Topic 1: Social Learning & Cognitive Theories {by 1/19}

There were multiple readings due last week (Bandura) and this week (Ellis & Harper; Meichenbaum; Lazarus & Folkman).  For this discussion, share at least three thoughts: (1) In your own words, explain your understanding of Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy?  How are these constructs related to CBT?  (2) What are a couple examples of how Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is both similar to CBT and different from CBT?  Explain each thought.  (I realize you are still learning the basics of CBT – give it your best shot based on what you do know.)  (3) Share your understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” and its relevance to modern CBT.


Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 1/19.  Have your two replies posted no later than 1/21.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

63 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tiana Faulkner
    Jan 13, 2023 @ 22:23:37

    My understanding is that Bandura believed for reciprocal determinism that the environment influences how a person thinks and feels, which in turn influences their behavior, which impacts the environment, and they all influence the other. Also, the concept of self-efficacy to be fundamental. It is your belief in your ability to be successful in a particular situation. The thinking being that self-efficacy can impact many different things like behavior and motivation and can also determine a person’s way of thinking, behaving, and feeling.
    Both approaches, CBT and REBT, work to acknowledge distressing and illogical beliefs and thinking, as well as work to correct them. They also try to identify the emotional responses that are negatively affecting the individual and explore the basis of the emotions, thoughts, and beliefs. They both rely on homework and outside work, therapeutic relationships, and the use of these skills to create healthier habits, behaviors, and emotional responses. REBT works more towards acceptance and changing an individual’s negative worldviews and beliefs. It also is a bit more directive and instructive, working more with low self-esteem and encourages self-acceptance. CBT works more towards self-discovery prompting clients to think about what they have done, did do, may do, and why.
    Internal dialogue is seen as the conversations we have with ourselves. If we have a negative internal dialogue, it can affect behaviors, thoughts, confidence, and mood. CBT works to promote the self-discovery, work through thoughts and emotions, and boost self-esteem. If an individual has a healthy and positive internal dialogue, that is more likely to benefit overall mental health. CBT can work towards creating a healthier internal dialogue to boost self-esteem and overall mental health.


    • Maria Nowak
      Jan 17, 2023 @ 19:25:28

      Hi Tiana!
      I agree with how you mentioned REBT is more directive and instructive compared to CBT. I would even go as far to say that REBT can be more intrusive. The techniques that are used to encourage self-acceptance are somewhat extreme in my opinion. For example, there was a technique used called exposure to a feared situation. I read that an individual was put in an embarrassing situation and that it would help them overcome the fear of the situation they were in. I am unaware of the outcome, but I feel doing that could make the individual feel worse.


    • Becca Boucher
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 09:53:41

      Hi Tiana! I enjoyed your description of self-efficacy and how Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy determined that self-efficacy impacts your behaviors as well as your motivation to do things. I found it really interesting in the reading that even if a behavior results in a great, appealing reward that each individual, based on their level of self-efficacy determines if they believe they could complete that task or not. Therefore, self-efficacy play a role in determining our behavior not just the rewards we could gain. It’s obvious, because no matter how much money I could receive for running and completing a marathon I know I would not do it because I know my limitations, and my self-efficacy tells me that no matter how hard I worked I would not be able to run a marathon. Therefore, even though the reward is tempting, my self-efficacy would help determine my behavior.


  2. mikayladebois
    Jan 16, 2023 @ 20:02:05

    My understanding of reciprocal determinism at the basic level is that the influence of the environment on the person and the influence of the person on the environment is not a fixed effect. Both influence each other which will in turn change how they each act. The fluid nature of this relationship makes researching and defining these concepts difficult, but also very important. This relationship is somewhat circular but also implies that the person still has the power, the “freedom”, to make changes, which is far from predetermined. This will impact the behavior of the client which is an integral piece of CBT and effective treatments. Self-efficacy and the related theories of motivation and behavior change explains how the individual chooses to participate in activities or attempt to get better at something. These both have to do with CBT because they describe human behavior and why we act a certain way in our environment. Reciprocal determinism would shed light on why some people develop maladaptive tendencies and worldviews. If they start to expect the worst from their environment, their actions may perpetuate such worse-case scenarios, further providing confirmation of their expectations. Self-efficacy and one’s sense of mastery over certain activities would relate to the confidence of the client which in turn will impact the client’s esteem and view of themselves as a person. Having low expectations for yourself and believing that you won’t be good at whatever you do can seriously affect the client in their daily life through their thoughts and emotions, both of which are also key pieces of CBT.
    REBT is similar to CBT in some of the ways that it perceives several concepts such as negative thoughts and emotions. Both therapies understand that emotions can come from thoughts and thus can be changed by them as well. This is the very basis of the “rational emotive” part of Ellis’ therapy because it relies on changing how one thinks of events or potential futures to produce a more conducive or less debilitating emotion and mental state. This is very similar to the reframing done in CBT in which the same event is looked at from a different perspective in order for the individual to feel better about what happened.
    Also, Ellis explains that a central goal of REBT is to teach the client how to think in a way that will lead to being able to fix their own thoughts. The therapist is not there to solve every one of the client’s issues, though they may need to show the client how to best approach their issues at the beginning. CBT is also not meant to be a lifelong crutch for the client, but rather it is teaching the client skills and strategies that can be used after they have terminated with the counselor.
    One key difference between the therapies is CBT’s inclusion of behavior and REBT’s omission of it. CBT uses one’s behavior as a starting point for therapy and an indication that something needs to be fixed. REBT focuses almost solely on the emotions and cognitions of the individual. The ultimate goal of CBT is to change the client’s behavior and improve their lives, which is sometimes accomplished by changing one’s worldview and thought process first, but eventually, it should return its focus to the behavior of the client. REBT may also result in a behavior change, but that would be a happy side effect of changing one’s thoughts and feelings.
    Meichenbaum’s take on the internal dialogue fits well into modern CBT despite being somewhat critical of Beck. Meichenbaum describes the way that one’s speech in their mind has an effect on their actions and emotions. This is repeated in CBT in which one of the foundational principles is that behavior, thoughts, and feelings are interrelated. Meichenbaum understands that the internal dialogue of a client can impact the same functions that therapists look to change when they are treating a client, specifically the cognitive structures of a person.


    • Taylor Poland
      Jan 18, 2023 @ 17:12:20

      Hi Mikayla,
      I think that this blog post was great; everything was very well stated and you made the idea of self-efficacy a bit clearer for me. One thing that stood out the most was the difference between CBT and REBT. It seems as though there are more similarities than differences between the two types of therapies, but the aspect of behavior is a key difference that sets the two apart. As you said, CBT starts by analyzing problematic behavior and making changes to one’s thoughts to limit the problematic behavior. On the other hand, REBT focuses solely on emotions and thoughts to change the individual’s view of the world and self. Overall, I think your blog post was well done!


    • Whitney Andrew
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 15:06:52

      Hi Mikayla! I really liked your response for this week’s blog post. The way that you described reciprocal determinism as fluid is the way I was visualizing it the whole time and think that is the perfect description for the concept. I agree that this approach is a fantastic way to ‘shed light’ on maladaptive tendencies outside of internal dialogue, because those automatic thoughts are learned from somewhere.
      I really liked how you brought the timeline of both CBT and REBT into the comparison, I didn’t even think to emphasize that they are both supposed to elicit change and then terminate after the change has taken effect.
      This is an awesome response and I picked up on even more things that I didn’t catch from the reading before!


  3. Maria Nowak
    Jan 16, 2023 @ 21:53:31

    Reciprocal determinism describes how behavior, personal factors such as thoughts and emotions, and environmental factors are determinants of each other. For example, an individual’s environment will influence their mood, therefore influencing their behavior. Self- efficacy is the belief of an individual that they are able to successfully execute the behaviors required by a particular situation. For example, an individual with self-efficacy will set higher goals for themselves with the belief that they can accomplish those goals. An individual who lacks self-efficacy has low motivation and does not believe they are able to get through difficult situations.
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) involves efforts to change thinking patterns, changing behaviors, and gaining confidence in an individual’s abilities. Reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy are constructs that are related to CBT. Reciprocal determinism again describes how behavior, personal factors, and environmental factors influence each other and CBT focuses on how to change problematic behavior and thinking patterns. In addition, changing thinking patterns includes the way an individual views themself. A goal of CBT is to become confident in one’s abilities which would increase an individual’s perceived self-efficacy.
    A similarity of CBT and REBT is that they both view cognitive distortions as a feature of psychological disturbance. An example of a common distortion is negative thinking. Both CBT and REBT focus on cognitive restructuring/ changing thinking patterns. A difference between CBT and REBT is that CBT tries to change an individual’s present negative/destructive thinking/behavior. REBT focuses on changing an individual’s negative worldviews or beliefs.
    Internal dialogue can be thought of as when individuals have conversations with themselves. When we talk down on ourselves and treat ourselves poorly it affects our mood and behavior. CBT helps people change their thought patterns. If we have negative internal dialogue, it will negatively affect our mood. If you learn to have positive dialogue it will create more positive thinking patterns.


    • Tiana Faulkner
      Jan 18, 2023 @ 10:05:39

      Hi Maria! I agree with your response completely. There are many more similarities between CBT and REBT than there are differences. However, the differences that do exist are small but distinct. I liked your definition of internal dialogue as well. It is simply the conversations we have with ourselves in our own heads. These conversations have a huge impact on our mood and self-confidence. The higher the negativity, the poorer our self-esteem becomes. This is what CBT is looking to work on and change. These negative thought patterns and negative internal dialogue.


    • Taylor Poland
      Jan 18, 2023 @ 17:57:22

      Hi Maria,
      I agree with the similarities and differences between CBT and REBT that you provided. Although both CBT and REBT attempt to restructure or change one’s thinking patterns, REBT focuses on changing one’s negative world views whereas CBT attempts to change the individual’s negative thoughts/behaviors. I also agree with your explanations of internal dialogue. How one talks about themselves and the world around them directly affects their mood and behaviors. This is something everyone should be mindful of because it is very easy to let one negative comment ruin your day.


    • Whitney Andrew
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 15:14:06

      Hi Maria!

      I love your example for self-efficacy; it really sums up how positive self-efficacy can motivate individuals to perform successfully, whereas a lack of it can really deter a person’s motivation.
      It was super helpful to have a definition of CBT to refer back to when discussing how concepts are related to CBT (I wish I would have done that too honestly).
      Your examples were amazing, especially for showing how a cognitive distortion can present itself as a psychological disturbance.
      This is an amazing response, super clean and concise!


  4. Abby Sproles
    Jan 16, 2023 @ 22:21:02

    Reciprocal determinism is the mutual influence between an individual’s personal factors, environment, and behavior. A child’s outgoing and energetic personality may annoy their parent, causing the child to be reprimanded when they can’t ‘sit still’. In turn, the child behaves in a way that pleases the parent. These transactions are cyclical and the beginning of these transactions cannot be pinpointed. In relation to CBT, reciprocal determinism can inform therapists on various factors influencing a client’s thoughts and behaviors. While people do have some free will over their actions, maladaptive thoughts and behaviors may be influenced by transactions with one’s environment. In addition, Bandera discusses self-efficacy, which describes one’s confidence and motivation in working towards a goal or executing a behavior. An individual with low self-efficacy of going to college would lack the motivation to put in the effort to receive good grades, study, and apply to colleges. In CBT, therapists are guiding clients toward self-efficacy in resolving their personal issues by processing their issues and practicing skills outside of therapy.
    REBT and CBT are similar in the idea that emotions are expressions of one’s thoughts. In both therapies, the client and therapist identify the particular thought patterns that may precede a negative feeling. In order to inhibit these negative emotions, one must challenge their thought patterns and evaluate their validity. In addition, REBT and CBT both contend that these thoughts then influence the way in which an individual interacts with their environment. For instance, maladaptive thoughts of self-doubt may cause social withdrawal. One difference between the two is that REBT almost only focuses on thought patterns. Ellis describes that the stressor itself does not affect the client, but rather the perception and interpretation of the stressor causes distress. In contrast, CBT explores maladaptive behaviors more closely, and discusses their relation to one’s thoughts and environment. When treating a client with substance abuse, the CBT therapist may explore how drug-seeking behaviors may be reinforced by the drug’s effect. On the other hand, an REBT therapist may only explore the thoughts patterns that precede drug use.
    Lastly, Michenbaum’s internal dialogue describes the self-communication with oneself that influences one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Our internal dialogue has many functions, such as influencing the appraisals of environmental stressors. A positive internal dialogue may cause an individual to effectively adapt to negative stressors because the individual has an intrinsic voice of motivation. In CBT, the therapist can improve one’s internal dialogue by identifying automatic thoughts and challenging the validity of these thoughts.


    • Tiana Faulkner
      Jan 18, 2023 @ 10:10:17

      Hi Abby! Your example used to help define reciprocal determinism “A child’s outgoing and energetic personality may annoy their parent, causing the child to be reprimanded when they can’t ‘sit still’. In turn, the child behaves in a way that pleases the parent.” was a great way to explain this theory! It gives an easy and real world example of how this theory plays out. I also agree with your point of how CBT can help change the internal dialogue by looking at automatic thoughts and challenging these beliefs. This is something that makes total sense, however I did not even think of it this way.


    • Lucy Rising
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 10:17:03

      Hey Abby, your example of how a CBT counselor vs a REBT counselor would respond to an individual struggling with substance use really made me think about why Ellis and the other REBT researchers set aside the role of behaviors for so long, because as we saw in the reading, Ellis acknowledges a minor role in behavior and seeking to change it in order to help with maladaptive cognition, but he views that role as non-important when compared to cognition. Despite his criticisms of psychoanalytic theories, he was obviously trained in it and still very influenced by them. Psychoanalysts seek to find the root cause of a person’s destructive thoughts and behaviors in their conscious and unconscious processes in order to draw them out and treat them. For them, the original thought always proceeds the negative thoughts and negative behaviors. We can see this play out in Ellis where he focuses on exploring the thoughts of individuals and taking less importance on the behaviors.


    • Megan VanDyke
      Jan 20, 2023 @ 12:03:05

      Hey, Abby! Your example connecting CBT and REBT to substance use helped me understand how the foundations of each therapy come into play in the real world. I work with individuals struggling with substance use and can see how they can benefit from either treatment. For instance, a therapist using CBT may want to examine how to alter intrusive thought processes and compulsions that lead to seeking out substances, whereas a therapist using REBT may want to focus on the intrusive thoughts and work with the individual on how to rationalize. Either way, environmental stimuli, such as access to purchasing substances, start the chain reaction between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The ultimate goal is to help individuals change how they interact with their environments to live happier, healthier lives.


  5. Esther Konadu
    Jan 17, 2023 @ 15:16:29

    From my understanding, reciprocal determinism is the intersection between a person’s thoughts, behavior, and their environment’s impact on them. And self-efficacy believing in your capability in certain therapy-oriented tasks or goals. Self-efficacy and reciprocal determinism are the early components of the CBT triangle, or rather, this is what the CBT triangle is based on. Connecting that external forces can play a role in what is felt internally and expressed externally through various behaviors is what CBT is known for. Learning how these aspects impact each other, and knowing how to take action towards those specific goals mentioned in therapy, is essentially what CBT is about.
    Ellis’ REBT seems to be more abrupt in addressing a client’s thoughts. While REBT does mention and work on circular thinking, it differs from CBT since the therapist seems to do the work based on the reading. It sounded like Ellis came to most of the conclusions for his clients, while in CBT, the client is supposed to reach the conclusions on their own (with some guidance from a therapist, but not complete overcorrection). A similarity between CBT and REBT is its explanation of emotion. Both of these methods address that emotions are our reaction to what we might be thinking and a response to what we encounter in life. However, REBT does not address behaviors while CBT makes behaviors a known component of the CBT triangle.
    Meichenbaum’s concept of internal dialogue the thought portion of CBT. Internal dialogue is that inner voice commenting or narrating in our minds as we go through life. This running dialogue can be a variety of things, from reassuring to absolutely scathing. The fascinating thing about this dialogue is that it can be shared in therapy, and CBT makes a point of that. Talking about the dialogue and what sorts of remarks are being made can help identify thought patterns that could be harmful or protective to a client’s well-being. This inclusion in modern CBT is why it is a focal point to ask about someone’s thoughts (or internal dialogue) and the impact it has on their functioning.


    • mikayladebois
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 11:48:51

      Hi Esther! I thought your ideas about REBT were great! I agree, the therapy seems to immediately go into the client’s thoughts, I think because of the singular focus on thoughts it is a bit jarring when comparing it to CBT which will also look at emotions and behaviors.


    • Magdalen Paul
      Jan 20, 2023 @ 11:56:12

      Hi Esther! I agree that internal dialogue, and its plasticity, is truly fascinating. When we can identify the nature of our running narrative, or internal dialogue, we can actually work to mold a new conversation with ourselves throughout the day and in certain circumstances. We are constantly “with” ourselves, and therefore internal dialogue seems especially critical to shape in a positive, adaptive “style.” I find CBT interesting in that it can help to adjust the dialogue we listen to and respond to from moment to moment. So neat to think that, just as we can train our bodies to function more efficiently, we too can train our thoughts to function more adaptively, efficiently, etc.


    • Megan VanDyke
      Jan 20, 2023 @ 12:20:37

      Hey, Esther! I’ll be honest, I did not pick up on the idea that Ellis’s REBT does the work for the client, but it makes sense. I agree that REBT seems more abrupt than CBT, but I thought that maybe there was something REBT could pick up on quicker than CBT. However, there’s a reason why we practice CBT more than REBT today and in the long-term, the client benefits more from self-discovery than for the therapist to flat out tell them what is wrong and how to fix it. Thank you for pointing that out!


    • Olgena Pano
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 17:06:53

      Great post and examples! I enjoyed how you described the similarities between reciprocal determinism and CBT and how some of the techniques do still apply today, because as you implied Bandura’s theories and few other ones we are learning about, are still relevant in CBT. For instance, even though that they could be different in the ways their techniques are applied, or/and the way that the individual is centered during the therapeutic process, both these theories describe that there is more than one aspect that affect the event including environmental factors, personal, and behavioral ones.


  6. Whitney Andrew
    Jan 17, 2023 @ 18:34:12

    After reading Bandura’s literature on reciprocal determinism, I understand the concept as a relationship between person, environment, and behavior that is continually influencing each component of the relationship. It is not a linear relationship in that only environment affects person and only person affects behavior, but rather each aspect of reciprocal determinism has equal opportunity to change and be changed by another. Self-efficacy, on the other hand, is the concept of self-belief and whether or not you believe that you can actually be successful. This plays into reciprocal determinism as the person’s beliefs affect their behavior (whether they do something because they think they will be good at it) and the environment (if they do said thing and are successful). This is related to CBT as the person is the focal point and the power lies more so with the person than anything else for change. The narrative of change in reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy is a result of self-belief, determining whether the person will act on a behavior or avoid it because they believe that they can or cannot perform well.
    In the literature surrounding REBT, Ellis describes it as rational approach to changing behavior. The goal of this type of therapy is to undo irrational thinking by replacing irrational thoughts with rational thinking. This is similar to CBT in that the goal of both is a change of thinking, undoing irrational and intensive thoughts with rational and neutral thoughts to help enact change in the person’s life. Both CBT and REBT have a heavy emphasis on repetition, continuing the use of skills over time to form a habit for that person to then lead to an everlasting change in thought. This is performed through homework, a staple of both CBT and REBT, done outside of session. REBT is of course not CBT, and differs in practice. The main goal of REBT is to change the thinking of the person surrounding the world completely, ridding irrational thinking altogether.
    Lastly, the ‘internal dialogue’ presented by Meichenbaum is also denoted by they phrase ‘automatic thoughts’. Internal dialogue is the culmination of thoughts that a person has, with no rhyme or reason and they are more often than not perceived to be reasonable. This concept is relevant to CBT in that a majority of work in CBT to change thoughts and behavior is to work through the negative recurrent internal dialogue that an individual may have.


    • Maria Nowak
      Jan 17, 2023 @ 20:41:57

      Hi Whitney!
      Automatic thoughts can be considered as internal dialogue as you stated. It is so important for an individual’s internal dialogue to be positive. The goal of both CBT and REBT is to change the way an individual thinks. Much of that has to do with changing automatic thoughts from negative to positive. I also believe REBT is slightly more intrusive and that the techniques are slightly more extreme.


    • Ashley Millett
      Jan 20, 2023 @ 15:03:36

      Hi Whitney,

      I really like the point you made about reciprocal determinism being not linear. Every factor; behavior, person, and environment, all have a corresponding role for the individual. I do agree, each factor has an equal opportunity to either change or be changed by one another. I also like how you said how REBT and CBT are the same due to them changing someone’s thinking patterns. Though they can be different in some aspects, both therapies have main goals of changing overall thinking patterns of the individual.


    • Jonas Horan
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 10:33:02

      Hi Whitney! I think its really interesting that you mentioned how CBT and REBT emphasize repetition and lasting habits. I wonder if this is similar or different from the psychodynamic psychology of their day. They both seem to be reacting to what came before them. Maybe they wanted to make their clients more independent than the psychoanalysts?


    • Abby Sproles
      Jan 22, 2023 @ 13:07:16

      Hi Whitney, I hadn’t thought about the connection you made between reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy. One’s motivation is a personal factor that can influence their behavior and interactions with their environment. A client may have strong self-efficacy toward working toward their goals in therapy which in turn, causes them to work hard on completing their homework and practicing adaptive interactions with the people around them.


  7. Becca Boucher
    Jan 18, 2023 @ 08:56:30

    According to Bandura, reciprocal determinism is the theory that psychological function is a continuous reciprocal interaction between personal, behavioral, and environmental factors. There are mutual actions between these three factors during each and every experience- one does not affect the other more or less. Other theories consider an individual’s actions and the environment’s response as two different things, but in Bandura’s theory, they are equally effected by one another. The potential environment is the same for everyone, but personal factors determine each individual’s actual environment. These personal factors are also shaped and effected by the environment, and behaviors. Bandura’s theory of reciprocal determinism is similar to the CBT triangle of thoughts, behaviors and emotions. Similarly to reciprocal determinism, CBT holds that there is a constant interaction between these three factors, and that by changing one, you can have an impact on the others. Therefore, in CBT treatment, especially for disorders like anxiety and depression, there is a large focus on reframing of thoughts. Reframing ones thoughts helps to change the outlook you have on the world and yourself, and then you are better able to interact positively with yourself and your environment, which will help to change your behaviors, and by changing your thoughts, and getting rid of, or quieting negative thoughts, it can help to change the emotions you are currently feeling.
    Self-efficacy, according to Bandura, is required in order for an individual to even pursue an action that they perceive as having a rewarding outcome. Therefore, if you have an outcome expectancy that if you complete a race you get the prize of $100,000. However, not everyone enters into the race because not everyone has the efficacy expectation that they would be able to complete the race. Therefore, even though completing the race results in a large, appealing prize, the presence and strength of one’s self-efficacy is another determining factor as to whether or not an individual tries. Efficacy expectations also help to determine the amount of effort that an individual will put into a challenging experience, because the level of self-efficacy also determines the coping efforts one uses when they have decided that they want to try to achieve a difficult task. So, someone with high enough self-efficacy may enter the race, but the level of self-efficacy they hold also determines how they cope with the difficulties of running the race, and the amount of effort they put into completing the task, even though they really want the prize. Self-efficacy is then strengthened or weakened when an individual challenges themselves and either succeeds or fails to accomplish their goals.
    Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is similar to CBT in that there are systematic and periodic checks to see if the therapy is working. IT is also important for REBT for treatment to be repetitive, experimenting, revising, and practicing. This is similar to CBT. The changes in one’s thinking that are trying to be made in both these treatments do not happen overnight. It takes hard work, and healing is not a linear process for both these types of therapy. It was also nice to see that Ellis acknowledges that although effective therapists can be great at teaching their clients how to think rationally, there is never a time when the therapist can think for the client. This ties into the collaboration aspect of CBT. The therapist and the client are meant to both put in work, but in reality, the only person who can do the important, life-changing work is the client themselves.


    • Grace Ling
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 13:28:03

      Hi Becca, I like that you mention the importance of levels of self-efficacy and how it can determine the likelihood that change will occur. I think another important concept that can go in tandem with self-efficacy is a client’s level of hope as well. A client may have the motivation to move towards change but hope can also affect whether they persevere to meet their goals. I also like that you noted both the adaptive and collaborative nature of REBT and CBT. People are dynamic and new issues may arise in sessions so counselors should be able to adjust with their clients.


    • Alysha Benoit
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 23:04:41

      Hi Becca,
      I think you did a great job providing the example you used for self-efficacy. I agree with your statement that there wouldn’t be people who enter the race because they believe/know they would not have the capabilities or training to do so. Beyond this, they may not have the desire to perform such a task because it is uninteresting to them.
      Additionally, I agree with the way you describe the importance of CBT and REBT through checking in with the client and their progress. This is a major factor in determining if the treatment intervention is working for an individual. To this point, it could be understood that CBT is great when the need to personalize treatment is present.


  8. Megan VanDyke
    Jan 18, 2023 @ 09:48:12

    I interpret the meaning of reciprocal determinism as a person’s thoughts, behavior, and environment continuously influencing and feeding off each other. For example, a hostile work environment can affect a person’s thoughts by making the individual think the job is not what it once was or think critically of the role. In turn, the person’s behavior might change, and they might search for a new job or not perform as well when on shift. These behaviors come back around and can decrease other employees’ performance, teamwork, and morale. Self-efficacy occurs when the individual is confident in their ability to make a behavior change and is motivated to keep executing the desired behavior. One can connect reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy to the CBT triangle, which demonstrates that a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are connected and influence each other, and how consciously making positive changes to one part of the triangle will ultimately lead to positive changes in the different areas.
    Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy also utilizes the CBT triangle, as Ellis describes thoughts, behaviors, and feelings as independent and interactive. We, as humans, tend to have automatic irrational thoughts. However, we can consciously make them rational. REBT emphasizes that an individual has the power to control and alter irrational thinking independently and that the therapist’s primary role in the therapeutic relationship is to help the individual identify and unlock the skill to do so. However, REBT and CBT emphasize two distinct aspects of the triangle. REBT primarily works to change a person’s thoughts, so they do not exhibit irrational thinking, whereas CBT focuses on making positive behavior changes.
    Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” can be defined as talking to ourselves in our heads. When triggered by stress, anxiety, or depression, our internal dialogue responds with negative thought processes, affecting our feelings and actions. Although modern CBT emphasizes behavior change to change thoughts and feelings positively, Meichenbaum’s thoughts on automatic thoughts stress that we must think before we act if we want positive change to happen.


    • Becca Boucher
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 09:44:14

      Hi Meghan! You did a really great job of explaining reciprocal determinism in your own way! I really like your example of a toxic work environment having an impact on the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of an individual that would be different otherwise. I also like how you mentioned that CBT focuses on changing a person’s behaviors as well as thoughts, which REBT does not. I hadn’t considered that. Where Meichenbaum thought that in order to make changes in behavior, you first have to change your thoughts, and in CBT it is usually considered to be the other way around, I wonder which one works best, or if it could really be done either way.


    • rena yaghmour
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 10:25:32

      Hi Megan,

      I really enjoyed your example about the hostile work place because it is honestly so true and I’m sure most of us have been in that position where we end up feeling discouraged. This definitely can go hand in hand with Self-efficacy because as you have mentioned someone in that toxic environment can start performing badly which can later cause them to feel unmotivated or not confident like they once were in that job.


  9. Ashley Millett
    Jan 18, 2023 @ 16:15:25

    My understanding of reciprocal determinism is that each factor of a person’s life interacts with each other. These factors all help to shape the individual’s personality and well-being. Factors that include behavior, personal factors (thoughts and emotions) and environmental factors are included in the individual’s upbringing and current life. Each factor can also play off each other. If an individual has been having a bad day (bad mental health day), their behavior might show it by facial cues, body posture and more. Another example could be that someone’s upbringing (environment they were in) might determine their behavior or thoughts later in life. As the powerpoint has put it, it is one big triangle that is connected via the individual. My understanding of self-efficacy is the individual’s belief that they can have a behavior that is needed for a situation. Self-efficacy can help influence the individual’s goals in life. Self-efficacy is almost like motivation or drive for someone to achieve their goals. It also helps drive the behavior to help the individual achieve that goal. The more self-efficacy, the more determined to achieve the set goal. However, those who lack self-efficacy are more vulnerable to anxiety and depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps the individual learn how to think in a more positive manner. The therapy is designed to help those to unlearn certain patterns that can be detrimental to their overall wellbeing. These constructs are related to CBT because it can help determine the overall outcome of sessions. With reciprocal determinism, CBT can see how each factor can play into a possible unhealthy pattern they are experiencing. CBT can then target that factor and turn it into a healthier pattern. Self-efficacy with CBT can help show how the individual would want to go through their treatment plan. It shows the determination of the individual during sessions.
    Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy helps the individual learn how to help their overall emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in a healthier way. This is similar to CBT. Both CBT and REBT help the individual turn their negative thoughts into more positive thoughts. They both try to help the individual change their overall outlook into a more positive and realistic way rather than negative. According to the powerpoint on the lecture, CBT and REBT agree that cognitive distortions are a feature of psychological disturbance. Some may include all or none thinking, jumping to conclusions or focusing on the negative. A difference between CBT and REBT is the idea of who is the therapist. With CBT, the client will act like their own therapist while with REBT, the therapist will guide you rather than letting them “lead the way.” Automatic thoughts are used to describe internal dialogue because thoughts seem to be automatic and used rapidly in an individual. Meichenbaum was able to use the two to help describe someone who might not be able to “shut their brain off.” An individual might continuously keep thinking to themselves until sometimes, they do not want to think anymore. It can be relevant to modern CBT because sometimes, it can lead to someone wanting therapy. If someone wants to stop with negative internal dialogue, they will be able to use CBT to help change it to a more positive internal dialogue. CBT also allows the automatic thoughts/internal dialogue to slow down if they are having a negative impact on the individual.


    • Emily Forde
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 12:41:13

      Hi Ashely! I agree with your point that reciprocal determinism can shape an individual’s well-being. I think it is important, especially in CBT, to understand the effect of multiple areas and factors of someone’s life so the ‘problematic’ area can be properly identified and worked on in therapy. I like the example you provided about someone’s bad day appearing through facial cues or body language. This example shows that there are several ways our emotions can affect us and be presented as and be observed by ourselves and by others. I agree with the several similarities you pointed out between REBT and CBT. However, I feel as though even in CBT, the therapist still acts as the therapist, through educating and demonstrating how the client can help themselves in the future.


  10. Taylor Poland
    Jan 18, 2023 @ 16:58:15

    My understanding of Bandura’s reciprocal determinism is that a person’s thoughts, emotions, and environment are all interconnected. There is a continuous cycle of reciprocal interaction between behavioral, cognitive, and environmental influences. For example, one’s behavior is influenced by the environment, but the environment is partly a person’s own making. CBT is similar to reciprocal determinism because of the give-and-take interactions between the components. the three components of CBT are thoughts, emotions, and behaviors which are all connected and influence one another. In addition to reciprocal determinism, Bandura also discusses self-efficacy. Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief and confidence in achieving a goal. If an individual has low self-efficacy, they will likely avoid a situation or task because they believed they would not be successful. Within CBT, a clinician helps the client toward self-efficacy by finding root causes of underlying issues that may contribute to their doubt.

    Ellis’ Rational Emotive Bahvior Therapy (REBT) shares some similairites with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). One similarity between the two types of therapy is the use of work between sessions. In REBT, the clinician gives the client concrete homework to complete before the next session. Some examples of homework included in the text were taking more risks and not getting upset at their failures. From my understanding, CBT also implements homework assignments between meetings. The homework assignments may be used to reinforce a skill or behavior worked on during the sessions. The use of homework allows the client to practice the desired skills and figure out what is effective and what method is not. REBT and CBT both want their clients to become self-reliant. REBT encourages people to help themselves and not rely too much on what others can do for them. REBT wants the client to think for themselves which leads to independence. In a similar vein, CBT encourages clients to positively change their ways of thinking to in turn change their behaviors. By changing one’s thoughts and behaviors, one is less likely to rely on external factors such as medications or physicians.

    My understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” is that one’s inner speech directly affects one’s emotions and actions. This corresponds to Beck’s model of CBT as it is believed that one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are all connected and what we think affects the way we feel. However, Meichenbaum disagrees with Beck’s claim that individuals always think before they act. Meichenbaum believed that one does not think before acting when the actions are habitual or redundant. However, Meichenbaum stated that if one wants to change a behavior, then the individual must think before they act.


    • Melissa Elder
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 09:47:35

      I really enjoyed reading your post. You brought up some great points about the similarities between Ellis’s REBT and CBT. Homework for in-between sessions is so important as you said. Relating to Meichenbaum disagreeing with becks claim about individuals thinking before they act, I understand how sometimes we do things without really thinking but I am not sure what I really believe, I wonder what your opinion is?


    • Jonas Horan
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 10:58:49

      I really like your post! I also noticed that both CBT and REBT have an emphasis on “homework” activities, as well as their emphasis on client independence. My impression is that the two methods were more similar than they were different, although Ellis’s personality seems fairly unique!


    • Abby Sproles
      Jan 22, 2023 @ 13:29:47

      Hi Taylor, Your description of reciprocal determinism was very helpful! It’s crazy to think that our thoughts and behaviors can change the environment, and in turn reinforce our thoughts and behaviors. For example, depression is an internalizing disorder characterized by negative, self deprecating thoughts. These thoughts can cause someone to socially withdraw or believe that others look down on them just as they do. In turn, these negative interactions with the environment can become self fulfilled when others begin to distance themselves from the person because of their negative demeanor.


  11. Jack Halliday
    Jan 18, 2023 @ 17:40:22

    Reciprocal determinism highlights the connectedness between individuals and they’re environment and the reciprocal nature of that relationship. The personal and behavioral characteristics of the individual influence the environment and the environment influences the behavior of the individual as well. This relationship is inherently cyclical, so pinpointing a start or an end to the changes is impossible. This framework is relevant to CBT because it can help inform the clinician, and in turn the client, about driving forces that are impacting their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They also share a cyclical nature and an inability to discern a start or end point, and they both emphasize that all factors are equally important. Bandura conceptualized self-efficacy as the necessary force for an individual to pursue a rewarding outcome or behavior that will reward them. An important aspect of self-efficacy are expectancy outcomes. If an individual is not confident in their ability to complete the task, then they will not pursue that behavior, this expectation regarding their ability to complete the task is thought of as the expectancy outcome. Self-efficacy is relevant to CBT due to its client focused nature. My basic understanding of CBT has shown that it is a very client-focused therapy that involves a significant amount of work on the client’s side. If an individual does not have a high degree of self-efficacy, then that needs to be addressed before they will be able to be successful in CBT.
    Ellis’s REBT seems to be focused on thoughts, specifically irrational thoughts, and the process by which you replace them with rational thoughts. This is a similarity between REBT and CBT, as they are both focused on having more constructive thought processes due to their impact on the individual and their behavior. Despite this similarity, a difference between the two is that CBT is more focused on the influence these thoughts have on behavior, whereas REBT is more focused on simply the thoughts.
    Michenbaum’s conceptualization of an internal dialogue is the voice inside our head that influences our behavior, thoughts, and emotions. The internal dialogue mostly presents itself by way of conversations that we have with ourselves. Its relevance to modern CBT is focused on the relationship between out behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. Since the internal dialogue influences these three, and CBT focuses on taking more control over them, then naturally the two share overlap. By having more control over one’s internal dialogue, then that person can in turn have better control over their behavior, thoughts, and emotions.


    • Esther Konadu
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 13:56:23

      Hi Jack,

      “Cyclical” is probably the best adjective to describe reciprocal determinism. Each aspect revolves around the other, demonstrating how intertwined it is. By applying this to CBT, it reminds us that we should look at our clients wholly and not just in separate parts. Understanding the entirety of a person can make therapy or any other treatment more personalized and worth it.


  12. Lucy Rising
    Jan 18, 2023 @ 18:14:47

    From what I understand, reciprocal determinism is the process of how our actions in the world influence the world and its responses to us. How our environment interacts with us influences how we think and behave in response, but also how we think and behave influences the conditions of our environment, and this process can act as a sort of self serving closed loop of influence. What do I mean by that? Say that an individual has the maladaptive core belief that no one likes them and that they are unlikable. This person is going to behave in a cold and more depressed manner toward others because they do not believe they are going to be accepted by them. In turn, this person’s peers are not going to want to reach out and befriend this individual because they are socially cold and distant with them and do not attempt to reach out and be a part of the group. This exclusion then reinforces the maladaptive belief in the individual because their environment is proving their belief to be true.
    Self-efficacy refers to one’s belief in oneself to engage in a particular behavior or goal. Self-efficacy also has this cyclical nature to it, in that one’s belief in oneself to complete an act makes them more likely to be able to do so, and a lack of self-efficacy makes it more difficult thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. A client who believes that they can change their maladaptive cognitions and behaviors is more likely to engage in and benefit from therapy than a client who does not believe in themselves.
    Ellis’s REBT is similar to CBT in that it focuses on maladaptive thinking patterns and strives to break a client out of that by means of cognitive restructuring. The aim is to target destructive thinking and core beliefs and help the client to break out of these patterns and to think in a more productive manner. As the professor stated in the online lectures, how REBT and CBT differ is not so much in the content of their beliefs, but in the execution of them. CBT focuses on both the cognitions and behaviors of a presenting individual, whereas REBT emphasizes solely the cognitive element. Ellis makes a point to single this out and state that while changing behaviors can have an effect on mood and cognition, it is not that prevalent and that a focus on cognition is more pertinent and effective.
    Internal dialogue refers to the internal process on how we evaluate, judge, and interpret both our own feelings and actions and the world’s interaction with us. The examples in the reading (like the two individuals who performed poorly on an exam) show how even when presented with the same internal or external stimuli, different individuals can have completely different internal dialogue processes in response (one student chose to internalize their failure whereas the other chose to externalize it). I see this relating to CBT in that it exemplifies how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all interconnected in how we cognitively respond and behaviorally respond to stressful stimuli.


    • Magdalen Paul
      Jan 20, 2023 @ 11:45:54

      Hi Lucy! I like your example here of a maladaptive core belief. The belief that no one likes you / you are unlikeable can spiral into a self-fulfilling prophecy if unaddressed. Thinking no one likes you, as you explained, would likely cause you to act distant and removed, which only further isolates you and likely makes you less approachable to people around you. As a result, people may act in a way that supports your belief that people do not like you, although this belief is likely not true at all. It is interesting how closely our thoughts connect to our actions, in such a way that the environment may feed off of and use your actions to unknowingly support your thoughts…and the cycle continues. Therefore, imagine how powerful it would be to adjust this core belief to one surrounding how likeable you are as a person. Your whole world can shift!


    • Ashley Millett
      Jan 20, 2023 @ 15:12:41

      Hi Lucy,

      I really like your definition about reciprocal determinism. It gave me a better understanding of the word! I also like how you followed up with a definition to help further explain your understanding of the definition. With self-efficacy, I also agree on what you have said. If the client has high self-efficacy, they will be able to change their overall behavior. They will then be able to be more engaged in sessions and will have a drive to complete and change for the better.


    • Stephanie Lugo
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 23:22:19

      Hi Lucy,

      I really liked the way you defined and explained the definition of reciprocal determinism. I really like the example you used as well and it better helped me understand the definition. It’s clear that the environment affects an individual, especially if it is a negative environment that they are living in. The one thing people rarely think about is the fact that individuals also impact the environment in drastic ways. Negative thinking and actions will only bring in negative emotions that will impact how that individual lived their lives. The opposite is true for positive thinking and actions.


  13. rena yaghmour
    Jan 18, 2023 @ 18:18:05

    My understanding of Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism is that not only a person’s behavior is influenced by their environment but their environment is also influenced by their behavior. With this, Bandura goes on to explain that an individual’s environment has an effect on how the individual thinks and feels, which determines their behavior, later impacting their environment. Self-efficacy in the concept of self-determination and the belief the individual has in themself to successfully accomplish their desired goal or not. Self efficacy also helps determine the effort individual’s will put in and how long they are willing to overcome the obstacles in order to reach their goal at potentially bettering something in their life. Both reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy are related to CBT because with reciprocal determinism this allows the individual to become aware of how their surrounding may be influencing their thoughts and with self-efficacy it will determine whether the individual is willing to put in the effort to work towards their set goals or not. With CBT, therapists are typically helping the client increase their self-efficacy and help them work on their goals and shifting their negative thoughts and behaviors to more positive ones.
    REBT and CBT are similar in ways that have to do with working on negative thoughts and emotions. However the difference between the two is that REBT focuses more on the secondary disturbances and how an individual’s thoughts about something rather than the things itself is what affects their feelings. Whereas CBT focuses more on the root cause for all thoughts and works to change one’s thought process. In addition, CBT focuses on the idea that if an individual’s feelings change for the better it is because they changed their way of thinking and behaving.

    My understanding of Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue is how our communication with ourselves has an impact on our emotions and behaviors. Throughout our days we have internal conversations with ourselves that can either be negative conversations or positive ones. They can also be motivating or unmotivating. Because our internal dialogues can be negative CBT is very relevant in the help of adjusting these thoughts. Therapists typically use CBT to work with their clients on shifting their negative thoughts into more positive ones.


    • Emily Forde
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 12:45:18

      Hi Rena! I really like how you explained self-efficacy and that it can help to determine how much effort the individual is willing to put in. I think effort is a main point in self-efficacy because it can serve as a predictor of motivation and how much the individual actually wants to overcome the obstacle or complete the task at hand. I agree with your point that self-efficacy is utilized in CBT to identify if the individual is putting in effort to work towards their goals. If an individual is not putting in effort, I feel as though it would be important for the therapist to dig deeper into that and why the effort is not being observed, as it would likely hope very important information that could help the individual progress.


  14. Olgena Pano
    Jan 18, 2023 @ 23:28:46

    1) First, when reading the term Bandura used: “reciprocal” I was expecting that this theory would relate with elements that were joint and equal contributors/determinants to one another. After listening Dr. V’s video lectures and readings I understand the definition and meaning of reciprocal determinants as the interaction of all these elements that involve personal and environmental determinants, as equally important regarding an individual’s psychological functioning. Based on the lectures, I understand that neither one of these components is determinant toward a person’s psychological functioning without the reciprocal/mutual influence of the other.
    On the other hand, listening to the lectures, I understood that beside being the core of our belief on doing what it is meant to do on certain situations, self-efficacy is a crucial element that affects the behavior and goals that an individual sets for him/herself. Similarly, these concepts are related to CBT, because they are focused in more than one aspect that affects an individual’s psychological state. These elements that involve the interaction of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors’ affects are linked to one another and important to recognize when helping and identifying client’s concerns.
    2) Currently learning more about CBT, my understanding is that this approach is focused more on the modern approaches compared to the other cognitive therapies, including REBT. However, similarly to REBT, one of the CBT main focuses is exploring the individual thoughts to evaluate how these thoughts are affecting his/her emotions and behavior. Also, similarly to REBT therapy, CBT focuses on tracking negative patterns of thoughts that are impacting other aspects of an individual, in order to change them. However, listening to the video lectures and doing some more research about Ellis’s REBT approach I noticed various differences such as; while CBT a more client centered approach where the therapist works collaboratively with the client to change these negative thought patterns, REBT is focused more on directly changing cognitive distortions linked with “irrational” thoughts that an individual is experiencing.
    3) My understanding of Michenbaum’s internal dialogue is the importance of our internal conversation (talk) we have with ourselves in our minds. Therefore, based on the nature of these thoughts (positive or negative) our emotional state, and behavior is affected. Consequently, when being aroused by a pattern of negative thoughts, the individual has a higher probability of experiencing anxiety.
    In my opinion, Michenbaum’s internal dialogue is relevant to CBT because one of the main elements of both these theories is focusing on reconstructing the negative views that an individual could be experiencing toward oneself. For instance, by reconstructing and working on changing these thoughts into more positive views, the individuals emotional and behavioral aspects would positively be affected, and their anxiety levels would decrease.


    • Melissa Elder
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 11:31:22

      I really liked that you added in what you were expecting reciprocal determinants to mean and then go on to explain your understanding after reading and watching the lecture. I did not know what this theory would have consisted of prior to reading but was not surprised to find out it involved the influence we have on our environment and behavior and visa versa. I agree that it is very important to evaluate the interactions between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors within counseling as that will help discover how and where to make changes for the client. I liked you were able to get a deeper understanding of the differences between CBT and Ellis’ REBT. I also liked that you pointed out with internal dialogue if we are consistently experiencing negative thoughts, we raise our chances of experiencing anxiety within that moment or day. We have so much control, yet it can be extremely hard to grasp onto the control and make a change within our thoughts which in turn can cause more stress and anxiety within ourselves then necessary, working on changing those thoughts to positive can make a world of a difference. Thank you for sharing!


  15. Gitte Lenaerts
    Jan 19, 2023 @ 09:37:30

    My understanding of Bandura’s reciprocal determinism is that behaviors, personal factors, and environmental factors all interconnect and feed off one another thus affecting an individual. That is that the environment can affect an individual which will then affect the individual’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The same can be said for an individual’s behavior and personal factors. For example, let’s say you are driving and someone crashes into you abruptly. This can create fear of driving for someone which can lead them to no longer want to drive or drive around the area of the car accident. Simultaneously, this can create anxiety and fear with driving and worrying if you were to get hit again. Furthermore, this can create bystanders to have fear that they might get hit or the individual that hit you to have fear and regret that they hit you. Showing that there is an interconnected cycle between behavioral, personal, and environmental factors. This relates to CBT as this focuses on a persons thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
    With self-efficacy, this is the individual’s belief that they can succeed at their goals. Overall self-efficacy focuses on confidence, determination, and motivation while also taking risks to obtain their goal. Essentially their goal is leading them to take the steps and risks to reach that. For example, someone with high self-efficacy believes that they will get their “dream job”. This person has worked hard to obtain the credentials and knowledge of that dream job, they have worked in areas similar to the dream job, they are marketing themselves effectively, etc. Most importantly, they believe that they will get the job. Someone with low self-efficacy may lack the knowledge needed for that job or does not have the knowledge for the job, and so forth. They may believe that they are not going to achieve this goal, which will lower their self-efficacy. Again, this is related to CBT as our thoughts affect our feelings which affect our behaviors.
    As discussed in reading and class, REBT was an early model of what is now CBT. REBT focuses on how thoughts and emotions affect one another. Specifically looking at consequences, irrational belief systems, and activating experiences. The main goal of REBT is to identify and challenge the negative beliefs is aid in their symptoms. Which is extremely similar to CBT. CBT focuses on a person’s negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In the reading, it shared that REBT is multidimensional as it incorporates cognitive, emotive, and behavioral techniques. As does CBT by coping strategies, cognitive restructuring, and problem-solving. However, the difference is that REBT does not focus on behaviors as much as CBT does. REBT primarily focuses on irrational thoughts and emotions and their effect on one another. Whereas with CBT there is a focus on how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors affect each other.
    Internal dialogue is our inner speech or rather the conversations we have with ourselves in our minds. We all have an internal dialogue and it is not always the best self-talk. We may be thinking how we are running late to that meeting and to speed up or how we wish we were home and not at work. There is a point though where the internal dialogue can be negative and spiral. These conversations could sound like; oh I’m running late to that meeting, I cant believe I’m late, they are going to be upset with me, Im not good at this, I’m not good enough, and so forth. These conversations can affect our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, which is the focus of CBT making this relevant. When we think negatively and have these negative conversations, this is going to affect our mood and how we act. With CBT, using different techniques such as cognitive restructuring can help better our internal dialogue and to not have negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.


  16. Melissa Elder
    Jan 19, 2023 @ 09:52:30

    My understanding of Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism is that it is a theory that states people interact with their behavior and environment, and they all influence one another. It is a concept that we are who we are due to our thoughts, behaviors, and environment. My understanding of self-efficacy is that it is the capacity in which an individual holds enough confidence and belief within themselves to accomplish high achievements and/or goals. I believe that reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy relate to CBT in the way that treatment will only succeed if the individual is motivated to put forward just as much or even more work than the therapist. The client is the one in control and the only one that can act on making a change within their life. CBT also incorporates the thought that we interact and influence our behavior and environment, or our environment influences us and our behavior, and so on. This can consist of working on changing outlooks towards factors such as one’s environment, behavior, or self and decreasing or removing negative thoughts which can help change emotions.
    Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior therapy relates to CBT in the way that one’s thoughts and emotions interact and influence one another. Both methods state we express emotions based on our thoughts or even a specific situation we find ourselves in. We can work to help have better control of our emotions by changing our thoughts or environment. However, Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior therapy is different from CBT because behavior is not a factor that is involved within the influence cycle but in CBT it is.
    My understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” is that the conversations or thoughts we have within our own mind impact how we carry ourselves throughout our day. I found this very interesting because I always have referred to the voice inside my head as my “bitch voice” (sorry lol) but it’s true because if I have a negative mindset, it heavily influences my actions, emotions, and more throughout my day. Having the internal dialogue be positive rather than negative can make an individual’s days much easier. Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” is relevant to modern CBT because of the whole idea that emotions, behaviors, and thoughts are all connected and influence our daily lives. I have noticed within myself if I have a negative mindset around something it makes the situation 10x harder than if I went into it with a positive mindset, basically, we are in control and by thinking positively we, in turn, feel happier, act happier, etc.


    • mikayladebois
      Jan 19, 2023 @ 11:57:37

      Hi Melissa, I really like your connection between a client’s motivation in therapy and self-efficacy. I also think it comes down to how much hope the client has to get better, someone who does not see themselves improving their condition would be hard to treat.


    • rena yaghmour
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 10:36:11

      Hi Melissa,

      I agree with your statement about how treatment will only work if the individual is motivated and putting in a lot of effort. In terms with our internal diolugie I think a lot of us have referred to our internal voices as something negative (at least I have). I feel like it is way easier to have more negative thoughts or think negatively in general because we are our own critics. It almost feels like it’s difficult to be nice to ourselves or keep positive thinking at flow.


  17. Emily Forde
    Jan 19, 2023 @ 12:02:30

    Based on Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism, I understand this idea as the interconnectedness of the person and their environment and their constant influence on one another. The person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are influenced by the environment and can influence and change the environment as well. Self-efficacy is the extent to which an individual feels they are capable of being successful in certain situations or with certain behaviors. I feel as though self-efficacy is synonymous with having confidence in oneself. Reciprocal determinism relates to CBT because it involves looking at several factors to determine why an individual is having the thought, emotion, or behavior patterns they may be having. Before CBT works to change behaviors and thoughts, it is important to identify where these behaviors and thoughts are coming from. It is helpful to use reciprocal determinism to identify where the influence is coming from, which can be later used to better understand the individual’s thought patterns and can provide a sense of direction when trying to change them.

    In both Ellis’ REBT and CBT, the clinician works to help the client see certain thought or behavioral patterns as harmful. Further, both REBT and CBT help teach the client how to disrupt these harmful patterns are correct them. In REBT, Ellis presents unconditional self-acceptance, which I view as very similar to the reinforcement of positive skills or qualities by a CBT therapist to their client. In both, the therapist is working to make the client feel better and more accepting of themselves, which will help them to have better self-esteem and self-efficacy. In REBT, Ellis stresses the importance of teaching the client how to solve their own issues, rather than the therapist solving their issues for them. The same is done in CBT and the therapist serves to empower and inform the client on how to better understand themselves and how to help themselves in different situations.

    Internal dialogue, as explained by Meichenbaum, is the form of self-communication we have within our minds that helps us to problem solve and to better understand our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. If we have a positive, understanding internal dialogue, we are more likely to have more positive emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. If we have a negative internal dialogue, we are more likely to have negative emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. In the case of a negative internal dialogue, CBT serves as a way to identify this negative structure and works to correct it to become more positive and understanding.


    • Grace Ling
      Jan 20, 2023 @ 20:41:45

      Hi Emily, I think your statement about self-efficacy being synonymous with confidence in oneself is more closely related to self-esteem. I feel like self-efficacy is more closely related to having confidence in being able to execute behaviors. Self-esteem and self-efficacy are definitely related to each other but self-efficacy seems to have a layer of motivation mixed in to actually carry out an action or behavior. I think it comes down to being confident in your yourself to do an activity vs. being confident that you can actually carry out an action/behavior. I’m not sure if I am explaining this well but that is kind of how I have differentiated between the two concepts.


    • Stephanie Lugo
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 19:00:07

      Hi Emily,

      I really like the way you explained self-efficacy. You make a great point about how a clinician can determine a lot about the client by understanding how they view themselves in all different areas of their life. If a client has low self-efficacy in their job, that could cause anxiety or plain stress in their life. This is the benefit of exploring a client’s self-efficacy because it can lead the clinician in a certain direction to hopefully help the client understand why they feel and behave the way the do.

      I also really like how you explained internal dialogue as an individual’s inner voice. That is exactly what internal dialogue is. We are wired to have conversations with ourselves because they can help us figure out a lot about ourselves and our lives. Using internal dialogue helps us contemplate the past, as well as the future. Plus in CBT looking into a client’s internal dialogue can tell a lot about the individual, as well as a lot about what they are going through and how they are handling these situations.


  18. Grace Ling
    Jan 19, 2023 @ 12:31:44

    Reciprocal determinism can be defined as a tripartite relationship between personal (i.e. thoughts and emotions), behavioral, and environmental factors. Each factor is involved in a transactional relationship such that they interact and affect each other. One factor does not precede another as they continuously interact with each other with the same magnitude. Moreover, each factor affects each other equally. This relates to CBT such that it is a foundation of the CBT triangle in which one’s behaviors are affected by one’s thoughts and emotions. Like reciprocal determinism, the points of the CBT triangle also interact with each other without having a single driving force. Bandura also notes that people are capable of controlling their own behaviors and this relationship is not the only explanation for a person’s behavior. Thus, CBT can provide clients with tools to be more aware of their own behaviors and potentially lead to change. This connects with Bandura’s concept of self-efficacy that refers to an individual’s belief in their ability to achieve a goal or complete a behavior. A connection between self-efficacy and CBT is that CBT can encourage clients’ self-efficacy and the ability to achieve desired change.

    REBT and CBT highlight the importance of maladaptive thoughts and how they can affect a client’s behaviors and emotions. For both therapies, people are capable of altering their thoughts and improving their quality of life. Another similarity between REBT and CBT is the use of homework between sessions. There are efforts from both modalities to practice the skills taught in sessions. This “homework” is used as practice to integrate these skills in hopes of clients being self-reliant and able to manage their thoughts.
    Although REBT and CBT are similar, they differ in that REBT is focused solely on a client’s thoughts and interpretation of a seemingly stressful event. Conversely, CBT examines the interactions between a client’s environment in relation to their thoughts and behaviors.

    Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” can be described as a person’s “inner voice” and the internal conversations one has with themselves. This “internal dialogue” can affect a client’s outlook such that two people who share a negative experience may have different outcomes based on their interpretations of the event. Those with more positive internal dialogues may better adapt to the effects of experiencing a negative event and becoming more resilient. In connection to CBT, a positive internal dialogue may allow clients to be aware of their automatic thoughts and how these thoughts may result in maladaptive behaviors.


    • Olgena Pano
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 16:52:10

      I really enjoyed reading your post, especially how explained Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue, by comparing it to a person “inner voice”. After reading about his theory, made me think more about the importance that it has in the way we perceive events and interpret them in our head. In addition, the nature of this “conversational element” in our head (positive or negative) could have a great impact in the way we behave, and therefore take decisions, that lead us to potential outcomes. (Positive or negative).
      Also, excellent work on describing how this theory relates with important aspects of CBT such as “awareness” that is a very important process of the insight stage where the client starts to realize the origin and the consequences of their thoughts. 🙂


  19. Magdalen Paul
    Jan 19, 2023 @ 14:54:21

    Reciprocal determinism is the idea that the environment is influenceable, as is the behavior it regulates—such that behavior is also influenceable, as is the environment it regulates. This construct implies that though the potential environment is identical for all people, the actual environment depends upon their behavior. One’s behavior and environment affect one another. Further, one’s cognition plays a role in this system. That is to say, behavioral, environmental, and cognitive factors interact with each other and thereby influence one another. This directly relates to another construct of self-efficacy, such that self-efficacy involves cognitive processes. Self-efficacy is one’s belief that he or she is capable of controlling their function in a given task/event/etc. People process and weigh various sources of information concerning their capabilities, and regulate their behavior accordingly. Thus, perceived self-efficacy can help predict one’s behaviors. In further relation to reciprocal determinism, perceived self-efficacy can have direct influence on one’s choice of activities (behaviors) and settings (environments). Thus, self-efficacy plays a role within the greater context of reciprocal determinism. These constructs relate to CBT because they involve an evaluation of one’s thoughts/cognitions as they relate to one’s behaviors. CBT similarly holds that thoughts and behaviors are directly related, and that if cognitive activity is altered or monitored, a desired behavior change may result from this cognitive adjustment.

    REBT is a therapy that views symptoms as the consequences of a person’s irrational belief systems regarding particular activating events or experiences. The goal of REBT is to identify and challenge irrational beliefs at the root of an emotional disturbance. This identification and challenging of irrational beliefs is highly similar to CBT, which also aims to challenge and change distorted perceptions and schemas about one’s experiences/the world. Both therapies assume that by substituting unrealistic or maladaptive cognitions, positive changes in thoughts and behaviors can occur. REBT differs from other CBTs in its philosophical emphasis on emotional disturbance. REBT aims to alter overarching philosophical belief systems about oneself and the world, while CBT focuses on current negative behavior or maladaptive thinking.

    Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue appears highly relevant to modern CBT such that it helps define the thought patterns, whether adaptive or maladaptive, of an individual. These thought patterns, or conversations with oneself, can thus influence one’s behaviors. One example of internal dialogue is that which occurs during stress. For example, for those with high speech and test anxiety, it is not the arousal necessarily, but what an individual says to him or herself about the arousal that can lead to performance debilitated by evaluation anxiety. Automatic thoughts describe the internal dialogue, and are especially influential as they are discrete, autonomous, and typically plausible to an individual.This is one example of how internal dialogue can exacerbate or mediate one’s cognitions in such a way that can lead to a more or less maladaptive response. Thus, as with CBT, one’s thoughts can play a critical role in subsequent behavior.


    • Esther Konadu
      Jan 20, 2023 @ 14:26:53

      Hi Magdalen,

      I agree with your statement about internal dialogue and test & speech anxiety. In my experience, every time I had a presentation in class, I started to go through some internal dialogue about messing up in front of my peers. But in the end, the presentations were received well – contrasting what I had believed to be true before I started. It is amazing to see how CBT makes addressing automatic thoughts a focal point so clients understand what that looks like for them.


  20. Jonas Horan
    Jan 19, 2023 @ 16:16:35

    (1) Bandura’s chapter on reciprocal determinism describes the individual and the environment as being in a constant state of transaction. Instead of focusing only on the fact that the environment shapes the individual, as a pure behaviorist might, Bandura also notes that the individual influences their environment. Although our actions and choices are influenced by the environment, the surroundings and situation that we find ourselves in have already been influenced by our personal characteristics and past choices. For example, we may “activate” properties in the environment, such as social hostility by the way we behave.
    In his article on self efficacy, Bandura discusses how beliefs about our abilities influence the actions we take. It is not only necessary that we have the ability to do something, we also must understand and appreciate our ability in order to act with confidence. Gaining self efficacy seems to be best accomplished by observing oneself succeeding. Watching others accomplish a task can also be helpful, but not as much.
    Reciprocal determinism and self efficacy are important constructs for CBT. First of all, CBT integrates behavioral ideas about prior learning and reflexive habits with an understanding that our choices do matter. The balanced view of reciprocal determinism is a sensible way to approach cognition and behavior. Secondly, self-efficacy is deeply involved with cognition and its translation into behavior. Bandura’s work illustrates how our thoughts and beliefs affect important outcomes through altering our behavior.

    (2) Albert Ellis’ REBT is similar to CBT in various ways, the most obvious of which being its emphasis on how our thoughts affect the way we feel and act. Both methods emphasize the cognitive aspects of mental illness much more than their psychodynamic predecessors. Ellis also mentions that REBT is somewhat “eclectic” in the different strategies that can be used to help people through mental illness. Based on my understanding CBT is similar and has many different strategies and protocols based on the particular needs of the client.
    I’m not confident that I understand the precise differences between REBT and CBT at this point. I will say that Ellis’ style seems much more abrasive and argumentative than CBT therapists I’ve seen. I got the impression that he wanted to literally argue people out of their mental illness and stop them from being so “stupid.” Perhaps this is why REBT is not as common today as CBT.

    (3) Mieichenbaum’s concept of the internal dialogue concerns our inner thoughts as well as the cognitive structures that give rise to them. He discusses how different appraisals of a situation give rise to different emotional responses. CBT endeavors to alter the internal dialogue of individuals with mental illness to try and produce more healthy emotional and behavioral responses.


    • Gitte Lenaerts
      Jan 20, 2023 @ 12:57:33

      Hi Jonas, I like your statement that gaining self-efficacy is best accomplished by observing oneself success. Adaptively, one watching themselves grow and succeed in their desired goals only continues to add motivation and gain higher self-efficacy. With that, I also agree with your statement on Ellis and how he seems to be arguing his clients out of their mental illness. I found the concept of REBT informational and very similar to CBT, but his approach seems a bit more rigid and tougher than Beck’s. With CBT there is more involvement with behaviors which is an important area to focus on as we know our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors all work together. Great post!


  21. Alysha Benoit
    Jan 19, 2023 @ 18:26:03

    According to Bandura, reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy are two different concepts connected to a broader aspect of what we now, can connect to CBT. Bandura describes reciprocal determinism as an individual’s perspective of their thoughts and behaviors within a specific environmental context. Not only do behaviors and thoughts make up the concept of reciprocal determinism, but one’s emotions do as well. Additionally, reciprocal determinism can be defined as a contextual ideology, in that the environment plays a role in the thoughts and behaviors of an individual. Similarly to CBT, the social learning view is composed of three important variables that have a (deterministic) influence on the other(s). As CBT is compromised of one’s thoughts, feelings/emotions, and behavior, reciprocal determinism is made up of one’s environment, how one interacts with that environment, their own personal factors such as thoughts and emotions, and their behavior. In my opinion, it should be best understood that one does not have to come before the other and that they have an intertwining effect on the next, working with one another rather than demonstrating an exact causal effect. As described in the text, “Behavior can create environmental conditions, as well as regulate their impact. Social environments provide an especially wide latitude for creating contingencies that reciprocally affect one’s own behavior” (Bandura, 1977, p.197). Self-efficacy can be described as an individual’s understanding of their own actions and abilities and more importantly, how they respond to the environment they are placed in. Self-efficacy is linked to reciprocal determinism as well as the other way around. However, self-efficacy is important in that it is an individual’s perspective of themselves and their abilities to interact with the environment around them. From my understanding, self-efficacy relates to CBT in a sense of it is a foundation for one’s personal factors like thoughts and feelings, affecting behavior and creating a complex and ongoing relationship with the environment. Additionally, self-efficacy can be described as a cognitive process similar to the constructs used in CBT. For example, an individual’s sense of self-efficacy is a cognitive process that allows them to pursue a goal and follow out with behaviors and thoughts in committing to that goal and the actions that must be taken to complete it.
    Albert Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy can be described as a cognitive approach to providing an individual with insight into their own cognitions regarding themselves. REBT focuses on an individual’s maladaptive behaviors as being at the forefront to change and shape a better life for themselves by changing these thought patterns. REBT differs from CBT in that it is typically a more aggressive approach to therapy than CBT. However, they are similar in the way they both place emphasis on the thought patterns of an individual. Additionally, REBT and CBT are characteristically similar in that the theoretical basis of each describes thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behaviors as a combined concept rather than being separate entities of therapy.
    Internal dialogue can be described as an individual’s cognitive ability in responding to their environment. An individual’s internal dialogue can also be understood as the “conversations” they have with themselves. From my understanding, internal dialogue is more of an innate and immediate cognitive response to stimuli, however, in relation to CBT, if an individual’s internal dialogue involves negative thinking patterns about themselves or the world around them, it could have a negative effect on their feelings/emotions and behaviors.


    • Gitte Lenaerts
      Jan 20, 2023 @ 13:22:41

      Hi Alysha, I agree with your statement that environmental, personal, and behavioral factors do not come before one another but rather it is an interconnected system that can occur at any time and any way. As you mentioned they have an intertwining effect on the next and are all working together. Furthermore, your statement on internal dialogue and how this relates to CBT is important. If our internal dialogue is negative, this will affect our feelings/emotions and behaviors. Which can relate back to reciprocal determination. It is this consistent interconnect cycle, which is why it is important to treat the areas of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Nice job!


  22. Stephanie Lugo
    Jan 19, 2023 @ 19:18:11

    My understanding of Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism is that in simple terms it deals with the influence of the environment on the individual. The environment impacts how the individual thinks, feels, and acts. The individual’s actions than in turn impact the environment. Bandura believes that the impact between an individual and the environment all influence each other. The construct of reciprocal determinism is important in CBT; it helps imply that the individual does have the power to influence all areas of their life, such as the environment that they live in. Knowing the individual’s willingness to make changes to their environment will allow the clinician a better insight into the client’s motivations and behaviors. Knowing these key items about a client will help the clinician determine the best course of treatment as well as the best way to communicate with the client.

    As for Bandura’s thoughts on self-efficacy, it simply regards the individual’s belief about themselves. It’s similar to different theories regarding behavior and motivation. If the individual is motivated and confident in themselves and treatment, they will most likely have quicker progression in therapy. Having a client who has high self-efficiency means they are more confident in themselves and have high self-esteem. If a client has low self-efficiency they will display more negative self-talk and will not display high levels of motivation. The self-efficiency construct is extremely important for CBT. As a clinician, it is important to know how your client feels about themselves and whether or not they are motivated for treatment. If they are not motivated the clinician may need to use different techniques to get them to participate in their treatment. This occurs a lot with clients who are required to be in CBT therapy, unlike clients who seek out therapy voluntarily.

    REBT and CBT are relatively similar but do have a few different characteristics as well. First, CBT and REBT both involve the idea that emotions are expressions of an individual’s thoughts. Both therapies are created to help the client and therapist identify the specific thought patterns of individuals. Identifying the thought patterns can help shine a light on the emotions and possible negative feelings the individual is experiencing. The goal of both CBT and REBT theories is to help the individual change their thinking and behaviors by removing the irrational and invasive thought patterns that are impacting all areas of the client’s life. Both CBT and REBT emphasize repetition, one of the goals of both therapies is to help the client establish routines and habits that can help them. Things such as homework and goals for each therapy session are important with both therapies because it allows the client to continuously work toward future goals and build more motivation.

    On the other hand, CBT and REBT are different. The biggest difference between these two types of therapy is who the “leader” of the therapy is. CBT therapy is most often guided by the client themselves. A CBT therapist is there to help them gain insight into the thoughts and feelings they are experiencing. In no way is a CBT therapist telling the client how they feel. They are there to help moderate the discussion and lead the client in different directions to help them identify why they feel and do the things they do. While in REBT the therapist is the leader of the session. They will gain insight about the client from the questions they ask, then will in turn attempt to help them identify their disturbances. CBT is also focused on helping the client develop strategies to change the way they think and behave. While REBT is solely focused on why the client thinks the way they do. Overall in my opinion CBT is more well rounded and can be implemented to make positive changes in the clients life.

    With my understanding, I view Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue as our communication with ourselves. Everyone has an internal dialogue going on throughout the day. We are thinking about what will happen and what has happened. We even may just be thinking about things we need to do or talking ourselves into doing something. This internal dialogue is essential for individuals as it gives us a way to think and evaluate situations. The problem is this internal dialogue may not always be positive. Internal dialogue can become negative and this can have very negative impacts on the client. The reason it is important for a CBT clinician to understand/explore a client’s internal dialogue is that it can allow us to see how a client feels about themselves as well as their own motivations.


    • Alysha Benoit
      Jan 21, 2023 @ 21:47:45

      Hi Stephanie,
      I think your insight into the reading and discussion topics this week was great. I like how you elaborated on the work that the therapist and client each do in terms of a general difference between CBT and REBT. I think it is interesting to understand how CBT is both similar and different from REBT and other cognitive-behavioral therapies. I also appreciated that you mentioned the importance of a clinician gathering information about a clients internal dialogue and how that may either help or hinder a clients functioning. Nice work!


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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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