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The Main Characteristics of Effective Problem Solving

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In the assigned reading, Aldwn's key characteristics of effective coping are encompassed into 5 stages;

Resource Accumulation - much like, "saving for a rainy day". This looks at coping in the aspect of keeping some material and social resources for another time to look at and "not over scheduling oneself so that there is time to deal with unanticipated problems." (Aldwin, P. 118) This in a negative dialog would be a procrastinator who "saves everything for a rainy day".

Identification of Potential Stressors - "This involves the ability to screen the environment as well as to be sensitive to internal cues that something might possibly go wrong." (Aldwin, P. 118) The typical response to a statement such to me would be "it happens to others and not to me". To the extreme of this would be someone who becomes paranoid and sees everything as a potential stressor which in turn becomes their greatest stressor. It would be very difficult for someone with this type of personality to achieve optimal stress reduction to live a fulfilling life.

Initial Appraisal - As I read the description of this stage I immediately reverted back to the first two points and identified that this is the more important stage. Having the ability to properly appraise your situation and potential stress or consequence that may come from or relate to the handling of said stress is the key to screening your environment and filing some of the elements for later dealings.

Initial Coping Efforts - As one begins to see the stress or consequence that may come from handling a situation, comes action in preventing the creation of potential for stress and in turn we cope, we find the solution.

Elicitation and use of Feedback - Gathering useful information and providing feedback, if only for the use of your own person, is essential to coping to prove that stressors are being dealt with effectively. As mentioned in the reading, Aldwin references the subject of context as one having "OCD" and how it is sometimes a good characteristic to have. Individuals with "OCD" I feel tend to be very structured and have identified strategies to handle life's "lemons"

The theory that resonates with me and in essence describes my coping or sometimes non coping mechanisms is the Perceptual style.



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