This outline for working through a problem is courtesy of DBT and Marsha Linehan.

Step 1: Figure out and describe the problem situation.

Step 2: Check the facts (all the facts) to be sure you have the right problem situation.

Step 3: Identify your goal in solving the problem.
– Identify what needs to happen or change for you to feel okay.
– Keep it simple, and choose something that can actually happen.

Step 4: Brainstorm lots of solutions.
– Think of as many solutions as you can. Ask for suggestions from people you trust.
– Do not be critical of any ideas at first. (Wait for Step 5 to evaluate ideas.)

Step 5: Choose a solution that fits the goal and is likely to work.
– If you are unsure, choose two solutions that look good.
– Do Pros and Cons to compare the solutions.
– Choose the best to try first.

Step 6: Put the solution into action.
– Act! Try out the solution.
– Take the first step, and then the second, and so on.

Step 7: Evaluate the results of using the solution.
If it worked? Great!
If it didn’t work? Go back to Step 5 and choose a new solution to try.

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