Thursday, July 24, 2008

5 Steps to Problem Solving

"Steps to Understanding and Intervention" that I think can be applied to any problem we depressives encounter in our recovery. You can download the worksheets (described in "Action" at

Here are his steps:

Step 1: Clarification of Concerns

Questions to Consider: What are the specific behaviors of concern? When, where, and how often are the behaviors demonstrated?

Action: List the behavior of concern [we would say something like "suicidal thoughts"] and then list the specifics [when, where, how often this behavior occurs].

Step 2: Functional Behavior Assessment

Questions to Consider: What happens before and after the behaviors? What have the behaviors looked like over time? What stressors have had an impact on the behaviors?

Action: List behavior of concern in three words or less in a box labeled

B. list factor in box labeled "Setting Event" that contributed long terms to the behavior of concern [for us, that would be something like grew up in dysfunctional home--with everyone else on the planet].

Step 3: List in box A the event that come immediately before the behavior of concern.

Step : List in box C what happens immediately after the behavior. Once these steps are completed, look for patterns and potential points for intervention and note them under "Comments or Insights."

Step : Investigation of Causal Factors

Questions to Consider [some of these are more relevant to us than others]:

A) Medical/Developmental: Are there any undiagnosed medical or developmental difficulties?B)

Hearing/Vision: Are there any vision or hearing difficulties?C) Speech/Language: Are there any speech delays? Are there any difficulties with social interactions, communication, or play?D) Sensory/Motor: Are there any sensory, fine, or gross motor difficulties?E) Academic/Life Skills: Are there any delays in reading, math, or written language?F) Cognitive/Neuropsychological: Are there any suspected cognitive neuropsychological delays?G) Emotional/Psychiatric: Are there any emotional or psychiatric difficulties?H)

Other contributing causes: What is the family composition? Are there any particular family difficulties?

Are there other factors that could contribute to the person's difficulties? Based on the above information, what can you say about the person's behavior?

Is the behavior normal? What factors contribute to the behavior? What is the person's profile of strengths and weaknesses? What are the specific goals for the person?

What are some intervention strategies?

Action: List the factors (Medical/Developmental; Hearing/Vision; Speech/Language; Sensory/Motor; Academic/Life Skills; Cognitive/Neuropsychological; Emotional; Other Possible Factors) and list all possible explanations [again, these factors might be different when speaking about a person's depression].

Step 4: Profile Development and Planning

Questions to Consider: How is my child responding to the intervention?

Action: As you investigate more of the causes pertaining to [a person's depression], you will develop insights along the way. To build a theory as to why [you/someone else] demonstrates the behavior, you first start with your summary statement, and then modify these statements into more of a working theory. This theory is modified as new information is obtained and maybe changed continuously.

Step 5: Plan Implementation and Evaluation

Questions to Consider: Are there any adjustments that need to be made?
Actions: List the person's areas of interests and strengths, followed by the intervention. For example, if a person needs immediate feedback (like me) in order to sustain an activity (like blogging), then I should continue to blog. However, if a person is distracted or impeded by feedback, then she should pursue another venue, where there is little interaction or feedback of a product (i.e. blog post).

Then list the areas of need and growth and interventions. For example, a person like myself needs more alone time and play time so that I rebuild myself. As part of my intervention, I should integrate more play time into my schedule, and I should say no to additional projects that steal from that time.

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