Life is complex and dynamic, filled with many enriching experiences. These experiences are what make life meaningful. When some experiences become bothersome and troubling, a person may feel uncertain about how to deal with them, or a person may try to cope but nothing seems to work. That is when experiences become problems. But experiencing problems and finding ways to deal with them effectively also serve to make life meaningful and promote growth and development. Even in extreme cases involving clinical dysfunction, some have argued that such individuals are experiencing “problems in living” with which they are unable to cope effectively. In that regard, social problem solving represents a broad and complex theory of how we go about solving problems in our day-to-day lives, from problems that are simple and benign to those that are complex and involve multiple causes and consequences. Social problem solving also represents a key form of intervention within contemporary psychotherapy and education, a way to better manage the demands of everyday living in a world that is often complex and unpredictable and sometimes irrational.
(D’Zurilla & Chang, 2004, p. xv)