Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Day 34 of the Beck book is all bout solving problems. I think the idea of problems is relative. What is a problem for me may not be a problem for me, and vice versa. In addition our response to the same problem may be entirely different and both may be successful. So what does Beck say?
First, the problem must be identified. With my background as a Speech Language Pathologist who had to identify strengths and needs for each adult or child I evaluated, I had to be pretty detailed with a problem. I couldn't just say the child had difficulty communicating verbally. I had to be specific about what the child could and could not currently do. Was the child making sounds? use gestures? understand simple directions? and much more... When I have a problem, I try to address it the same way. What exactly is happening that is a problem? What step is missing in my ability make this problem no longer a problem? Beck refers to the 7 questions. My questions are a bit different, though I do have to consider if my estimation or perception could be inaccurate. I am pretty good at looking at other options that may better explain the problem.
Here's an example. My husband has a significantly different brain filter than I do. His cup is half empty and mine is half full (or more). When my boys were teenagers, he would be very angry that second son didn't clean his room immediately when told it needs to be done. I would simply go down to his room and explain privileges and losses if one doesn't get the job done. DH evaluates someone's facial expressions far differently than I do. He might think someone gave him a "dirty look," and I might let him know the person had sun in their face and couldn't see well. A car cut him off, but I saw the car having committed to pull out with plenty of time. Oh well... we do see things differently.
As a result, I try to see things from multiple viewpoints when a problem arises. I will do my best to see how he sees it, as well as my perception. I try to support his thinking while I believe what I saw. Doing so, though, does give me more ideas about how to solve problems. There are problems I cannot solve. I can't change his thinking. I can't change anyone but me. I have had to become very flexible both at home and in my work. Sometimes, a parent sees things rather differently when I evaluate a child. It's always interesting!
At any rate, problem solving can be very easy once you learn how to figure out what the true problem is or is not, brainstorm a series of possible solutions and then take the one you feel fits the best. Will you get the best result every time? Probably not... but we do the best we can for the time we have.