Problem Solving Treatment

About PST

Problem Solving Treatment (PST), also known as Problem Solving Treatment – Primary Care (PST-PC), is a brief, evidence-based approach that is effective with a majority of patient populations, including patients of many different cultures. PST teaches and empowers patients to solve the here-and-now problems contributing to their depression and helps increase their self-efficacy. 

As part of a treatment plan, PST typically involves six to ten sessions, depending on the patient’s needs. The first appointment is approximately one hour long (this can be split into two separate ½ hour sessions if scheduling an hour is difficult) because it includes psychoeducation and an introduction to the PST model. Subsequent appointments are 30 minutes long.

Psychotherapy plays an important part in a patient's treatment plan, given patient preferences and the limitations of antidepressant medications. Organizations implementing an integrated care program should have capacity to offer an evidence-based psychotherapy such as PST. PST sessions are billable as psychotherapy visits and can be provided by a variety of certified health care providers.

Get Certified in PST

The AIMS Center offers two tiers of PST training for licensed clinicians: a shorter Course in PST (Tier 1) and full PST certification (Tier 2). We encourage clinicians to pursue Tier 2: PST Certification, as skill-based practice and expert feedback are important to meeting fidelity standards. Notably, the evidence base for the effectiveness of PST has been demonstrated using clinicians at this level of clinical skill. Click the links below for more information on the courses. 

Please note that the New York State Office of Mental Health will subsidize up to 12 trainees to take either of these courses for half of the usual fee. The costs outlined below reflect this. 

Tier 1 - A Course in PST

A Course in PST consists of a series of online modules introducing PST principles, followed by 6 monthly case presentation calls.

Cost for New York State trainee: $412.50 (regularly $825.00)

Tier 2 - PST Certification (Recommended)

PST Certification involves interactive online modules followed by individual phone-based practice sessions, 6 monthly group case presentation calls, and in-depth expert feedback on application of clinical skills based on session audiotape review. 

Cost for New York State trainee: $712.50 (regularly $1,425.00)

Continuing Education

The University of Washington AIMS Center is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education (CE) for psychologists. The AIMS Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Participants are eligible for 5 CE credits (for Tier 1) or 8 CE credits (for Tier 2). To recieve credits participants must attend the entire course and pass a learning evaluation. The CE credits can be used by most licensed mental health providers, including psychologists, clinical social workers, professional counselors, and marriage and family therapists. Clinicians should check their specific state requirements to confirm that credits awarded by the APA apply to them.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Information 

The following author and planner has indicated they have a relationship to disclose:

Anna Ratzliff, MD, PhD
Disclosure: Royalties from Wiley Publishers
This financial relationship has been mitigated.

There are no other relevant financial relationships for anyone who was involved in the planning or who had control of the content of this training.


To register for one of these courses, please email the AIMS Center Behavioral Health Skills Training team at to ensure that you receive the subsidized price, if spaces are still available.