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Addressing Challenges Latinos/as Encounter with the LIBRE Problem-Solving Model



Norma S. Guerra

Written for educators and professionals, this book examines the cultural challenges Latinos/as encounter as they move from one social setting to the next. Problem solving is presented as a skill, strategy, and protective factor in the development of resiliency and self-efficacy. This solution-oriented approach facilitates Latino/a personal and professional development in processing the unexpected. The book introduces the LIBRE Model problem-solving activity as the tool to negotiate positive change by (1) affirming cultural competency, (2) supporting self-regulated decision making, (3) monitoring self-engagement styles, and (4) developing resiliency toward smoother transitions. The goal is to provide the reader with partnering tools that will empower Latino/a engagement, personal management, and  active self-agency in managing decisions, challenges, and choices.
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Chapter 2. Problem-Solving Theoretical Framework


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There is strength in the awareness of vulnerabilities and in the willingness to explore positive, supported change.

Problem solving is an activity requiring specific skills. The LIBRE (Listen, Identify a challenge, Brainstorm options, Reality-test, Encourage) Model is a problem-solving approach designed to process troublesome social interactions (Guerra, 2007). The LIBRE Model may involve an administrator that is prepared to assist the participant in slowing the differential processing to allow for the social cognitive conversation to unfold. As the participant is invited to Listen and list what is on her mind, she is providing an environmental picture of what is occurring within her worldview.

An example is Adam, a young Latino university student. In his third year in Electrical Engineering, he feels quite accomplished with his academic skills but is feeling overwhelmed with all that is going on outside the classroom. As a trusted mentor and sponsoring instructor of his student organization, Adam comes to you for help. Since you know Adam well in his role as the president of the Student Electrical Engineering Organization, you are quick to assist, but because you are not a trained counselor, you are also careful to explain that you can assist with problem solving with him; however, you are ← 11 | 12 → also prepared to refer him to a counselor if a critical need is identified. Adam agrees and you begin by going over the ground rules.


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