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71+ Free Social Problem-Solving Scenarios

Do you have kiddos who struggle with their social problem-solving skills? Teach your students the simple process of how to solve a problem along with having them review how well their solution worked or didn’t work.

Learning to problem solve is an essential skill that is used not only throughout childhood but also into adulthood. Social problem solving is the ability to change or adapt to undesirable situations that arise throughout our day. On a daily basis, a child will encounter social problems that they will need to solve. Anything from arguing with another student, to hurting a friend’s feelings, to having a difficult conversation, or working with others.

Start with Small Problems

Many of the “problems” children encounter are often small problems which the child may be over-reacting to, such as wanting a different coloring crayon or wanting to be first in line, however, these small problems are still very real to the child. Practicing problem-solving with these small problems can be a great learning opportunity. Children can practice problem-solving with a small problem which can help them learn how to handle bigger problems in the future.

Problem Solving Importance

Social problem-solving skills are critical to a child’s social interactions, personal and professional relationships. A child’s ability to handle change, cope with stress, and handle challenges improves with a child’s ability to successfully solve social problems.

The ultimate goal is that the child will be able to solve social problems all on their own, but until they can independently solve a problem they will need to learn how to communicate and self-advocate to positively solve their problems.  

Students with Autism Problem Solving

Students with autism and other social challenges need to learn to problem solve as well. These social problem-solving skills will help them throughout their childhood and into their adulthood. Children can be taught how to problem solve through a guided process of breaking down the problem and using simple steps to solve the problem. Learning specific steps to problem-solving can allow children to remember how to solve a problem when they become overwhelmed or stressed. Although learning to solve a problem independently can take some time and practice it is well worth the investment to have a child who can eventually solve most social situations in a positive manner on their own.

Make Problem Solving Easier with this Freebie!

Download yours today to get started.

problem solving cards for adults

Problem Solving Form

Teach your students the 4 steps to becoming a social problem-solver.

  • Identify the problem. For instance, start by having your student identify the social problem.
  • Create three solutions. Also, have your student come up with three different solutions that they could use to solve the problem that they identified.
  • Identify the consequences. Then, identify the consequence for each individual solution.
  • Pick the best solution.  Lastly, have your student identify which of their three solutions is the best choice Then have your student put into words why they think that solution is the best solution.

Problem Solving Graphic Organizer

What we learnt about solving problems is don't freak out, if one thing doesn't work , try something else out. And work together as a team. #melthammathsweek #MELTHAMPUPILVOICE @problemsolveit pic.twitter.com/iVm1Im4Aue — yr6melthamce (@yr6melthamce) February 4, 2019

Problem Solving Review Form

After your students go through the social problem-solver have them use the social problem-solving review form.

  • What happened.  For instance, after your student tried their solution have them explain what happened next.
  • Review the results. Also, have your student identify whether or not their solution got them the results they wanted.
  • Use this solution again. Furthermore, have your student identify whether or not they would use this solution again in the future to solve the same or similar problem.
  • What would you do differently? Finally, have your student explain what they would do differently if they didn’t get the results they wanted or if they wouldn’t use that solution again in the future.


71+ Social Problem Scenarios + 6 Blank Scenarios

Use the 71 social problem-solving scenarios to have your students get great experience practicing how to solve a social problem. Also, included are 6 blank scenarios. Then laminate them so you can use them over and over again. Therefore, create social problems that the student experiences and needs help solving.

Problem Solving Scenarios

Wordless Video teaching Problem Solving

Watch this super cute wordless animation with your students and have them discuss the problem they see and how to best solve the problem.

Use this as a fun practice example to get your students started towards learning how to problem-solve.

Demonstrate Through Modeling

  • Model and discuss empathy. First and foremost, children need to understand how another person might be feeling in a given situation in order to become a good social problem solver. The student needs to learn how to “stand in someone else’s shoes” for a little bit. One way you can work on this skill is during the reading time you can focus on how a particular character in the story might be feeling. Ask questions, such as, “How do they feel right now? How would you feel in that same situation? Why do you think they feel that way?”, etc.
  • Model problem-solving skills as the teacher. When you are faced with a problem you can solve the problem by thinking aloud for the students to hear how you solve a problem. You can state the problem, then come up with possible solutions, then identify the possible consequences to each solution, then pick and explain why a solution is the best option. For example, you could say, “I was hoping to take the class outside for a stress walk around the track before the reading test, but the problem is that it is raining outside. I could still take you outside, but then you will get wet, or we could walk the halls, but then we’d have to be really quiet because there are other classes learning, or we could just skip the walk and take the reading test, but then you might not do as well on the test. I think based on all of those solutions the best solution will be to walk the hallway, but you guys will have to promise to be quiet so that we don’t disrupt other classes. Modeling the problem-solving process can be very helpful for the students to watch, observe, and later implement themselves.

Teach Communication

  • Have students communicate how they are feeling . Teaching your students to share their emotions in a respectful way can improve their ability to problem-solve. Have students use an “I” sentence frame, such as, “I feel _____ (insert feeling word) when _____ (identify what made you feel that way).” For example, “I felt sad when Jackson broke my favorite pencil” or “I was mad when I wasn’t picked to be first in line. “This way students can communicate how they are feeling using honest and open communication. Teaching students to appropriately communicate their emotions can help solve some social problems from the beginning.

Encourage Independency

  • Encourage your student to problem solve. If your student is struggling to problem solve independently encourage them to do so using open-ended questions, such as “How could you fix this problem?” “What would be a fair solution?” “What would happen if you used that solution?”, etc.
  • Let the student try to problem solve independently. Give your students the space to try and solve their own problems using the guided strategies. Try not to come running to their rescue for every little problem. Some problems are small and a great opportunity for the student to learn and practice. If an adult does all of the problem solving for a student then what are they really learning. Give your students the time and space they need to practice solving small problems on their own. Of course, if it is a bigger or more serious problem then have an adult help guide the problem-solving process.
  • Tell an adult. Remind your students that there are still some problems that are too big for them to solve on their own and that it is okay to get help from an adult to solve big problems. For example, if the student doesn’t feel safe, someone is being hurt physically or emotionally, or if they tried to solve a problem independently but it didn’t work and they need help. Let them know that it’s okay to tell an adult.

Teach How to Disagree and How to Make Up

  • Discuss how to disagree respectfully. Remind your student that they won’t always agree with their teacher, friends, classmate, or parents and that’s okay. Even the people we like might have different opinions, interests, and likes than we do. However, even if we disagree with someone we should still treat them with respect. Treating someone with respect means to not call them names, ignore them, yell or hit them. It means that you do try to create solutions that both parties can agree with and to apologize when we hurt others’ feelings.
  • Role-play how to make up. Practice in everyday life how to make up after a social problem .

Get your free social problem solver today!

I hope you and your students love this freebie!

Students are really having to stretch their brains today. It's @NSPCC #NumberDay and @problemsolveit are challenging Y9 and 10 to solve the escape room boxes. It's not as easy as it looks! The promise of a few sweet treats for the winners seems to be helping though! pic.twitter.com/AxRRJnJIv2 — CongletonHS (@CongletonHS) February 2, 2018

Have your students use task card scenarios to help them identify how they and others might feel in different social scenarios. Be sure to discuss the problem, identify possible solutions, identify the consequences of those possible solutions, and then based on those consequences pick the best solution. Make social problem-solving a game by telling the students that they are social detectives and that it is their job to use what they know about social rules to help them identify the possible and best solutions. Start practicing today with 71+ free social problem social task cards! Do your students need more practice? Be sure to check out my other freebie for 31 wordless animated videos to teach problem-solving and so much more.

Get More Problem Solving Time Saving Materials

Next, be sure to check out the following time-saving materials to continue to teach your students how to solve their social problems in addition to this freebie.

Weekly Social Pragmatics Homework

Social Pragmatics Homework

  • Weekly problem-solving.   Send home a  weekly homework page  that includes a problem-solving scenario plus an idiom and a conversational practice scenario.

Weekly Social Pragmatics

Restorative Justice Problem Solving Flip Book

Restorative Justice

  • Restorative justice graphic visual.  Use this graphic visual to help your student  restore a social relationship  after a social problem.

restorative justice

Self-Advocating Role-Play Scenarios

Self Advocating

  • Self-advocating in high school.  Teach your high schoolers the process to  self-advocate  for what they need.

Self Advocating Practice

5th-12th Grade Life Skills Problem Solving

Life Skills Social Skills

  • Life skills problem-solving.  In addition, this  life skills differentiated bundle  includes a problem-solving lesson plan.

problem solving cards for adults

I recommend you read Problem Solving Wheel: Help Kids Solve Their Own Problems , 61+ Free Fillable SLP Planner Pages 2020-2021 , 430+ Free Multisyllabic Words List Activity Bundle , or 432+ Free IEP Goal Bank to Save You Time posts because they include freebies as well and who doesn’t want more freebies!

Got questions? Leave a comment. Let’s chat!

Monday 30th of January 2023

Hello! I have entered my name and email twice (yesterday & today) to receive to 71+ Free Social Problem-Solving Senarios, but I have not received anything yet. Not even an email back to mine in order to subcribe. Thanks for your help! Tracy

Melissa Berg

Tuesday 31st of January 2023

Hi Tracy, Thanks so much for reaching out! Sorry about that. We went ahead and sent you an email with the PDF attached. Wishing you all my best, Melissa

Problem Solving Skills

Tuesday 30th of August 2022

I truly love your site. Excellent colors, theme and writing. Thanks for sharing.

Laura Ricca

Monday 11th of April 2022

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

Hi Laura, I'm glad you found this resource helpful. Melissa

Modified Mental Health and Suicide Prevention - Speech Therapy Store

Monday 11th of May 2020


Problem Solving Wheel: Help Kids Solve Their Own Problems - Speech Therapy Store

Monday 4th of May 2020

[…] 71+ Free Social Problem Solving Task Cards Scenarios […]

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Problem Solving Games, Activities & Exercises for Adults

Here is our list of the best problem solving games, activities and exercises for adults.

Problem solving games are activities that require players to use critical thinking skills to solve puzzles. Example activities include escape rooms, Sudoku, and murder mysteries. The purpose of these exercises is to sharpen reasoning and decision-making skills in group settings and to do team building with employees.

These activities are a subset of remote team games , found in problem solving books , and are similar to team puzzles , team building brain teasers and team riddles .


This article contains:

  • team building problem solving activities for employees
  • free problem solving games for adults
  • virtual problem solving activities for students
  • group problem solving activities
  • problem solving team builders

Here we go!

List of problem solving games & activities

From word and number puzzles to role-playing games, here is a list of inexpensive and free problem solving team builders that help groups practice the art of critical thinking and compromise.

1. Espionage! (Team Favorite)

espionage banner

For an exciting game of social deduction, check out Espionage! This thrilling experience will put your team’s wits and instincts to the test.

Espionage! offers the following:

  • a 90-minute session led by an experienced host
  • undercover teams of agents and spies
  • challenging puzzles, tasks, and maneuvers
  • team conversations to help uncover secret identities

The best part is we will bring all the necessary game materials to your preferred location. If you are interested in boosting communication and critical-thinking skills within your team, then consider Espionage!

Learn more about Espionage!

2. Art Heist: The Vanishing of Van Gogh (Hosted)

problem solving cards for adults

You can turn your team into skilled detectives with Art Heist: The Vanishing of Van Gogh! In this captivating mystery, participants will locate the stolen artwork, The Bedroom .

Key features of this experience include:

  • a 90-minute adventure led by a world-class host
  • detailed puzzles, clues, and mysteries to unravel
  • trails of evidence and hidden secrets
  • group discussions to find the art

Additionally, you can include a cocktail kit to spice up your event. Through Art Heist, you will enhance your team’s ingenuity and problem-solving skills!

Learn more about Art Heist: The Vanishing of Van Gogh .

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3. War of the Wizards (Popular)

war of the wizards banner

With War of the Wizards, teams roleplay as minions of powerful wizards to vanquish forces of evil. Participants will play thrilling games and go on a quest to restore harmony to the realm!

War of the Wizards offers the following:

  • a 90-minute journey guided by a distinguished host
  • immersive storytelling that transports players into a magical realm
  • engaging activities like world-building, role-playing games, and storytelling
  • opportunities for forming alliances, facing challenges, and going on quests

Through the power of imagination and teamwork, your team can overcome tasks and participate in an epic fantasy battle. To improve communication and bonds, include War of the Wizards in your agenda!

Learn more about War of the Wizards .

Sudoku is one of the most popular free problem solving games for adults. The objective of this game is to fill each box of a 9×9 grid so that every row, column, and letter contains each number from one to nine. The puzzle makes a great team challenge. To play Sudoku on Zoom, screen share the game board. Then, turn on the annotation features. Using the add text functions, participants can fill in the numbers on the grid.

We made a starter puzzle you can use in your next meeting or virtual team bonding session:

Sudoku game-board

Here are more online Sudoku puzzles .

5. Crossword puzzles

Crossword puzzles are word games that ask players to fill in words based on clues. Words interconnect, and players must think critically about the surrounding words to select the right phrase for the space.

You can use an online crossword puzzle maker to create a custom puzzle. Here are a few themes you may want to consider:

  • teammates’ tastes and interests
  • company knowledge and history
  • industry terms and trends

Or, create a miscellaneous puzzle just for fun.

We made a sample puzzle you can use for your game:

free crossword template

To complete puzzles during online meetings, you can use the share screen function and add text through annotations.

Or, subscribers can play the New York Times’ daily crossword puzzle virtually . Dictionary.com also offers a free daily online crossword puzzle .

Check out more vocabulary games .

6. Online Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are timed games that get groups working together to solve puzzles. Traditionally, players enter a locked room and must complete all puzzles in an hour or two to unlock the door. However, groups can also play escape rooms online.

Digital escape rooms typically come in one of two forms: in a Zoom room and led by a host, or in a choose-your-own adventure format via Google Forms or websites. To play escape rooms virtually, enter a video meeting and follow the prompts, or screen share the Google Form and work out the puzzles together.

Check out our full list of online escape rooms .

7. Murder Mysteries

Murder Mysteries are story-based games that ask players to take on the roles of suspects or detectives while trying to identify a killer. These games often involve reading lines from a script, searching for clues, and occasionally solving puzzles to get hints.

These games make participants pay attention to conversations, analyze other characters’ behavior, and search for hidden meaning in the script. Players must use their powers of observation and logic to unravel the mystery.

Check out our list of Zoom murder mystery games .

8. Treasure Hunts

Treasure hunts are scavenger hunts with intention. While virtual scavenger hunts often ask players to collect random items, treasure hunts require participants to locate clues that lead to other prompts and hints. The game typically ends with players finding a treasure or solving a mystery, sometimes both.

The treasure hunt can have a specific theme such as secret agent missions or a hunt for pirate treasure, or you can run a more general hunt. Teammates can either compete simultaneously via Zoom call, or can play the hunt on an app individually and compete to beat each other’s scores.

Check out our list of treasure hunt apps .

9. Poem or story challenge

Most team building problem solving activities for employees revolve around science, math, and logic. Poem/story challenges rely on writing skills and are sure to appeal to the language lovers on your team.

Each player receives a limited word bank to use to create a story or poem. Then, players have a few minutes to craft their pieces. Afterward, everyone reads out or screen shares their creations.

Here are a few word challenge activities you can do remotely:

  • Found poems or stories : Participants make poems or stories out of words they find by visiting websites, searching emails, glancing out the window, or taking a walk or drive around the neighborhood.
  • Random word generators : Teammates use a random word generator to populate a word bank, and must use each word in the poem or story.
  • Poetry magnets : Group members make poems using poetry magnets. You can send poetry magnet sets to employees and assemble the verses on a cookie pan during a Zoom call. Or, teammates can play with poetry magnets online .
  • Page poems: Participants receive one page of a book or magazine, and must make a poem or story by blocking out other words so only the chosen text remains visible. This activity is part storytelling, part art, since story crafters can illustrate the pages as part of the design.
  • Ransom note stories or poems : Players cut out letters from magazines and must form new words to make poems and stories. Or, players can receive a mix of random letters, form words, and run the text through a ransom note generator .

These activities are suitable for teams and individual players.

10. Moral challenge

Some problems are ethical rather than factual. Moral judgment plays just as important a role in the decision-making process as technical prowess. Players can flex their moral problem-solving skills by tackling ethical dilemmas or social puzzles.

Here are some social problem solving games online:

  • Moral machine
  • Scruples – the game of moral dilemmas
  • Morality play

To play these games, either download the apps, or pull up the website and then screen share the prompts. These games are best played when discussed as a group, because the more belief systems and opinions, the harder an issue is to resolve. These exercises provide practice for real-life conflict resolution.

You can find similar challenges on our list of online personality tests .

11. Frostbite

Frostbite is a group game that hones team leaders’ communication skills while sharpening teammates’ listening and cooperation skills. The premise behind the game is that a group of explorers gets caught in a snowstorm and must build a shelter. Frostbite has paralyzed the leaders’ hands and snow-blinded the rest of the team. The leader must give the team instructions to build a tent that can resist arctic winds.

To play Frostbite, each teammate wears a blindfold. Then, the leader gives directions. Once the structures are complete, players turn on a fan to test whether tents can withstand the wind.

Frostbite is usually an in-person game, however you can also play virtually. In the remote version of the game, teammates construct tents out of cards and tape, while the leader surveys the scene on screen.

This exercise demonstrates the challenges of leading remotely, as teams need to operate with minimal oversight or supervisor observation. Therefore, instructions need to be clear and direct to be effective.

Check out more team building games .

12. Virtual Hackathons

Hackathons are events where participants have a set amount of time to design and pitch a new product or solution. This type of event originated in the programming world and is often used to create new apps, however you can apply the game to any industry or school subject.

Virtual hackathons are online versions of the event. Teams enter the competition, then work with each other via virtual meeting software or remote work communication platforms to design the solution. At the end of the competition, teams pitch ideas to a panel of judges and a winner is decided.

To run a virtual hackathon, first announce the theme of the event and collect sign-ups. So that no teams work ahead, hint at the general idea of the issue, and only explain the precise problem when the event begins. Then, give teams anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete the project.

Discover more virtual hackathon ideas .

13. Improv games

Improv games are excellent problem solving activities. These exercises force participants to think and respond quickly to keep scenes moving in a logical and entertaining way.

Here are some good problem solving improv games:

Banned words : Performers cannot say certain words. Scene partners will conceive of situations that encourage the actors to use those words, and the actors must find alternatives, such as using synonyms or taking the scene in a new direction.

Scenes from a chat : Audience gives a suggestion for a scene, and players act the scene out. Though it’s a fictional and often ridiculous scenario, actors must react to the situation and solve the problem in order for the scene to end.

Miracle cure : Miracle cure is a quick-moving exercise that follows a simple format. One player declares, “I have a problem.” Another player responds, “I have a….[random object.]” The first player then replies, “great! I can use the [random object] to….” and describes how they will solve the problem.

Check out more problem-solving improv games .

14. Spaghetti Tower

The spaghetti tower is a classic team building game. Participants gather uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows, and must construct the tallest freestanding tower.

During the in-person version, players must construct one tall freestanding tower. However, for the virtual version of the game, players construct individual towers. You can send groups to breakout rooms for the build, then reconvene in the main room for judging. Teams are judged on three main factors: number of towers, height, and uniformity.

This version of the game not only tests the structural integrity of the tower, but also consistency and quality control. This exercise teaches teams to align and collaborate remotely, and produce a consistent product even when far apart.

15. What Would You Do?

What Would You Do? is a simple situational game that challenges participants to react to different circumstances. To play this game, read prompts one by one, and then ask participants to respond with gameplans. You can use the polling or raise hand feature to vote for the best option.

Here are some problem solving scenarios for adults or kids to use in the game:

  • Zombies attack and you have to find a place to hide.
  • You are at the zoo and the animals escape. Which one do you try to corral back into the pen first?
  • After waiting in line for hours, someone cuts in front of you last minute. The person appears to be visually and hearing impaired, and doesn’t notice your protests. An official announces that due to diminishing supply, this individual will be the last in line to be served.
  • You are eating a meal with important clients and/or your partner’s parents, and you want to impress. The individuals make you a dish that does not fit within your dietary restrictions, but you do not speak the same language and cannot explain why you do not want to eat.
  • An imposter has infiltrated the organization, who looks, speaks, and behaves exactly like you. How do you convince your peers that you are the original?

For similar dilemmas, check out this list of Would You Rather? questions.

16. Desert Island Survival

Desert Island Survival is a game that challenges players to prioritize. The premise is that players have been stranded on an island, and must decide what order to perform survival steps.

Here are the possible actions:

  • Set up shelter
  • Explore the island
  • Try to signal for help
  • Make weapons for self-defense
  • Build a raft to escape the island
  • Start a fire
  • Choose a group leader
  • Search for other survivors

All group members must agree on the order of the steps. Players should explain the reasoning for the order of each step while ranking the actions.

Another version of the game involves players receiving a list of 15 to 20 items, and selecting five or so to bring to the island. You can also vary the location of the game, substituting remote islands for destinations like outer space or the distant past.

17. Choose Your Own Adventure

Choose Your Own Adventure stories enable readers to determine the outcome of the story by making decisions. Each action has a consequence that takes the tale in a different direction. Participants can try to guess how the story may unfold by talking through the different choices. When completing the activity in a group setting, the majority of the team must agree on an action before moving forward in the story.

There are a few ways to facilitate these activities online:

  • Play an online role playing video game
  • Watch an interactive movie like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
  • Read from a Choose Your Own Adventure book on Zoom
  • Click through a Choose Your Own Adventure platform
  • Create your own story using a Google Form

Whichever way you choose to do the exercise, you can use the screen share feature in your virtual meeting software so that listeners can more easily follow along.

18. MacGyver

MacGyver is a show where the hero escapes sticky situations by improvising tools out of unlikely materials. For example, in one episode the hero makes a telescope out of a newspaper, magnifying lens, and a watch crystal.

To play MacGyver, you can either list three to five objects participants can use, or challenge players to use items that are within arms reach.

Simply state a desired end result, such as “a way to open a locked door,” or “a getaway vehicle,” and then ask teams to explain what they will build and how they will build it. To make the activity more collaborative, you can give teams five or ten minutes in breakout rooms to strategize and design a prototype.

19. Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons is a roleplaying game where players pretend to be magical figures and creatures. One player serves as the dungeon master, who guides the game, while the other players pick characters and make decisions to move the story forward. Upon choosing a course of action, players roll a twenty-sided die to determine whether or not the plan succeeds. The game is story-based, the possibilities are nearly limitless, and truly creative problem solving options arise. Also, since gameplay is mostly verbal, Dungeons & Dragons is an easy activity to do over Zoom.

Here are the basic rules for Dungeons & Dragons .

20. Pandemic

Pandemic is a game that pits players against the forces of nature in a race to contain and control disease outbreaks. At the beginning of the game, each player receives a role such as containment specialist or operations expert. Participants must carry out the duties of their roles by choosing appropriate actions. Pandemic is a great game for groups because each team member has a clear part to play, and players must collaborate and work together instead of competing against each other.

To play the game online, you can use a Pandemic game app , or talk through the exercise while one attendee moves and displays pieces on the board.

Note: The subject of this game might hit too close to home for some players, considering recent history. You can find games with similar mechanics that deal with different subject matter, such as Forbidden Island.

Check out more team building board games .

21. Model UN

Model UN is one of the best virtual problem solving activities for students. This exercise casts participants in the role of international diplomats who must negotiate to solve realistic problems. Each player assumes the role of a country ambassador and must form alliances and propose solutions to solve crises.

Here are some sample Model UN scenarios:

  • Human rights violation by powerful country
  • Food shortage
  • Disease epidemic
  • Technology privacy violations
  • Civil war branching into surrounding countries
  • Natural disasters

Depending on the size of the group, participants either take on the part of an entire government of a country, or play a certain role within the government. To carry out the activity on Zoom, players can take turns giving speeches, message other countries privately via the chat, meet in breakout rooms to form alliances or have more intimate discussions, and use the polling feature to vote on propositions.

If politics does not resonate with your group, then you can alter the exercise by applying the same activity structure to a different theme, such as the Justice League, movie characters, business board members, or reality TV stars.

The main purpose of the exercise is to research, talk through problems, and compromise. As long as these elements are present, then the specifics of the setup do not matter.

There are many types of problem solving activities for adults. You can do online problem solving games, which require a different skill set than in-person problem solving. For instance, communication must be much clearer and more abundant when group members are far apart and unable to demonstrate or pick up physical cues.

Though many problem solving games include props and in-person elements, there are many games you can play together online. These exercises work well as educational tools as well as team bonding accelerators. Upon completion, participants are likely to feel a sense of accomplishment and increased confidence. These games are also great practice for real life conflict resolution, creative thinking and team building.

Next check out this list of connection games , this collection of crime-solving games , and this post with conflict resolution games .

We also have a list of the best decision making books and a list of team building problems for work .

FAQ: Problem solving activities

Here are common answers to questions about group problem solving activities.

What are problem solving games?

Problem solving games are challenges that ask players to think critically and use logic to overcome issues or answer riddles. Examples include sudoku, murder mysteries, and spaghetti towers. These games are also known as “problem solving exercises”, “problem and solution games” and “group problem solving activities.”

What are the best problem solving games for groups?

The best problem solving games for groups include online escape rooms, moral challenges, and improv games.

What are some good problem solving team building activities for students?

Some good problem solving activities for students include crossword puzzles, choose your own adventure stories, and model UN.

How do you play problem solving games online?

The best way to play problem solving games online is to join a video call meeting to talk through the issue. Using the screen sharing and digital whiteboard features helps participants visualize the problem more clearly. Breakout rooms give teams the chance to discuss the issue more intimately.

Author avatar

Author: Angela Robinson

Marketing Coordinator at teambuilding.com. Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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Table of Contents

Problem Solving Worksheets for Adults (7)

problem solving cards for adults

As a BetterHelp affiliate, we may receive compensation from BetterHelp if you purchase products or services through the links provided.

The Optimistminds editorial team is made up of psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health professionals. Each article is written by a team member with exposure to and experience in the subject matter.  The article then gets reviewed by a more senior editorial member. This is someone with extensive knowledge of the subject matter and highly cited published material.

This page provides you with problem-solving worksheets for adults. Problem-solving worksheets for adults aim to help adults identify and resolve their conflicts with effective problem-solving strategies.

These worksheets aid adults recognize different problem-solving skills and strategies to use them for dealing with unpleasant emotions and distressing events. 

Some of these problem-solving worksheets have been created by us while some of them have been curated from reputable third-party websites after reviewing relevant content in detail.

Problem Solving Worksheet for Adults- Identifying Problem-Solving Skills

Problem-solving is defined as the application of certain skills and strategies to resolve the problems.

It is the process of identifying solutions to specific problems either they are simple, difficult or complex. 

Problem-solving is done using problem-solving skills.

Problem-solving skills are the abilities and skills of an individual the enable him to resolve the conflicts efficiently and timely without any hindrance.

These skills help the individual to identify the problems, define them, think of all the possible solutions to the problem, selecting the most effective problem resolution strategy an implementing it to solve the problem efficiently. 

Some common problem-solving skills include research, decision-making, communication, analysis, dependability, coordination, understanding, active listening and so forth. 

The problem-solving process requires two types of mental skills. These are analytical and creative skills.

Analytical skills are based on logical thinking and include ordering, comparing, contrasting, evaluating and selecting.

On the other hand, creative skills refer to the ability to think of various ways of resolving a single problem.

Analytical skills are more beneficial and effective. 

problem solving cards for adults

Problem Solving Worksheet for Adults- Effective Problem Resolution Plan

Problem-solving is referred to as the process of identifying the problem, identifying the problem, finding alternative solutions to the problem, choosing the best and effective solution for the problem and implementing that strategy for resolving the problem efficiently.  

The effective problem-solving process consists of seven major steps.

The first step consists of identifying the problem, the second steps consist of analyzing the problem deeply to understand it and be able to define it, the third step involves enlisting all the possible solutions to the problem.

The fourth step refers to the evaluation of each solution on the basis of its feasibility, consequences, and effects.

The fifth step deals with selecting the best of all these solutions to the problem. The sixth step involves documentation or planning of how to resolve the problem using this particular solution.

The last step refers to the implementation of the solution or in other words that strategy to resolve the problem. 

These were the steps for resolving the conflict efficiently.

Now if we talk about problem-solving strategies, there are various ways of dealing with a single issue.

The five most common methods of resolving problems include trial and error method, difference reduction method, means-end analysis, working backward method and analogies.

problem solving cards for adults

Problem Solving Worksheet for Adults- Problem-Solving on the Basis of Outcomes

Problem-solving can be done in various ways. Before the individual works on resolving the problem, it is essential to understand the nature of the problem.

There are many kinds of problems.

Some common types of problems include constrained problems, ambiguous problems, predictable problems, known unknowns, unknown unknowns, political, technical, root cause analysis, strategy, tactics, decision-making, improvement, and reinvention.

Problems can be solved in a number of ways.

Some common problem-solving strategies include trial and error, using algorithms and using heuristics.

A simple problem can be solved easily but for the big, complex problems it is advisable to break the problem into smaller parts and them resolve those pasts one by one to solve the problem as a whole. 

Some effective problem-solving strategies include identifying the problem and understand it deeply to resolve it, breaking the probes into small parts and dealing with each art one by one, working on a timeline, using your own network or available solutions to the problem, avoid comparing your problems to other’s, taking a break if your feel exhausted, finding an effective solution, and keeping it and learning from every mistake.

problem solving cards for adults

Problem Solving Worksheet for Adults- Problem Solving Skills Worksheet

Problem-solving skills worksheet is a very brief, simple and easy to understand worksheet for enabling the individuals to effectively resolve their problems.

The problem-solving skills worksheet allows the individuals to identify the problem, understand the nature of the problem and analyze the problem deeply.

It enables individuals to determine the desired outcomes of the problem resolution.

Thee worksheet enables the individuals to think of some of the possible solutions to the problem and determine the effectiveness of each solution according to the outcomes each of them would produce.

Based on these outcomes, the individuals select the best resolution of the problem and work upon it to resolve their issue.

This worksheet is very simple and at the same time very effective.

You can download it in the form of pdf from here .

Problem Solving Worksheet for Adults- Problem Solving Packet

The problem-solving packet, offered by the therapistaid.com website, allows effective resolution of the problem.

This packet consists of five pages with each page covering one step to the problem-solving method.

The first page deals with defining the problem, the second page deals with finding solutions to the problem, the third page directs the individuals to select the best solution to the problem, the forth page enables the individuals to implement the solution to resolve their issue and the last page allows the individual to analyze the outcomes, effects, effectiveness, and efficiency of the solution they applied to resolve their issue.

These five pages of the problem-solving packet are amazing, detailed, effective and very helpful for the individual to help them improve their problem-solving abilities.

This worksheet is easily accessible on the internet.

You can download it in the form of pdf from here . 

Problem Solving Worksheet for Adults- Problem Solving Worksheet

The problem-solving worksheet is a very helpful worksheet that enables the individual to identify their problems, understand them and implement effective strategies for dealing with their problems.

This worksheet helps individuals resolve their problems in eight steps. Each step is complemented with a very detailed description of each step.

The individuals are directed to identify their problems, possible solutions of their problems, recognizing pros and cons of each possible solution, selection of the solution that produces desirable outcomes, making a framework to implement that solution, following the framework, reviewing the solution if it proved to be successful in resolving the problem or not and repeating the whole process again if the solution did not work out. 

This worksheet can be accessed from the internet easily.

To download it in the form of pdf, click here .

Problem Solving Worksheet for Adults- Problem Solving

The worksheet, problem-solving, consists of two pages. It is very engaging and at the same time an effective worksheet.

Thie worksheet allows individuals to successfully resolve their problems in five steps.

The worksheet enables the individuals to identify and define their problems in detail, considering the causes of problems and the goals related to resolving this problem.

Then the individuals are directed to think of all the possible solutions to their problem and select the preferred solutions on the basis of the feasibility of the solutions and other factors.

After this, the individuals are asked to identify the pros and cons of each solution followed by the selection and planning of the best solution.

Next, the individuals are directed to implement the solutions and review their effectiveness. 

To download this worksheet in the form of pdf, click here . 

This page provided you with some of the most effective problem-solving worksheets for adults .

These worksheets aimed to help adults identify the problems they are facing and enabled them to solve those problems mindfully, thoughtfully and effectively.

Some of these problems solving worksheets for adults were created by us while some of them were curated from reputable third-party websites after reviewing relevant content from various sites.

If you have any queries or questions regarding these worksheets, let us know through your comments, we will be glad to assist you. 

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problem solving cards for adults

Anger Management Activity: Free Problem Solving Cards

I work with angry kids every day I go to work (and sometimes at home with my own 3 kiddos). We all feel anger. Anger is not bad in of itself; it’s what we do when we are angry that matters.

Anger is a secondary emotion that is displayed in an effort to protect the person from feeling other emotions that may be more uncomfortable or less socially acceptable. For instance, it may be easier to feel angry at someone who shared a secret rather than to feel embarrassed.

This poster is a great visual aid when explaining how anger works as a secondary feeling:

The chemical changes that occur in our brain when we are angry give us a boost in adrenalin and make us feel more powerful and confident.

Remember learning about “ fight or flight ” in grade school? That’s the term given for the reaction we experience when we encounter a stressful situation.

The chemical changes in our body  in the moment provides us with the ability to either confront the situation (fight) or get away as fast as possible (flight).  Identifying stressful situations is an excellent anger management strategy.

Samantha becomes angry when she doesn’t understand an assignment. More than likely, Samantha’s feelings of frustration (primary emotion) turns into feelings of anger.

Now that we know what the stressful situation is, or the “trigger”, we can begin to teach her anger management strategies.

The anger management freebie below helps students explore social situations that could lead to feelings of anger. Identifying these triggers is a vital step in developing anger management strategies. How can someone control their angry feelings when they are not even sure what is making them angry?

I highly recommend having the child create their own “what would you do deck” where they come up with their own situations that might make children mad.

Instructing my students to create cards that might help them (or other students) allows them to step outside of their own anger and view anger management from a different perspective.

While we review their deck, I have them rate how angry their situation would make them using the anger management gage . This allows me to understand the intensity of their feelings and provides me with the opportunity to point out when they are successful at managing their anger.

Example: Marcus makes a card about children getting mad when they do not get a turn on the tire swing, but he shares that this wouldn’t bother him because he would just do something different. <-Now that is a success to build upon (and explore further)!

We don’t always have to focus on angry outbursts or feelings of being out of control. Nobody enjoys losing control of themselves.

Focusing on times when they were able to control their anger is a great way to build self-esteem and empower them to take further responsibility for their behavior. Who doesn’t like the feeling of success?

If you would like more information about anger management strategies for children, check out   35 Simple Ways to Help an Angry Child .

10 responses to “Anger Management Activity: Free Problem Solving Cards”

robin Avatar

I can’t get the cards to print. They look great and I did sign up for your newsletter. Thanks! Robin

Helpful Counselor Avatar

Email me and I will send them to you [email protected]

Best Wishes, Heather

Chrissy Laing Avatar

hell yeah what a awesome site …

LOL! Why thank you Chrissy…gotta love your enthusiasm!

Alvin Avatar

Calm down . Teach children to use some calming strategies when they feel the physical symptoms of anger. They can try taking deep breaths, drinking a glass of water, distracting herself with a song or a story, or playing alone. Anger may be harmful in their future so the parents should understand child’s behaviour and try to follow your suggestion about anger management for children

Jeya Mary Avatar

Can you please forward that pdf to my email, i am uanble to print from the web.

i work with kids till 18 and i think this card set will give a great hand in teacing kids anger management.

my email id [email protected]

Heather Avatar

Hello Jeya,

Do to the large volume of requests, I am unable to email individual files at this time.

Anna Avatar

These are genius!!! I’ve been looking for ideas on helping my son in the long term, not just talking to him “after the fact”. I’m so thankful that I found your website this morning! You seem to have some of the most down-to-earth, practical suggestions out there.

Yay! Glad to hear you are able to use these activities with your son. I wish you and your family the best!!!

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Solutions for Social Emotional Learning & Executive Functioning

Using Task Cards to Teach Social Problem Solving

February 9, 2017 by pathway2success 3 Comments

Using Task Cards to Teach Social Problem Solving

Social problem solving is the process of figuring out how to deal with social situations and challenges. It involves understanding the situation, identifying a problem, considering solutions, and choosing the best way to handle that specific situation. While many kids and young adults figure out how to maneuver through these social challenges on their own, others often needs lots of help. These are the kids who get into arguments with others, can’t deal with disappointments, become upset easily, or have difficulty making (or keeping) friends. The good news is that social problem solving skills can be learned and developed over time.

The best way to learn social problem solving skills is to practice over and over through multiple situations. This allows kids and young adults to go through the process and develop their social thinking skills. Task cards are a great way to practice a variety of scenarios for social problem solving.

Here are some strategies for using task cards for teaching social problem solving:

1. Put together a variety of social situations on task cards. You can make your own with index cards or use a pre-made set, like the Social Scenario Problem Solving Task Cards . Remember to include lots of different situations, such as times with friends, at recess, in the classroom, with family, at lunch, and any other scenarios that may be important for that child. They key is having many different social scenarios that involve dilemmas or challenges, so that kids can think through each problem in a new way.

Social Scenario Problem Solving Task Cards

2. Put the cards on a ring. You can choose to just keep one set for yourself or give sets to partners and groups. Flip through them in a small group, during morning meetings, or during partners and group practice.

Social Problem Solving Task Cards. Task card reads: You see a friend handing out birthday invitations, but you do not get one. What do you do?

3. Give time for group discussions. Kids learn best from other kids! Allow time for lots of talk on each task card. Discuss things like “What would you do?”, “Why would you do that?”, and “What are some other options you could consider?”. Kids and young adults will disagree sometimes, and that’s okay. Allow for kids to explain their thoughts and really think through their social reasoning. This gives opportunity for social and emotional growth while learning from others.

Social Problem Solving Task Cards. Task card reads: You see someone climbing on the swing set. You know you are not supposed to do that. What do you do?

4. Set up cards at centers. Have a center for each different type of scenario. Have kids work through each center in small groups. Then, after a certain amount of time (10 minutes or so), have each group move to the next center. It’s a fun way to practice social problem solving while allowing some movement, too.

Social Scenario Problem Solving Task Cards. Task card reads: Someone in class keeps shouting out all of the answers to questions without raising their hand. It is annoying you. What do you do?

5. Remember to include older kids, too! Middle and high school kids can also greatly benefit from learning social problem solving skills. Make sure to tailor the situations to your age group. For older kids, it’s helpful to focus on friends, relationships, online and texting, in classes, and during less structured time like lunch and in the hallways. Older kids will have just as much fun practicing social situation task cards as long as they are age-appropriate.

Social Scenario Problem Solving Task Cards

Get Started!

Social scenario problem-solving task cards for elementary

If you want to get started practicing social problem solving skills with elementary-age kids right away, try using Social Scenario Problem Solving Task Cards for Elementary.  The cards are organized into five different sets that target different situations: With friends, with family, in the classroom, at recess, and at lunch.

Social scenario problem-solving task cards for middle and high school

If you need to practice this skill with older kids, try using Social Scenario Problem Solving Task Cards for Middle and High School . The social situation cards are organized into five different sets specific for older kids. Those situations include: With friends, with family, in classes, in the hallway and cafeteria, and online and texting.

Using task cards to teach social problem-solving

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March 20, 2017 at 10:54 pm

Fantastic idea. I am trying to do one for a child having difficulties with siblings.

Any recoomendations?

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January 11, 2018 at 6:19 am

wonderful idea,will immensely enhance problem solving skills of young mindsThanks

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January 11, 2018 at 8:42 am

I’m glad you find these helpful! All kids need improved problem solving skills!

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Cognitive Remediation Therapy: 13 Exercises & Worksheets

Cognitive Remediation Therapy

This can result in concentration, organizational, and planning difficulties that impact their quality of life and independent living.

Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) helps by increasing awareness of intellectual difficulties and improving thinking skills. While originally designed for people with thinking problems associated with schizophrenia, it has also proven successful for those with other diagnoses (Bristol Mental Health, n.d.).

CRT works by encouraging a range of exercises and activities that challenge memory, flexible thinking, planning, and concentration problems.

This article explores CRT and its potential to help clients and includes techniques, activities, and worksheets to build effective therapy sessions.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free . These science-based exercises will provide you with detailed insight into Positive CBT and give you the tools to apply it in your therapy or coaching.

This Article Contains:

What is cognitive remediation therapy (crt), how does cognitive remediation work, 8 techniques for your sessions, 7 exercises, activities, & games, 6 helpful worksheets and manuals, implementing online crt programs, 3 best software programs for helping your clients, a take-home message.

“Cognitive remediation is a behavioral treatment for people who are experiencing cognitive impairments that interfere with daily functioning” (Medalia, Revheim, & Herlands, 2009, p. 1).

Successful cognitive functions, including memory, attention, visual-spatial analysis, and abstract reasoning, are vital for engaging with tasks, the environment, and healthy relationships.

CRT improves cognitive processing and psychosocial functioning through behavioral training and increasing individual confidence in people with mental health disorders (Corbo & Abreu, 2018). Training interventions focus on the skills and supports required to “improve the success and satisfaction people experience in their chosen living, learning, working, and social environments” (Medalia et al., 2009, p. 2).

Exercises typically focus on specific cognitive functions, where tasks are repeated (often on a computer) at increasing degrees of difficulty. For example:

  • Paying attention
  • Remembering
  • Being organized
  • Planning skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Processing information

Based on the principles of errorless learning and targeted reinforcement exercises , interventions involve memory, motor dexterity, and visual reading tasks. Along with improving confidence in personal abilities, repetition encourages thinking about solving tasks in multiple ways (Corbo & Abreu, 2018).

While initially targeted for patients with schizophrenia, CRT is an effective treatment for other mental health conditions , including mood and eating disorders (Corbo & Abreu, 2018).

CRT is particularly effective when the cognitive skills and support interventions reflect the individual’s self-selected rehabilitation goals. As a result, cognitive remediation relies on collaboration, assessing client needs, and identifying appropriate opportunities for intervention (Medalia et al., 2009).

Cognitive remediation vs cognitive rehabilitation

CRT is one of several skill-training psychiatric rehabilitation interventions. And yet, cognitive remediation is not the same as cognitive rehabilitation (Tchanturia, 2015).

Cognitive rehabilitation typically targets neurocognitive processes damaged because of injury or illness and involves a series of interventions designed to retrain previously learned cognitive skills along with compensatory strategies (Tsaousides & Gordon, 2009).

Cognitive Remediation

While initially done in person, they can subsequently be performed remotely as required (Corbo & Abreu, 2018; Bristol Mental Health, n.d.).

Well-thought-out educational software provides multisensory feedback and positive reinforcement while supporting success, choice, and control of the learning process. Its design can target either specific cognitive functions or non-specific learning skills and mechanisms (Medalia et al., 2009).

CRT successfully uses the brain’s neuroplasticity and is often more effective in younger age groups who haven’t experienced the effects of long-term psychosis. It works by increasing activation and connectivity patterns within and across several brain regions involved in working memory and high-order executive functioning (Corbo & Abreu, 2018).

The Neuropsychological Educational Approach to Cognitive Remediation (NEAR) is one of several approaches that provide highly individualized learning opportunities. It allows each client to proceed at their own pace on tasks selected and designed to engage them and address their cognitive needs (Medalia et al., 2009).

NEAR and other CRT techniques are influenced by learning theory and make use of the following (Medalia et al., 2009):

  • Errorless learning Encouraging the client to learn progressively, creating a positive experience without relying on trial and error.
  • Shaping and positive feedback Reinforcing behaviors that approximate target behaviors (such as good timekeeping) and offering rewards (for example, monthly certificates for attendance).
  • Prompting Using open-ended questions that guide the client toward the correct response.
  • Modeling Demonstrating how to solve a problem.
  • Generalizing Learning how to generalize learned skills to other situations.
  • Bridging Understanding how to apply skills learned inside a session outside  in everyday life.

Encouraging intrinsic motivation (doing the tasks for the satisfaction of doing them rather than for external rewards) and task engagement are also essential aspects of successful CRT programs (Medalia et al., 2009).

Therapy is most effective when it successfully supports clients as they transfer learning skills into the real world.

problem solving cards for adults

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Cognitive remediation techniques must be selected according to the skills and needs of the client and typically fall into one of three major intervention categories (Medalia et al., 2009):

  • Planning exercises, such as planning a trip to the beach to practice cognitive strategies
  • Cueing and sequencing , such as adding signs or placing reminder notes at home to encourage completing everyday tasks (for example, brushing teeth)

Such techniques rely on several key principles, including “(1) teaching new, efficient, information processing strategies; (2) aiding the transfer of cognitive gains to the real world; and (3) modifying the local environment” (Medalia et al., 2009, p. 5).

  • Restorative approaches Directly target cognitive deficits by repeating task practices and gradually increasing difficulty and complexity; along with regular feedback, they encourage accurate and high levels of performance.

Practice is often organized hierarchically, as follows:

  • Elementary aspects of sensory processing (for example, improving auditory processing speed and accuracy)
  • High-order memory and problem-solving skills (including executive functioning and verbal skills)

This technique assumes a degree of neuroplasticity that, with training, results in a greater degree of accuracy in sensory representations, improved cognitive strategies for grouping stimuli into more meaningful groups, and better recall.

  • Repetition and reaching for increasing levels of task difficulty
  • Modeling other people’s positive behavior
  • Role-play  to re-enact experienced or imagined behavior from different perspectives
  • Corrective feedback to improve and correct unwanted or unhelpful behavior

Complex social cognitive processes are typically broken down into elemental skills for repetitive practice, role-play, and corrective feedback.

Professor Dame Til Wykes: cognitive remediation therapy

It is vital that activities within CRT are interesting and engaging for clients. They must foster the motivation required to persevere to the end of the task or game.

The following three games and puzzles are particularly valuable for children and adolescents (modified from Tchanturia, 2015):


SET is a widely available card game that practices matching based on color, shape, shading, etc.

Clients must shift their thinking to identify multiple ways of categorizing and grouping cards, then physically sort them based on their understanding.

It may be helpful to begin with a limited set of cards to reduce the likelihood of the clients becoming overwhelmed by the game or finding it less enjoyable.

2. Rush Hour

Rush Hour

Rush Hour is another fun game that balances problem-solving skills with speed.

Puzzles start simple and increase in complexity, with additional elements involved. Skills developed include problem-solving and abstract thinking, and the game requires a degree of perseverance.


Other activities require no specialist equipment and yet can be highly engaging and support clients in learning transferable skills (modified from Tchanturia, 2015).

  • Bigger picture thinking This involves the client picturing a shape in their minds or looking at one out of sight of the therapist. They then describe the shape (without naming it), while the therapist attempts to draw it according to the instructions. This practice is helpful with clients who get overwhelmed by detail and cannot see the bigger picture.
  • Word searches Word searches encourage the client to focus on relevant information and ignore everything else – an essential factor in central coherence. Such puzzles also challenge memory, concentration, and attention.
  • Last word response Last word response is a challenging verbal game promoting cognitive flexibility. The first player makes up and says a sentence out loud. Each subsequent player makes up a new sentence, starting with the last word of the previous player’s sentence. For example, ‘ I like cheese’ may be followed by the next player saying, ‘ Cheese is my favorite sandwich ingredient ,’ etc.
  • Dexterity Using your non-dominant hand once a week (for example, combing your hair or brushing your teeth) stimulates different parts of your brain, creating alternative patterns of neuron firing and strengthening cognitive functions.

The following therapy worksheets help structure Cognitive Remediation Therapy sessions and ensure that the needs of clients are met using appropriately targeted CRT interventions (modified from Medalia et al., 2009; Medalia & Bowie, 2016):

Client referral to CRT

The Cognitive Remediation Therapy Referral Form captures valuable information when a client is referred from another agency or therapist so that the new therapist can identify and introduce the most appropriate CRT interventions. The form includes information such as:

Primary reasons

Secondary reasons

  • Self-confidence
  • Working with others
  • Time management
  • Goal-directed activities

Cognitive Appraisal for CRT

The Cognitive Appraisal for CRT form is helpful for identifying and recording areas of cognitive processing that cause difficulty for the client and require focus during Cognitive Remediation Therapy sessions.

Clients are scored on their degree of difficulty with the following:

  • Paying attention during conversation
  • Maintaining concentration in meetings
  • Completing tasks once started
  • Starting tasks
  • Planning and organizing tasks and projects
  • Reasoning and solving problems

Software Appraisal for CRT

The Software Appraisal for CRT form helps assess which software would be most helpful in a specific Cognitive Remediation Therapy session. It provides valuable input for tailoring treatment to the needs of the client.

For example:

  • Level of reading ability required
  • Cognitive deficits addressed by the software
  • What is the multimedia experience like?
  • How much input is required by the therapist?

Appraisal records become increasingly important as more software is acquired for clients with various cognitive deficits from multiple backgrounds.

Software Usage for CRT

The Software Usage for CRT form helps keep track of the software clients have tried and how effectively it supports them as they learn, develop, and overcome cognitive deficits.

The client considers the software they use and whether they practiced the following areas of cognition:

  • Concentration
  • Processing speed
  • Multitasking
  • Logic and reasoning
  • Organization
  • Fast responses
  • Working memory

Thought Tracking During Cognitive Remediation Therapy

Thought Tracking During Cognitive Remediation Therapy is valuable for identifying and recording the client’s goals for that day’s Cognitive Remediation Therapy session and understanding how it relates to their overall treatment goals.

Planning to Meet Goals in CRT

The Planning to Meet Goals in CRT worksheet is for clients requiring support and practice in planning, goal-setting, and goal achievement.

Working with the client, answer the following prompts:

  • What goal or project are you working toward?
  • What date should it be completed by?
  • Are there any obstacles to overcome to complete the goal?
  • Are there any additional resources required?
  • Then consider the steps needed to achieve the goal.

Other free resources

Happy Neuron provides several other free resources that are available for download .

Implementing CRT Programs

Consider the five Cs when selecting online CRT programs (modified from Medalia et al., 2009):

  • Cognitive – What target deficits are being addressed?
  • Client – What interests and level of functioning does the client have?
  • Computer – What computing requirements and compatibility factors need to be considered?
  • Context – Does the software use real-world or fantasy activities and environments? Are they age and cognitive ability appropriate?
  • Choice – Is the learner given choice and options to adapt the activity to their preferences?

Once you’ve ordered the software, give it a thorough review to understand when it is most appropriate to use and with whom.

For online CRT programs to be effective as teaching tools and activities, they should include the following features (modified from Medalia et al., 2009, p. 53):

  • Intrinsically motivating
  • Active use of information
  • Multisensory strategies
  • Frequent feedback
  • Control over the learning process
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Application of newly acquired skills in appropriate contexts
  • Errorless learning – challenging yet not frustrating

Therapists must become familiar with each program’s content and processes so that targeted deficits are fully understood and clients are engaged without confusion or risk of failure.

A great deal of software “targets different skills and offers a variety of opportunities for contextualization and personalization” (Medalia et al., 2009, p. 43).

We focus on three suppliers of extensive CRT software resources below (recommended by Medalia et al., 2009).

1. Happy Neuron

problem solving cards for adults

Happy Neuron provides a wide variety of online brain training exercises and activities to stimulate cognitive functioning in the following areas:

  • Visual-spatial


When you’re performing well, the exercises become increasingly difficult.

The exercises are grouped into the following areas:

  • Brain speed
  • People skills
  • Intelligence

3. Games for the Brain

Games for the brain

Cognitive difficulties, such as challenges with paying attention, planning, remembering, and problem-solving, can further compound and exacerbate mental health issues

While initially created for schizophrenia, CRT is also valuable for other mental health problems, including eating and mood disorders. Treatments are effective in one-to-one and group sessions, and lessons can be transferred to the outside world, providing crucial gains for a client’s mental wellbeing and social interaction.

Through repeated and increasingly challenging skill-based interventions, CRT benefits cognitive functioning and provides confidence gains to its users. The treatment adheres to learning theory principles and targets specific brain processing areas such as motor dexterity, memory, and visual-spatial perception, along with higher-order functioning.

Involving clients in treatment choices increases the likelihood of ongoing perseverance, engagement, and motivation as activities repeat with increasing degrees of difficulty.

This article offers a valuable starting point for exploring CRT and its benefits, with several worksheets and forms to encourage effective treatment.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. For more information, don’t forget to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free .

  • Bristol Mental Health. (n.d.). Cognitive remediation therapy: Improving thinking skills . Retrieved December 15, 2021, from http://www.awp.nhs.uk/media/424704/cognitive-remediation-therapy-022019.pdf
  • Corbo, M., & Abreu, T. (2018). Cognitive remediation therapy: EFPT psychotherapy guidebook . Retrieved December 15, 2021, from https://epg.pubpub.org/pub/05-cognitive-remediation-therapy/release/3
  • Medalia, A., & Bowie, C. R. (2016). Cognitive remediation to improve functional outcomes . Oxford University Press.
  • Medalia, A., Revheim, N., & Herlands, T. (2009). Cognitive remediation for psychological disorders: Therapist guide . Oxford University Press.
  • Tchanturia, K. (2015). Cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) for eating and weight disorders . Routledge.
  • Tsaousides, T., & Gordon, W. A. (2009). Cognitive rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury: Assessment to treatment. Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine: A Journal of Translational and Personalized Medicine , 76 (2), 173-181.

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What our readers think.

Sam DiVincenzo

To my surprise this is a treatment that has not been discussed in the area I live and work. I just stumbled upon this when I was researching cognitive impairments with schizophrenia. I currently work on a team with multiple mental health professionals that go out into the community, to work with people diagnosed with Schizophrenia. It seems like most of what we do is manage and monitor symptoms. Are you aware of anyone or any agency in Buffalo, NY that uses this method of treatment? I am trying to figure out how to get trained and use it in practice, if that is possible. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Sheila Berridge

This looks like the treatment my daughter needs. She has struggled for years with the cognitive problems associated with depression. How do we find a therapist near us who can use these techniques?

Nicole Celestine, Ph.D.

I’m sorry to read that your daughter is struggling. You can find a directory of licensed therapists here (and note that you can change the country setting in the top-right corner). You’ll also find that there are a range of filters to help you drill down to the type of support you need: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists

I hope you find the help you need.

– Nicole | Community Manager

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problem solving cards for adults

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Just for Adults Photo Cards

Just for Adults Photo Cards


  • Product Number: 35024
  • Format: CARDS
  • Weight 4 lbs.3 oz.


360 large-size cards featuring high-quality, realistic photos and stimuli on the back.

The photos show people of all ages engaged in everyday activities as well as some photos of everyday environs. The cards are divided into five sections:

  • Problem Solving: Photos depict 112 dangerous situations or safety issues, such as stopping on the highway and leaving shoes in a hallway. Five stimulus items on the back of each card ask the client to identify the problem; tell why it is a problem; and use flexibility in thinking, predicting, and reasoning to further discuss the problem or safety issue.
  • Abstract Reasoning – Comparing/Contrasting: 60 cards give the client practice comparing and contrasting objects and human traits. Six stimulus items on the back of each card ask the client to name similarities and differences, state the category, add to the category, and answer generalization questions about the items.
  • Abstract Reasoning – Making Inferences: 30 cards require the client to make correct inferences and predictions about the photos.
  • Abstract Reasoning – Odd One Out: 30 cards have four photos each on them. Five stimulus items on the back of each card help the client determine which photo doesn't belong and explain why.
  • Sequencing: 128 photos are divided into 17 four-step and 10 six-step functional sequences familiar to everyday life. Six stimulus items are presented on the back of the first card in each set.

The cards are adaptable to many therapy needs. Use them to spark discussion, strengthen conversational skills, and develop cognitive skills.

To see more of this product's contents:

  • Introduction
  • Sample Cards

INCLUDES: 360 5" x 7" double-sided, coated, picture/stimuli cards, and 7 instruction cards, all in a sturdy storage box. ©2010


Problem-Solving Photo Scenes

Problem-Solving Photo Scenes

Available Combo Deals

Choose the Safe Solution - Safety Awareness Pictures - Adults Safety Scenarios

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  • Easel Activity

Also included in

problem solving cards for adults


This activity is designed to target problem solving, visual scanning and safety awareness for adults and teens. Directly addressing safety and problem solving can improve independence and decrease risk of accidents in home and community settings. To complete this task, look at the picture and select the safer option given multiple choice options. Great for dementia therapy!

This task is appropriate for the following environments: skilled nursing (SNF), hospital, home health, schools

Similar products include:

Find the Danger in Pictures - Safety Awareness - Dementia

Using a Cane- Safety Questions

Using a Walker- Safety Questions

Using a Wheelchair - Safety Questions

Hospital Safety Questions - Improve Safety in the Medical Setting

Home Safety Questions - Improve Safety in the Home Environment

Community Safety Questions- Improve Safety in the Home Setting

Medication Management Safety Questions - Managing Your Medication

BUNDLE - Adult Safety - SNF, Home Health, Hospital (Save $5.50 )

BUNDLE - Home and Community Safety (Save $2.50)

- To assess safety or improve safety awareness

- To assess visual scanning and problem solving


1. Look at the picture and select the safer alternative from 4 choices.

2. Clinician can extend learning with additional probes, i.e., What might you do in that situation? How can you avoid the danger? What might happen? What is a safer alternative?

3. May be used in 1:1 or small group settings

Areas Addressed:

Visual scanning

Safety Awareness

Problem solving

Executive function

TYPE: PDF File (cards) and Easel Activity

  • PDF- Print and laminate these cards to use over and over with patients, using a dry erase marker.
  • Easel- If you’re new to Easel, it is great for those working in SNFs, home health, hospital, private practice and school settings. Simply purchase the Easel product and use it immediately with patients, through the TPT website.  The Function Well offers digital, interactive, “mini-apps” which are highly motivating and easy to use.  No more need to carry around bags of materials, as they are perfect for iPads and tablets!!!

Click the star at the top left of this page to FOLLOW , and be the first to see the new products posted weekly.  Most activities are geared towards adult therapy in SNFs, Hospitals, and Home Health. Products are made to be functional, quality speech therapy products that can be implemented immediately with no-prep.

Feel free to hit " Ask A Question " on THE FUNCTION WELL page to message suggestions or questions.

Reviews are always appreciated:)

Thanks for visiting THE FUNCTION WELL store!!


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  21. Just for Adults Photo Cards

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