I Can Problem Solve (ICPS)

Formally called Interpersonal Cognitive Problem Solving (also ICPS), is an evidence-based, universal primary prevention program that helps children, as early as age four, learn:

Perspective-taking – awareness and sensitivity to people’s feelings

Alternative solution thinking – ability to generate a variety of solutions
to interpersonal problems


Consequential thinking – ability to recognize the impact of one’s behavior
upon others, in light of what might happen next

In addition, beginning at age eight, ICPS helps children learn more sophisticated thinking skills such as:

Recognizing mixed emotions – ability to feel opposite ways about
the same thing


Understanding motives – recognition of various possible reasons people
act the way they do


Means-end thinking – ability to plan sequenced steps toward a goal,
recognizing obstacles that might interfere with reaching that goal
and that it takes time to reach a goal

By teaching children how to think, not what to think, the program changes thinking styles and, as a result, enhances children’s social adjustment, promotes pro-social behaviors and prevents negative, impulsive and withdrawn behaviors.

Program Targets

ICPS was originally designed for use in preschool and kindergarten, and has now been successfully implemented with children up to and including grade six. The program has been successfully implemented with Caucasian, African-American, Latino, American Indian and Asian children in the U.S., and with children in Greece, Brazil, India, Korea and Israel.