It’s interesting that in a profession which is supposedly about solving problems that the study of the nature of problems has largely been obscured.
But it bears some inspection. The people who have looked into this issue go back hundreds, in some cases thousands of years, and they shed some empowering light on the subject. They put a perspective on the issue which empowers us to be much more effective at dealing with life on life’s terms in a much more fluid manner.
First of all, there are no problems in nature. None. Stuff just happens, things keep rolling along. You either die or live longer and then die. Water flows downhill no matter what you want, and the sun always rises in the East.
Problems, as we experience them as humans, such as a dilemma, a conundrum, a paradox, predicament, or quandary, simply don’t exist because they exist only in our minds. The problem isn’t “real” in that it only represents a deficit in our thinking or knowledge base. I have certainly experienced that building this website! I often saw one thing or another as a problem, only to find out that I’d read the instructions incorrectly or I was trying to impose my own prejudices of how it “should” work on the reality of how it worked.
A problem becomes a problem when we see the problem “out there”, as existing in the world, and not “in here”, in our thinking. Specifically as an error in our thinking or gap in our knowledge base.
Therapy can’t change the world. All the therapy in the world can’t change the nature of the world, the economy, or growing old. All therapy can do is help you look at your thinking, your ideas, your knowledge base and solve the problem “in here.”