“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”
― Albert Einstein

Einstein’s quote highlights two facts: one, if we’re having problems and can’t solve them on our own, we need a new way of thinking; two, we are often somewhat accountable for our problems. (Some may be a bit offended by the latter – of course, this does not apply to certain situations beyond our control such as the deaths of loved ones, terminal illness, or old age.) If you want to gain new problem-solving skills but don’t know how to, a therapist can provide new methods for identifying them, facing them, and gracefully riding them to productive solutions.

Everyone has problems. Some call them “life’s challenges.” Not enough money. Not enough love. Health issues. Intrusive parents. Irresponsible children. An inability to find a job. The list goes on. But problems aren’t the problem; they’re simply a fact of life. It’s our willingness to accept our problems and the manner in which we face them that determine our psychological and physical health. These competencies are called coping skills.

No matter how severe or numerous your difficulties are, a qualified therapist can help you unravel the stressful thicket of issues and teach you coping techniques. You will become less avoidant of your challenges; procrastination in problem-solving is akin to throwing gasoline on a fire: it’ll just get worse. You will become more confident as you gain problem-solving skills and therefore more optimistic about your ability to deal with future trials and tribulations. You will also learn to make better decisions going forward. How so? The more adept you are at problem solving, the better you’ll be at sidestepping problems in the first place.

Therapists can also guide clients to develop and implement action plans designed around achieving solutions to problems. An action plan not only helps you identify the exact problem, it also outlines specific, realistic steps you can take to lessen its impact or free you of it. After you implement your action plan, your therapist can also help you evaluate the efficacy of the plan and help you improve it the next time you face a challenge. There are many valuable tools a qualified therapist can impart on your journey to become a problem-solving expert.