The early stage of co-occurring disorder recovery is a very trying time, so much of your energy is focused on maintaining sobriety and just a little bit of sanity that usually it won’t take much to send a you into a bit of a tail spin.
No need to panic. Dual diagnosis treatment programs will help you prepare for these moments. And that’s all it is: practice. This co-occurring disorder problem solving exercise can be written down and taken with you on your travels through life. This simple 5 step process will help dual diagnosis patients with spontaneous problem solving, for when life suddenly throws a wrench in the gears.

Co-Occurring Disorder Exercise: Spontaneous Problem Solving

1. Stop ongoing problem behaviors and relax.
This is vital because a clear mind is essential for effective problem solving. If the problem occurred suddenly and without warning, you are probably emotional.
Cut it out. Just relax. Excuse yourself if you have to. Take a breath. Stop doing what you are doing and reset back to zero.

2. Define the immediate problem situation facing you.
You need to clearly define your problems, so you can find solutions. Co-occurring disorder problem solving is a little tricky because we are often clouded by what OUR problems is, not what THE problem is. Remember to remove yourself from the situation entirely.

3. Think of alternative actions and strategies.
Ok you are calm, you know exactly what the problem is, now you have to find solutions. There’s no need to wallow in the problem and the issue. Remember, no victims get medals, only heroes.
So be brave, find a solution, and face the problem.

4. Think of the possible consequences of each option.
Follow each solution to it’s logical conclusion. Think long term; How will I feel about his tomorrow, next week, in 3 years?

5. Choose the best strategy for avoiding trouble and helping the situation.
Problem solving is only as effective as the solutions. Remember to pick the best solution for everyone. Take yourself out of the equation and think of the greater good.

Take control of your life, take control of your problems. Good luck.


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