Structured problem solving is a useful means to manage the symptoms of anxiety/depression as these symptoms are often the result of an inability (or perceived inability) to deal effectively with problems. The following can be a useful guide in improving such skills:

  • Identify the problem (try to break it down) and define it.
  • Step back from the problem and try to view it as an objective challenge.
  • Brainstorm possible solutions (realistic and unrealistic).
  • Think about each solution in practical terms, and evaluate the pros and cons.
  • Decide on the best solution (and a second, ‘back-up’ solution).
  • Put the solution into action.
  • Evaluate how effective it was and whether it can be improved.
  • If it can be improved, put improved solution into action.