ACTIVITY: Problem Solving Think Tank

Purpose: This activity encourages sharing in a safer way and supports problem solving, community support, and flexibility of thinking when working with life issues.

Materials Needed:  halved sheets of paper and pens, bowl


  1. Group members anonymously write down a current problem that they are working to address in their life.  The more concrete and specific the better.
  2. After each person has written down their problem, they fold the paper and put it in the bowl.
  3. Facilitator picks problem out one by one and group brainstorms ways to address the issue utilizing problem solving skills.

Talking Points:

  • What was it like to hear other points of view on how to work with your problem?
  • What was it like to be able to help others?
  • Do you have fresh ideas on how to work with this issue in your life?
  • What skills are you developing around problem solving?
  • How can you use what you are learning to help you with daily life?

Tips and Considerations:

Group members are working to apply problem solving skills distinct from “advice giving.”  The added benefit is that group members will often open up about an issue being specific to them, thus increasing self-disclosure and vulnerability.    You might discover a struggle that a group member is experiencing that they have kept hidden for weeks.

Starts the learning around:  problem solving

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