For the past two years I have been researching with a colleague the following mouthful: informal, self-managed problem solving in dyadic interpersonal contexts. Okay? The research is informal and is driven by loosely coupled folk psychological theorizing about potentially productive heuristics. This means the theorizing is pragmatic but not formally disciplined. Although it could elaborate formal theorizing based in rational-emotive psychology, this isn’t its focus. Self-managed refers to intentional self-regulation. Obviously problem solving in a dyadic context simply means between two people. However, the experimental implementation is that of one of the pair of persons.
The foundational premise takes the form of a question: what kinds of intentional acts can be utilized to interrupt reactive cascades which normally result in a habitual response, and, due to this possible outcome, can be utilized to generate more, rather than fewer, options for problem navigation, negotiation, and, resolution.
Here are two schematic representations that integrate the pragmatic results of experiential experimentation on several vectors of self-management. One result is that the heuristics we’ve employed are apparently productive in the right circumstances.
A typical ‘high velocity’ cascade might lead to: heightened anxiety/heightened reactivity/habituated, non-productive response.
Note that the (so-called) MDFI Matrix cannot schematize habitual flexibility.