Honor the power of your voice and begin your journey with us today!
Honor the power of your voice and begin your journey with us today!

How To Solve Problems in Recovery

Recovery from addiction is a difficult process that requires people to face and get past many hurdles. Problem-solving is an important skill that can help people get through the ups and downs of healing. People with good problem-solving skills can recognize triggers, deal with stress, and avoid relapse. In this article, we’ll talk about how important problem-solving is in recovery, what gets in the way of successfully fixing problems, and how to build and keep problem-solving skills.


What Is Problem-Solving?

Problem-solving is the process of identifying what the problem is and how to fix it. It involves figuring out what the problem is, getting information about it, coming up with ideas for how to solve it, weighing the options, and choosing the best course of action. Effective problem-solving is important for recovery because it can help people recognize triggers and avoid relapse.


Why Is Problem-Solving Important in Recovery?

Learning how to solve problems is extremely important for people recovering from addiction. When we know how to solve problems well, we can better tackle challenges and stressors. This helps build the confidence and self-trust that is essential for staying sober. When we learn how to solve problems, it helps us do something positive about them. That can make a huge difference in the recovery process.


How to Become a Problem-Solver Instead of a Problem-Haver

In general, problem-solving helps us form healthier coping strategies. While it takes time and practice to learn how to solve problems, it is a skill that anyone can learn.  If you seeking information on how to become a problem-solver instead of a problem-haver, the first step is to learn the basics of how to solve problems.


Steps to Problem-Solving

To fix any problem, you must figure out what is wrong. This may seem obvious, but many people become overwhelmed by a stressful situation and lose sight of the issue at hand. Those who suffer from anxiety often catastrophize the worst-case scenarios without ever defining the problem. 


The main steps of problem-solving include:

  1. Identify the problem: The first step is to identify what the issue or challenge is. This involves recognizing the source of the problem and understanding how it affects you.
  2. Brainstorm solutions: Once you have identified the issue, it is important to brainstorm potential solutions. This involves looking at the problem from different angles and thinking of creative ways to solve it.
  3. Analyze your options: After you have come up with a few potential solutions, it is important to analyze each option. Consider the pros and cons of each solution and decide which one best suits your needs.
  4. Implement a plan: Once you have chosen the best solution, it is time to put your plan into action. Make sure that you have all the necessary resources and support in place before beginning the implementation process.


Being clear about what the problem is and why it is occurring can help you to find a solution. Before any progress is made, you must define the problem. After, you can use one of the many problem-solving techniques available to help you resolve the issue.


Problem-Solving Techniques

There are many ways to solve problems that can help you get better at solving them.


Some problem-solving techniques include:

  • Mind mapping: a visual tool that helps you order your thoughts and ideas.
  • Six Thinking Hats: a method for looking at a problem from six different points of view.
  • SWOT analysis: SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This is a tool used to figure out what a situation’s strengths, flaws, opportunities, and threats are.


With practice, problem-solving techniques can become second nature and empower you to make decisions that are both beneficial and realistic.


Common Barriers to Problem-Solving in Recovery

Getting past the barriers that make it difficult to solve problems is important for making a successful recovery. 


Common barriers that make it hard to solve problems in recovery may include:

  • Fear of failing: Many people in recovery worry about not being able to solve a problem. Facing setbacks on the journey to recovery can be incredibly discouraging. Unfortunately, this fear can even stop people from trying.
  • Low self-esteem: People with low self-esteem may believe they’re incapable of solving problems. This can lead to unhealthy patterns of avoidance and escapism.
  • Negative self-talk: This is a common thing that makes it hard for people in recovery to solve problems. People may question their ability to solve a problem or talk badly to themselves, which makes their fears and worries worse.
  • Difficulty making choices: Some people in recovery may have trouble making decisions, especially if they have a history of acting impulsively. This can make it hard to compare options and pick the best one.
  • Lack of help: Not having enough support can also make it hard to solve problems. People may lack the tools or support network they need to deal with certain issues, especially if their relationships with friends and family are tense.


Due to the physical and psychological impacts of substance abuse and withdrawal, many people in early recovery struggle to stay patient and calm in stressful situations. For this reason, one of the main focuses of problem-solving groups is learning to express feelings without getting emotional or defensive. 


To move past these obstacles, it’s important to redirect your attention to reflect on yourself during recovery. Seeking support and guidance from a professional or a support group can be a helpful way to tackle these challenges and gain the tools necessary to overcome them effectively.


Developing Problem-Solving Skills in Rehab

When someone is in rehabilitation, it is an excellent opportunity to learn and practice solving problems. With the help of therapists and other qualified professionals, people can explore new methods of problem-solving that can be effective for them.


How Can Therapy Help Solve Problems?

Therapy can be a good way for people in recovery to learn how to solve problems. Substance abuse counselors and licensed therapists can help people figure out what’s causing their problems. After, they can help you brainstorm new ways to deal with them and work through tough feelings that might be getting in the way of resolving an issue.


Relapse Prevention Groups

Groups for preventing relapse offer the chance to learn how to cope with stressful situations. People can learn from others who have been through similar struggles and get new ideas to avoid falling back into old habits. In these groups, people can work together and find ways to manage triggers with help and support from each other.


One of the best things about relapse prevention groups is that they give people a sense of community. The people involved often feel like they fit in and get help from others who are also going through challenges. This can help a lot with the feelings of isolation and loneliness that often come with recovery.


Mindfulness Groups

Mindfulness-based groups are also helpful for coping with addiction and developing problem-solving skills. By joining these groups, individuals can become more mindful of themselves and make wise decisions when faced with obstacles. Focusing on the present moment and their goals gives them more control over their thoughts and emotions, which is beneficial for staying away from relapse and having a better shot at long-term recovery.


How Drug and Alcohol Rehab Prepares You to Solve Problems

People in rehab for drugs or alcohol can learn to become better at solving problems. Medical professionals and therapists help them figure out what to do when faced with an issue. They may have one-on-one, group therapy, or other kinds of therapy which teach them how to recognize, evaluate, and fix their problems.


Rehab creates a safe place for people with addiction to gain strategies they can use to stop substance abuse. In this supportive setting, they can practice solving problems, so they are ready to manage them on their own once they leave rehab.


Sustainable Problem-Solving Skills For Long-Term Recovery

To ensure that your problem-solving methods are sustainable for your new recovery lifestyle, it is important to practice them regularly and provide honest feedback.  You can also gather resources, ask for advice from experienced members of the recovery community, and take the time to find effective solutions.


Ways to constantly improve your problem-solving skills include:

  1. Monitor your progress: As you continue to solve problems in recovery, it is important to regularly monitor your progress. This helps you ensure that you are consistently growing in recovery and that there are no roadblocks along the way.
  2. Make adjustments: As you monitor your progress in recovery, make sure to keep an open mind. It may be necessary to make changes or adjustments to your relapse prevention plan to ensure your success.
  3. Evaluate results: Each time you solve a problem, the best way to track your progress is to evaluate the results. This helps you determine how successful your plan was, what worked, and what you can improve for the future. This step is essential to continuously improving your problem-solving skills.
  4. Document your progress: After evaluating your problem-solving skills, document everything that happened. This will help you to refer back to it in the future when facing similar situations and can also provide valuable insights into your growth and progress in recovery.


Once you use your problem-solving skills to fix the situation, remember to celebrate your efforts. It’s important to congratulate yourself for successfully following through on your plan, regardless of the result. While you can’t control how others react in a situation, knowing that you did your best to solve an issue is an incredible source of motivation. Acknowledging your ability to change past unhealthy behaviors to positive ones can play a key role in self-encouragement and personal growth.


Recovery Maintenance: Retaining Problem-Solving Skills During and After Treatment

It is just as important to maintain problem-solving skills after treatment as it is to learn them during treatment.


Here are some tips for keeping problem-solving skills after treatment:

  • In times of crisis, turn to “the basics” you learned in treatment
  • Continue ongoing therapy sessions after treatment
  • Practice healthy coping skills for big and small issues
  • Incorporate self-care techniques into your routine
  • Seek out the support, perspective, and advice of others


Turn to “The Basics” In a Crisis

Think about how you learned to solve problems in treatment and how you can apply what you learned to your everyday life. Think about the issues you faced and how you solved them while you were in treatment. This will help you find patterns and methods that have worked for you in the past, which you can then use to solve new problems.


Continuing Care in Counseling

Keep getting help by going to therapy, joining a support group, or getting a sponsor. It’s helpful to stay in touch with people who can help keep you accountable, to maintain your problem-solving skills sharp. By staying connected, you can also learn from those who have been in similar situations and come up with new ways to deal with problems.


Prevent Burnout By Taking Breaks

Taking the time to care for yourself is essential to stay focused and motivated in tackling any problem. For this reason, it’s important to check in with yourself and remember to take breaks when you feel overwhelmed or stressed. 


Most problems that people face in their day-to-day interactions can wait a few hours before being addressed, so it’s best to pause and reflect. This is especially true for people who struggle with emotional regulation during stressful situations. In these cases, removing yourself from the moment can protect you from overwhelming emotions that may lead to emotional outbursts and shame. 


Prioritize Self-Care and Relaxation

While taking a break, using relaxation exercises such as deep breathing or meditation can help you to self-soothe and calm your anxious mind. Engaging in calming activities like meditation or writing can also help you stay in the moment and think about your situation with an open mind. Dedicating a portion of your day to stress relief can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings. As a result, taking a holistic approach to healing can lead to better problem-solving abilities.


Practice Solving Big and Small Problems

Use your problem-solving skills often, even when the problems are small. The more you practice, the easier it will be to solve problems. This can help you feel more confident and strong when you face new challenges. Finally, remember that there are always new ways to approach difficult problems.


Remember that no problem is too small or too big to tackle. With the right mindset and support, you can overcome anything. You may learn something valuable in the process!


By engaging in these activities to maintain and improve problem-solving skills after treatment, you can increase your chances of being successful in recovery after treatment. 


Seek Guidance and Support From Others

Don’t be afraid to seek out advice or try something different. When discussing your issues in group therapy and support meetings, ask for feedback and advice from other members. They might have useful insights that can help you better understand your situation and come up with creative solutions. Additionally, reach out to friends or family who can provide moral support and challenge you in a positive way.


Who to Ask for Help When You Face a Problem That You Can’t Solve Alone

SAMHSA defines recovery as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.” While the willingness to change is the first step in freeing yourself from addiction, recovery is an ongoing process that requires dedication, hard work, and commitment. Knowing this, it is important to understand that asking for help is a sign of bravery, not weakness.

When you face a problem you can’t fix on your own, it’s important to have a support system in place. Whether it’s a close friend, family member, or therapist, it can be very helpful to reach out to someone you trust for advice and support. While it may seem daunting, getting help when you need it can improve your chances of staying sober in the long run.


Support groups can also help people in recovery figure out how to solve problems. These groups give people a safe and helpful place to talk about their experiences, get feedback and advice, and come up with new ways to deal with problems.


Living in recovery can be a challenging and rewarding journey. With the right support and proper problem-solving skills, individuals can make the most of each day, living a fulfilling life of sobriety. By reaching out for professional help, connecting with a supportive community, and practicing effective coping strategies, those in recovery can arm themselves with the tools needed to stand up to any challenge that may arise on their journey toward recovery. 


Reach Out For Help In Addiction Recovery

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Royal Life Centers can provide the support you need to achieve lasting sobriety. Our team of certified clinicians provides evidence-based therapies to help individuals in recovery find their path toward a healthier and happier life. 


With our comprehensive approach, guests can develop positive coping skills, create meaningful relationships, and gain a sense of purpose in their sobriety journey. Contact us today to start your journey!


For more information about our treatment programs and resources available to individuals in recovery, call 877-RECOVERY. Our team in admissions is available 24/7 to answer any of your questions and assist you in entering treatment.

Melissa Santiago
Jeff Grant
Medically Reviewed by Jeff Grant

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