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Self-help program

4.3 My problem-solving skills

In the previous exercise you looked at what GLM-needs your use of CSAM fulfils and what you gain from using CSAM. The GLM theory emphasizes that the goal (motive) is always appropriate, as you are aiming to achieve a balance between the nine primary needs. However, the method chosen to achieve the aim is where an individual may go wrong.

CSAM users are aiming to pursue the elements of Good Life, such as sexual pleasure, meaning, or a sense of agency, but they choose methods that are harmful and wrong. Harmful behavior is thus seen as a result of unsuccessful problem-solving.

In this task you will look at the problem-solving skills you use when you feel certain emotions, such as feeling lonely, anxious or stressed. Peace of mind and mental balance is a mental state where the individual is free from internal stress and anxiety. For example, an individual who feels lonely, has a lot of problems, and feels unable to find a way out and therefore constantly ruminates over problems, may find it difficult to achieve peace of mind. An individual can use a range of methods to relieve themselves from anxiety, stress, depression and anger.

My problem-solving skills and CSAM-use

A) Think back to situations in your life when you have felt depressed, anxious, stressed or other negative emotions.

  • How have you tried to make yourself feel better?

In general, there are three types of problem-solving methods: problem-focused, emotional, and avoidant. None of the methods are as such right or wrong. Everyone is unique and uses different methods. Sometimes we use different problem-solving styles depending on the situation.

  • What methods do you use with different problems?

1. Problem-focused

You approach the problem by first defining it and then deciding the best way to solve the problem.

  • When do you use this method?

2. Emotional

You approach the problem by dealing with the emotions and feelings the problem creates in you, rather than by dealing with the problem itself. You might worry about the situation, feel self-pity, feel desperate, or begin to believe the situation is better than it really is.

  • When do you use this method?

3. Avoidant

You avoid the problem and solving it at all costs, whilst waiting for it to resolve itself.

  • When do you use this method?

B) Think back to situations in which you used more CSAM than normally.

  • What happened in your life in those times?
  • How were you feeling?
  • Was there more stress in your life in those times?

Think back to the ways in which you managed with your problems, what kinds of problem-solving methods did you use? If you see a connection between CSAM use and feeling low/stressed, it is possible that you are using CSAM to avoid uncomfortable feelings and emotions. This leads to your mind learning to use CSAM as a method to solve your problems. It can often start forming into an addiction. Think about ways in which you could solve problems more efficiently in the future.