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In this section, various practical and conceptual issues that may arise as people are implementing Dr. Greene's CPS model are discussed.

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I Do This Already

One of the things often said by many people who are just learning about Plan B is, “I do this already.”  But they often discover that there are important ingredients of Plan B that they’re leaving out. Talking with a kid is not the same thing as Plan B (though Plan B does typically involve talking). “Processing” is not synonymous with Plan B either (though Plan B is certainly a process). You could spend a fair amount of time talking and processing with a kid and never identify his concern or perspective on a given unsolved problem, never communicate your concern or perspective, and never collaborate on a solution that addresses those concerns.

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Problems in Living

These days, if you’re a challenging kid, you’re probably in one of two stages of development: the pre-diagnostic stage or the post-diagnostic stage. If you’re in the pre-diagnostic stage, then adults are still trying to figure out why you’re challenging and still have faith that a psychiatric diagnosis will provide useful information. If you’re in the post-diagnostic stage, then adults have probably come to the recognition that a diagnosis isn’t the holy grail and didn’t really help people understand your difficulties at all.

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Incremental Problem Solving

One of the things I’ve been writing and talking about a lot lately is the fact that solving problems collaboratively is an incremental process. In fact, in my book, Lost at School, I made mention of the fact that the model could just as easily have been called Incremental Problem Solving or Progressive Problem Solving. I thought the collaborative aspect of the model was the most important to emphasize, but that doesn’t mean that the incremental component isn’t almost as crucial.

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Correlation is Not Causation

So often, there’s so much information already available about a challenging kid that it’s easy to become overwhelmed by it all. So it’s important to think about what information is most important. With Dr. Greene's approach, the focus is on the things we can actually do something about, things we can actually work on. No sense in spending a lot of time focusing on things we can do nothing about. However, adults sometimes fall into the trap of taking some of what is known about a kid’s history or background and invoking this information as causal, leading to statements like:

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