Problem-Solving Treatment (PST) is a brief form of evidence-based psychotherapy that was originally developed in Britain for use by medical professionals in primary care. It is also known as PST-PC or Problem-Solving Treatment – Primary Care. PST has been studied extensively in a wide range of settings and with a variety of providers and patient populations. PST was chosen as for the counseling component of IMPACT because of the evidence supporting it effectiveness. If you are interested in reviewing the evidence, a selected bibliography is available.
PST teaches people how to solve the ‘here-and-now’ problems contributing to their depression and helps increase their self-efficacy. It typically involves 6-10 sessions, depending on the patient’s needs. The first session is about an hour because it includes an introduction to the technique as well as the first session. Subsequent sessions are 30 minutes.
This PST manual was developed by Mark Hegel, PhD and Patricia Areán, PhD for the IMPACT study. Like any counseling technique, PST is a skill. It cannot be mastered simply by reading the manual or completing the didactic training. To become a certified PST practitioner, training includes both didactic and case-based learning. More detailed information about training in PST can be found by clicking the button to the right.
Three videos are provided that demonstrate the PST technique. One of the videos shows Mark Hegel, PhD conducting a complete initial session and is 18 minutes and 35 seconds in length. There are two videos showing follow-up sessions. Patient #1 shows Dr. Hegel and the same patient from the initial session and is 38 minutes and 52 seconds in length. Patient #2 shows Rita Haverkamp, CNS, MS, APRN conducting a brief follow-up session that is 13 minutes and 57 seconds in length. Depending on the speed of your internet connection and the length of the video, it may take a couple minutes for the video to load.