Approaches to Problem Solving

  • John G. Bruhn
  • Howard M. Rebach
Part of the Clinical Sociology book series (CSRP)


Problem solving is the essence of professional practice. Professionals often are unable to explain how they approach problem solving or how they learned problem solving. Many professionals solve problems without being able to describe what they do; therefore, they cannot teach problem solving to others. Problem solving requires more than acquired skills and techniques; it requires a frame of reference, acquired through experience, and a style for dealing with situations for which there are no well-established responses. Schön (1983) noted that it is interesting that professionals who are unique, creative problem solvers often are considered less rigorous than others who more strictly frame a problem and its solution. Personal style and “know-how” contribute to spontaneity in problem solving. Schön challenged professionals to be more reflective when “setting” or “framing” a problem and considering solutions, and not to allow themselves to be locked into technical expertise.


Social System Problem Solver Clinical Approach Life Cycle Stage Social Unit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • John G. Bruhn
    • 1
  • Howard M. Rebach
    • 2
  1. 1.Pennsylvania State University / HarrisburgMiddletownUSA
  2. 2.University of Maryland, Eastern ShorePrincess AnneUSA

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