Summary: Four Problem Solving Approaches in Counseling

Four Problem Solving Approaches in Counseling

I Cor. 9:18-25

1. Innovative Learners - These are people who enjoy acquiring new ideas, methods, concepts, and experiences.

a. Give them a reason why or why not something is true.

b. Create an experience for them through an illustration, a visit, or an outsider adviser.

c. These people process information concretely and process it reflectively. They are keenly interested in peoples’ problems and their cultures.

d. Ask them why questions to help them innovate possible solutions to their problems.

e. Help them to find positive ways of experimenting with their innovations.

f. Motivate them to believe God that their innovations will reap big dividends.

2. Analytical Learners - These people prefer to study the details of ideas, concepts, and experiences. They are generally not satisfied until they have discovered the underlying reasons behind truths.

a. Ask them what is the basis for their decisions. b. These folks are good at perceiving information abstractly and processing it reflectively.

c. They are often more interested in ideas than people.

d. They enjoy traditional - objective oriented approaches to problem solving.

e. They are excellent at discovering the facts behind problems

f. They can function best when they are consulted as experts in their fields.

3. Common Sense Learners - These people prefer to find out "how to" do something. They want to know the practical value of a truth, concept, or an experience. They learn best through hands on experiences.

a. These people desperately want to know how something works.

b. Give these people more practical solutions than theoretical answers.

c. They use factual information to build concepts, but they also need hands on experiences for effective learning to take place.

d. They like specific guidelines for solving their problems.

e. These folks aim to bring their view of reality into harmony with their past sense of identity, security, and responsibilities.

f. These people tend to learn best through trials and errors.

4. Dynamic Learners - These people are energetic individuals who prefer to look for ways to bring about change. They are usually thinking "what if" something is true. They enjoy discovering new ways to solve problems.

a. Help them analyze their problems in light of recent discoveries.

b. Allow them to try to teach you new ways of looking at the problem.

c. These people perceive information concretely and process it inactively in their minds. In other words, they do not need to see how something works as long as they can visualize it in their minds.

d. They are most adaptable to change and enjoy it since they like variety and excel in situations that call for flexibility and risks.

e. They prefer to discover solutions to their own problems, but are open for others who have done research in their fields of interest.

f. They can learn through trial and error, but are best when they are given personal assignments to discover truth, concepts, and solutions on their own.

Adapted from Four - Mat Learning Styles, Michigan State University Press, 1982

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