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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes problem-solving therapy, a cognitive-behavioral intervention that teaches individuals a set of adaptive problem-solving activities geared to foster their ability to cope effectively with stressful life circumstances in order to reduce negative physical and psychological symptoms. This approach is based on the notion that what is often conceptualized as psychopathology and behavioral difficulties is a function of ineffective coping with life stress. Research addressing differences between effective and ineffective problem solving and the role of social problem solving as a moderator of the stress–distress relationship is presented. In addition, studies that support the efficacy of problem-solving therapy interventions are provided. A brief overview of the clinical components of problem-solving therapy is described that address problems of cognitive overload, emotional dysregulation, negative thinking, poor motivation, and ineffective problemsolving. Future directions for clinical practice, training, and research are included.

Keywords: social problem solving, problem-solving therapy, diathesis-stress models, stress–distress relationship, problem-solving strategies

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