief?

Effective new belief and emotional consequence. What helpful/self-enhancing new belief can I use to replace each self-defeating or dysfunctional belief? What are my new feelings?


adapted from