Topic 1: Social Learning & Cognitive Theories {by 1/21}

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 1/21.  Have your two replies posted no later than 1/23.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

72 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Althea Hermitt- Mcpherson
    Jan 16, 2021 @ 16:56:37

    (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?

    Albert Bandura utilized the word reciprocal determinism to explain interactions from a social learning standpoint. He postulated that behaviors, environment, and personal factors such as thoughts and emotions mutually and continuously influence each other in various ways and decisively affect how we respond in a given situation or the outcome of that situation. Therefore according to Bandura our thoughts and emotions influence our behavior, those behaviors also shape our environment and our environment can also shape us as an individual. Also, different people may tend to choose different environments or activities to engage in, based on their inherent qualities and ultimately those activities will shape that individual, so each component continues to impact the other. Reciprocal determinism is related to CBT because CBT also focuses on the influence that behavior, emotion, and cognition have on each other. CBT goes a step further to help clients identify and change destructive thoughts that have negative effects on an individual’s emotions and behaviors.
    Albert Bandura’s self-efficacy focuses on a person’s self-confidence or belief in their abilities to accomplish a certain goal, therefore the individual takes command of their own motivation, behaviors, and social environment in order to execute and attain certain accomplishments or outcomes. Self-efficacy is the difference between someone putting forth a lot of effort to accomplish a goal or someone not trying at all. Clinicians must be mindful when dealing with self-efficacy issues to determine if a client has issues with efficacy expectation or efficacy outcome because the client could have great self-efficacy expectation but they don’t believe the behavior will provide the desired outcome they are looking for and therefore will underperform or not try at all as a result. Self-efficacy is related to CBT as it explains why a person might exhibit a certain behavior based on their cognitive conceptualize of the importance of that particular task. For example, people with high self-efficacy will believe they are capable to accomplish a task and therefore they will put forward a strong effort to tackle that specific task, overcome obstacles, and will likely succeed. However, people with low self-efficacy believe they are less capable to accomplish a task and therefore they will be less likely to attempt this task with much effort, allow obstacles to get in the way, and will be more likely to be unsuccessful.

    (2) What are a couple of 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.)

    Similarities Of REBT and CBT
    Both REBT and CBT focuses on how thinking and emotions are interrelated, this mediating position indicates that cognitive activity mediates the response of the individual and thus influence their environment.
    Both CBT and REBT seek to challenge irrational or distorted thinking in order to change behaviors.
    Both REBT and CBT employ a multidimensional approach and include cognitive emotional and behavioral techniques with a goal to change distorted, irrational thinking to realistic desires and adaptive appraisals.
    Both Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck are both from the psychoanalytic school of thought however, they formulated their own model/theories after not being in agreement with how psychoanalytic theorists think about neurosis and depression.
    Both emphasize free will.

    Differences between REBT and CBT
    CBT emphasizes cognitive processes and a more functional view of the problem. REBT, however, emphasizes that humans are born and raised as philosophers and natural scientists who can create meaning and use rational means to predict the future hence it focus on having the client make a profound philosophical change. It encourages a scientific or mystical outlook as this is likely to bring them greater emotional health and satisfaction.
    REBT is the premiers example of cognitive-behavioral approach in the 1960s, hence Becks’ CBT is based on REBT.
    CBT postulate that psychopathology arises from multiple cognitive distortions while REBT views that psychopathology arises from shoulds, oughts, and must.
    REBT utilizes a more confrontational approach, Ellis spoke about “debating, discriminating and disputing” which seems like a more counselor-directed approach while CBT focuses on utilizes a more collaborative approach.
    CBT mentions an internal cognitive structure known as schemas that organize and process incoming information while REBT doesn’t.
    REBT doesn’t focus on self-confidence or self-rating while CBT involves self-efficacy.

    (3) Share your understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” and its relevance to modern CBT.

    In order to cognitively modify behavior Meichenbaum focuses on a client’s self-statements or self-talk which can also be visual according to research. He indicated that self-statements can affect a person’s behavior in a similar form as statements made by other people. Hence he developed a self-instructional training program that is focused on helping clients become aware of their self-talk and the stories they tell about themselves. Internal dialogue is relevant to CBT in that it focuses on these cognitive thoughts and helps clients restructure negative internal dialogue or automatic thoughts that can be irrational or harmful. Hence, the therapist teaches their clients to recognize and challenge these automatic thoughts. This is important because these automatic thoughts or internal dialogue if attended to by the individual can affect the individual’s self-statement, arousal, perception, and reaction to an event or situation.


    • Beth Martin
      Jan 19, 2021 @ 18:36:53

      Hi Althea,

      I was struggling somewhat to find concrete differences between REBT and CBT (I get the differences in concept but they seemed very similar to me!), and your post has helped with that massively – thank you! I liked your usage of the word “mystical” to describe the process/outlook that REBT encourages, because I was getting that vibe too! I just couldn’t put my finger on why it sounded weird to me. I think, despite its research, it seems less scientific/evidence based to me simply due to the more holistic approach it takes, though I’m not sure why. I, apparently, believe that anything using language conveying love and happiness in all areas of life is less empirical than others… I’m apparently rather biased!

      Thanks for your post,


    • Tayler Weathers
      Jan 20, 2021 @ 14:14:47

      Hi Althea! Actually, I disagree with Beth – I don’t think that REBT is mystical at all. Instead, I think it is almost the opposite of that! Mystical thinking, to me, is a way of thinking where you are just in awe that something works, where you do not even comprehend how something works. I think REBT actually pushes that we can know how our brains work, and that we can use that to our advantage: basically, just like the critique by Dr. B., that it is a “bootstraps” narrative! If anything, REBT makes cognitive restructuring seem coconut-on-the-head simple, when in reality it is not. I think it might seem mystical just because of Ellis and Harper’s tone, but in reality I don’t think they see any magic in it at all!


    • Abby Robinson
      Jan 20, 2021 @ 22:56:24

      Hi Althea! I really like how you tied in that self-efficacy with CBT goals and plans. This is really important to note when you are a clinician because understanding your client’s level of self-efficacy will determine the first steps of treatment. It would be hard to encourage an individual with low self-efficacy to have goals to change their behavior(s) when they themselves don’t have the drive to do it. This would be something to look in to during treatment process and goals because as the clinician you’d want to set up the client for success.
      See you in class 🙂


    • Brianna Walls
      Jan 22, 2021 @ 15:28:01

      Hi Althea! Your response to how REBT and CBT are alike and different helped me substantially. I like how you talked about how REBT emphasizes that people are seen as philosophers and this is why the client is urged to make a profound philosophical change. Further, I liked how you also emphasized that CBT is based on Ellis’s REBT. I think that it is important people understand that REBT came before CBT and that a lot of Beck’s CBT concepts came from REBT.


    • Bibi
      Jan 27, 2021 @ 17:54:00

      Hey Althea,
      I really liked the way you explained reciprocal determinism. It is definitely something that I found kind of confusing and I felt like the way you explained it was really helpful in the interaction. Additionally, I liked how you included the part about how people experience different environments and chose different environments based on their personality which in turn then influences them as a person. Overall, I felt like your definition really got to everything that was discussed as important in reciprocal determinism.


  2. Bibi
    Jan 19, 2021 @ 18:04:37

    1. Reciprocal determinism basically means that you impact your environment, but your environment also impacts you. There is a reaction between the two and how you respond in an environment is based on you personally as well as what type of environment you’re in. For example, if you’re extraverted and at a concert, you’re more likely to be dancing around and talking to other people. If you’re more introverted, you might not talk to as many people. If you’re in a setting, such as a library, this will change how you will respond to individuals (screaming and dancing in a library isn’t acceptable, while that behavior makes sense at a concert). Self-efficacy refers to your belief in yourself that you can be successful in your behaviors. For example, it would be a waste of my time studying and being in graduate school if I really didn’t believe that I could be an effective counselor. It is important to take self-efficacy into consideration because it will determine the goals people set as well as how they are going to execute their goals.
    There are several ways that the concepts of reciprocal determinism and self- efficacy are related to CBT. Goal setting and motivation are important aspects of CBT. If you don’t have the self-efficacy to complete the goals set for you by your therapist, then the treatment won’t be very effective. If you simply aren’t motivated to complete the necessary steps to achieve these goals, the therapist might be able to help improve this by raising your self-efficacy and targeting it directly in CBT. In reciprocal determinism, the impact of environment and your behaviors changes how you interact with everything around you. CBT helps you to teach a person how to react with their environment and how these interactions have meaning for who they are. A person can be taught skills that enable to better handle the environment they are in and thus change the way they think about themselves and perceive themselves in said environment.
    2. The purpose of RET is changing the way you think to change your emotions. This is really similar to the basic tenet of CBT in that your thoughts have an impact on your emotions. The key similarity here is that you are taught how to discriminate between the rational and irrational thoughts/ One of the skills used in CBT includes cognitive restructuring which involves specifically taking a thought that you have (for example, if I have a panic attack in public, I won’t get the help I will need and will die) and changing it to better reflect the reality of the situation (If I have a panic attack in public, I will be ok and I won’t die, the panic can’t kill me). The idea here is that the anxiety associated with agoraphobia is driven by the thought that having a panic attack in public is catastrophic to the person. The thought thus creates the emotion of anxiety. In RET, the thought is changed in a different way than in CBT and is instead typically replaced by the thought of the actual experience (from my understanding). Instead, when the person goes out in public and experiences the panic attack, when they do not die as a result, their thinking changes and the anxiety that they once experienced in relation to the thought dissipates. A difference between the two is that RET focuses primarily on changing ones thoughts. CBT includes a larger range of skills it seems to help a person change their thinking AND behaviors.
    3. Internal dialogue seems to be the things that a person thinks that have an impact on behavior (and behavior impacts these thoughts as well). What a person thinks specifically effects how they respond behaviorally to a situation and their affective state. As addressed previously in RET and in cognitive restructuring in CBT suggests that changing negative self-dialogue can help a person decrease their anxiety. CBT focuses on the effect of cognitions on behaviors and the reciprocal relationship. Internal dialogue refers to these cognitions by suggesting that a person is aware of the things they are saying to themselves about the situation.


    • Beth Martin
      Jan 19, 2021 @ 18:41:16

      Hi Bibi,

      I thought your breakdown of reciprocal determinism was really thorough and easy to follow. I agree with you completely on why internal dialogue is so important when it comes to CBT too; negative self-talk, especially when it’s so automatic as internal dialogue is, must have such an impact on a person’s ability to believe they will be successful in therapy! I’d be really curious to see if there’s any literature out there on how it can specifically impact CBT, and if there any particular methods that we could use as future clinicians to help overcome it vs. cognitive distortions of believing all things will go wrong because something else has done in the past. They seem like two distinct concepts (if I’m using that word correctly?) to me, so it seems like they’d need a different approach.

      Thanks for posting! I really enjoyed reading your take on things.


    • Connor Belland
      Jan 20, 2021 @ 21:48:46

      Nice work Bibi, your example of changing your thinking about the consequences of having a panic attack really helped me to visualize the RET idea of changing the way you think about things and is also a great application of it to a real disorder like panic attacks or agoraphobia. I agree that motivation and goal setting is a very important part of therapy but also just life in general.


    • Althea Hermitt- Mcpherson
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 00:02:12

      Hi, Bibi I really liked your explanation of reciprocal determinism to include your example about extroverts and introverts. Also, introverts might not end up going to a concert as well because of the potential that someone might try to interact with them which might be too anxiety-provoking as they tend to prefer minimally stimulating environments. Your example about the library made me laugh as I thought about seeing someone screaming and dancing in a library and the many reactions they would get from onlookers who might be wondering what wrong with him/her. The environment surely does influence how we behave. I also agree with you that with CBT we will be able to help teach clients how to interpret and maneuver their environment, emotion, and behavior.


    • Anne Marie Marie Lemieux
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 23:14:15

      Hi Bibi, thanks for your input. I like the point that you made about reciprocal determinism meaning that people literally can determine their relationship to their environment. I think it makes the point that Bandura thought that we are all capable of free will to some extent. While simultaneous other factors like personality are influencers. The point was brought home again when you mentioned that RET claims that if you change your thoughts it can change your behaviors. It was also tied into the statement you made that CBT can help a person challenge their maladaptive thinking so that they can react in a different way to their environment.


  3. Beth Martin
    Jan 19, 2021 @ 18:32:59

    From what I understand, Bandura thought that reciprocal determinism is a group of three aspects that influence one another; environment, personal factors (such as personality or how a person thinks), and behavior. Environment may affect a person’s behavior, which in turn may impact how they think or feel. All three also influence how a person learns new behaviors and processes by watching others, and then imitating them. Bandura also believed that people are rarely motivated by one of these aspects, but that all of them interact with one another to determine how a person learns and acts. People can choose which environments to put themselves in, or which behaviors to express, which implies that reciprocal determinism allows an individual a choice in their actions and life. This is similar to CBT in that CBT also focuses on how the aforementioned three constructs can impact a person’s psychological functioning, e.g. if an individual is in a stressful environment, they may become stressed, which can lead to a decline in productivity etc. CBT then uses these interactions to help link together processes and patterns in an individual’s life and work on building a “mental toolbox”, to both cope with negative processes and help them overcome maladaptive thoughts in response to a behavior or environment.
    Self-efficacy, on the other hand, is an innate belief that an individual can successfully engage in a behavior or action that will benefit them in a particular situation. Individuals believe themselves capable to a certain extent, and this extent is what governs which tasks and behaviors they engage in, in order to be successful. Therefore, self-belief can determine how an individual lives their lives; low self-belief/efficacy individuals are unlikely to set lofty goals (perhaps even underestimating what they are actually capable), whilst also leading to withdrawal when faced with adversity, whereas high self-belief/efficacy individuals are more likely to set bigger goals and persevere in times of adversity. Self-efficacy is also related to CBT, in that it strives to build an individual’s self-efficacy, so that they believe they can meet goals set during therapy and cope with any difficult situations that may arise in the duration.

    REBT is similar to CBT in that both of them work under the assumption that cognitive distortions strongly contribute to psychological issues and disturbances. Cognitive distortions include fortune telling, where an individual believes that one action will certainly lead to another, all-or-nothing thinking, where one failure or triumph means that they will always fail/win, and focusing on the negative aspects of situations. In turn, both REBT and CBT focus on tackling these distortions, and work on restructuring them into some thing that is more positive for the individual. They both also believe that thoughts and emotions are linked to one another, and inform behavior, and work on altering thought processes. There are differences between the two, however. REBT is more humanistic and philosophical than CBT, seemingly working towards a healthier life outlook than just targeting specific behaviors. REBT also focuses highly on “rational” and “irrational” thoughts, focusing on teaching an individual to identify and challenge irrational thoughts. CBT, on the other hand, does not appear to focus on whether a cognitive distortion is rational or not, and certainly does not encourage “debate” between a therapist and client to determine whether a falsehood is useful.

    Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” refers to the voice most individuals have in their head when going about their day-to-day lives, talking to themselves, making plans, and acts incredibly similarly to dialogues we have with individuals. Meichenbaum states that thinking merely thinking about an action or emotion can impact behavior, such as someone thinking about having to travel when they absolutely loathe it and thus feeling anxious without leaving the room. He believes that this internal dialogue, and how it can impact an individual even when not undergoing stressful/adverse situations, play a large role in behavior, and therefore is important to consider during therapy. Internal dialogue can be automatic, in that we do not seem to have control over it and do not necessarily think on our dialogues before acting. Focusing on this, in turn, can help encourage an individual to pause and think before engaging in a maladaptive behavior, which is similar to CBT. CBT operates under the understanding that emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are linked (as does the internal dialogue), and that, in order to tackle maladaptive behaviors, an individual must also work on their thoughts and emotions. CBT is similar to the internal dialogue theory in another way; both believe that simply thinking about stressful situation can lead to negative emotions and behaviors in an individual. I believe that the inference of a more negative internal dialogue is highly relevant to CBT, in that it is incredibly similar to, and impacts, self-efficacy. If a person’s self-efficacy is low, I believe it would be difficult for them to have positive self-instruction, for example. Therefore, I think it would be extremely important to focus on internal dialogue when working through CBT, in order to get a better sense of how an individual talks to themselves and how it can determine what they believe themselves capable of.


    • Tayler Weathers
      Jan 20, 2021 @ 14:21:35

      Hi Beth! I love your description of Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue – I think you’ve summarized it really nicely! Whenever I think about Meichenbaum, I think about something one of my English teachers used to tell me when studying for the standardized exam: the goal is not to be a prodigy who completely understands every passage on the first read-through, but to have a little “Mrs. Crossley” voice in your head that helps you break it down and understand what is important. I find that Meichenbaum’s term “internal dialogue” fits with this, and also fits with the sensation of thoughts, which do kind of feel like a voice in your head! I think you’re completely right about the impact of internal dialogue on self-efficacy: I imagine a person trying to put together a puzzle while someone yells at them that they’re terrible at puzzles, do they even know what a corner piece is, do they really think *that* is blue, and so on! It would be almost impossible to complete that task (and I feel like I remember studies from intro psych to that effect) – and then imagine that voice coming from inside your own mind! It would be so disheartening, and make it much more difficult to even start the task. Just like parenting, the words we say/think to ourselves do matter!


    • Abby Robinson
      Jan 20, 2021 @ 22:49:46

      Hi Beth, your explanation of internal dialogue is really clear and concise! I like that you brought up the fact that sometimes we don’t think before we act because in many situations, especially if someone has anxiety, they may act completely on their emotions during the situation, even when the situations doesn’t permit that type of response. I found that my understanding of internal dialogue, too, includes that most people will get incredibly strong emotions during these automatic thoughts and will tend to focus more on the emotion rather than the thought that brought them there.
      See you in class 🙂


    • Anne Marie Lemieux
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 23:00:59

      Thank you for your insight Beth. It certainly simplified new concepts for me. I thought that your note that Bandura also believed that people are not just motivated by one influencing factor but the blend of environment, personality, and behavior is an important point. I liked that you discussed the point that people can often create patterns that can create a negative loop of maladaptive actions. That same theme was echoed in discussing Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” when discussing that just a thought can create an arousal or shift in a person. The importance of this was well stated.


  4. Tayler Weathers
    Jan 20, 2021 @ 14:11:19

    1. Bandura explains reciprocal determinism as the interaction between personal (which includes thoughts and emotions), behavioral and environmental determinants. Thus, it is the “determinism,” or system of things being decided or caused, of the interaction of these factors – not any one factor. For instance, if a person is in a supermarket and their parent calls, multiple factors will go into whether they answer or not: if the supermarket is crowded or not; if the person is “in the mood” to talk to the parent; if the person is distracted by something else happening in the store; their goals for being at the store (e.g., are they getting something for their parent or is it irrelevant?), etc. Basically, Bandura is asserting that it is not always as simple as “they hate their mother so they don’t answer” (a personal determinant) or “people tend not to answer the phone at the store” (an environmental determinant). For self-efficacy, Bandura asserts that a person’s willingness or likelihood of doing a behavior depends on their perceived ability to do that behavior and if they believe it will work. In learned helplessness studies, dogs (or rats) began to believe that moving in the cage would not help them escape the shock, and so they did not move – even though they know that they could move and moving actually would have helped them escape. The belief in their ability to escape mattered. I see this as a good representation of self-efficacy because it shows that beliefs do not perfectly always correspond with reality. Another example is a person who is asked to give a speech to raise money for charity: even if they believe that a speech will encourage people to donate and raise money, if they do not believe they can give the speech (perhaps because of stage fright or nerves about writing the speech), then they are less likely to agree to give the speech.
    2. Ellis’ REBT is similar to CBT in a few ways. First, REBT believes that cognitive activity affects behavior, can be monitored and altered, and this change will affect behavior. CBT has this same basic principle of change, and so they are related in this way. Without this cognitive element, CBT would just be behavioral therapy (BT) – and REBT is linked to cognitive therapy, which combined with BT to create CBT. Second, REBT leads to the challenging of cognitive distortions or unrealistic appraisals in order to replace them with more adaptive versions. Like we learned in PSY 600, challenges are integral to the counseling process because without them the client may not notice or have the impetus to change their dysfunctional thoughts/beliefs. For example, challenging a client is essentially the basis of exposure therapy: by challenging the perceived outcome (for example, that if a person gets on an elevator they will be stuck forever) with experience (getting in an elevator that does not get stuck), it forces the person to confront that their belief is not perfect or correct, just like Ellis with the tennis-playing woman. Third, REBT encourages the client to self-monitor their beliefs, so that they can identify what the problem might be. Ellis has many examples of people who learn about dysfunctional beliefs and then continue to challenge them, with the implication that it makes their lives better and more functional. This is just like CBT, where when a person who believes the elevator will crash experiences an elevator that does not crash, it makes them reevaluate other assumptions and beliefs, and consider any new rigid beliefs they might form because of the new lens.
    3. Michenbaum’s internal dialogue is the theory that the words we tell ourselves in our head change our appraisals of and emotions around an event. Functionally, it is a lot like Ellis’ REBT, which asks clients to challenge their thoughts (“I will fail and be seen as an incompetent worm”), and modern CBT. Like in my answer for #2, CBT pushes clients to identify what they think, which is very similar (if not the same) to their internal dialogue. For example, the negative cognitive habit of all-or-nothing thinking. An individual might think that this plane to Detroit is the only plane to Detroit, and that if they miss this plane, they will never get to Detroit, so they will never be able to see their sister, and then she will hate them, because they missed the one plane to Detroit. In reality, this is them giving themselves intra-instructions: “You have to get on this plane because it is the only plane” and then catastrophizing about the results if they do not. The internal dialogue is just a different aspect of the cognitive belief.


    • Cassandra Miller
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 14:17:15

      Hi Tayler,

      I like how in your answer to the second question you discussed the importance of “challenging” in both therapies. Although REBT seems to focus on disputing thoughts (which is a more forward technique), rather than altering them, as demonstrated in CBT, challenging in and of itself is vital to the therapeutic process. Like we learned in our Counseling Principles and Practices course, we must first explore one’s thoughts and feelings before beginning to challenge contradictory ones. However, once this is done it allows the client to process their own cognitions using a different lens, which is very important when looking to further develop thoughts into more adaptive versions.

      I also wanted to point out that I enjoyed your supermarket example. It really allows us to think about all of the factors that go into each of our behavioral choices. I especially liked the personal characteristic you pulled out about possibly “not being in the mood to talk to your parents.” It really goes to show that there is much more than just the environment and behaviors around you that help dictate your behavioral responses. Perhaps, the response would have been different if it was a close friend or spouse calling.


    • bibi
      Jan 27, 2021 @ 17:58:48

      Hey tayler! I love your explanation of REBT. I really liked how you connected it back to Psy 600 in talking about using challenges in therapy. I also felt like your example of using those challenges was really easy to follow and helpful in explaining the concept. I also like how you hit on the idea of self-monitoring. I feel like self-monitoring is a really useful tool that people sometimes overlook because of the challenges that can be associated with it. Now, especially with smart phones, self monitoring seems like such an important tool that is underutilized.


  5. Cassandra Miller
    Jan 20, 2021 @ 20:49:59

    Reciprocal determinism is a very central idea in Bandura’s social learning theory. The idea behind reciprocal determinism is that multiple factors influence an individual’s behavior. These factors include: the individual (including their thoughts and feelings), the environment, and behavior in and of itself. However, it is important to state that Bandura believed that all of these factors do not function independently, rather they all significantly influence each other. These interactions are responsible for the way in which individuals respond to their environments, as well as how they process information. These cognitive processes become very important to Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism because they allow the individual to develop certain self-regulatory capacities such as changing environments, learning cognitive supports/coping strategies, and understanding certain consequences that can occur in response to specific behaviors. Following this logic, there is allowance for some control over one’s actions, which points to a certain degree of free will for the individual over their behaviors. For example, a student may observe that when he and other students call out during class, they lose tickets towards earning their choice time at the end of the day. Although this environment is tempting to talk in, the child may change their behavior to active listening instead of talking out because they understand the consequences of their behavior. In addition, if this child did not like this choice time or had negative thoughts about it, this may change how they respond to this rule in the classroom. Thus, demonstrating how behavior, environment, and personal factors all significantly influence one’s response to a given stimulus in a complex way. CBT is very related to this idea of reciprocal determinism because it evaluates the individual using all of these factors. Furthermore, it focuses on an individualized lens to allow for every person’s diverse experiences, characteristics, etc. By helping the individual change their thought patterns and thus responses to certain stimuli, they are demonstrating reciprocal determinism as that person is overcoming maladaptive behaviors which will have an effect on all areas of their life.

    Self-efficacy on the other hand, has to do with an individual’s belief about whether or not they can successfully perform a given behavior. Furthermore, this does not pertain to an individual’s abilities, but rather their beliefs about their own abilities (whether accurate or not). Self-efficacy can vary in certain areas for individuals, but the more someone has the more goals they set and the stronger their perseverance and commitment is to them. It is also important to note that these individuals with higher levels of self-efficacy are also more likely to utilize coping skills in their own lives because they believe they are capable of using them correctly and they have an increased drive to do so. Self-efficacy is a very important concept in regards to CBT because it helps to increase one’s autonomy and build them up to be able to make progress in working towards their goals. Providing an individual with tools to help influence negative thought patterns and increase adaptive behaviors is so important and building self-efficacy is an important step in this process.

    Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is similar to CBT in many ways. For starters, they both focus on changing beliefs. REBT is centered on rational vs irrational thoughts and our ability to change them and CBT focuses on helping to change negative thoughts and perceptions. Thus, both therapy’s put emphasis on changing certain cognitions that an individual may have to bring them closer to positive change. Although there is more philosophical influence in REBT due to its humanistic approach, it can still be said that both therapy’s have philosophical tendencies. CBT shares this idea that our thoughts have significant power over our feelings and behaviors. This reliance on an individual’s thought is also found in REBT as there is emphasis on changing one’s overall outlook and thought patterns to make their overall behaviors more adaptive. This thought emphasis allows for a certain degree of free-will which is pivotal in the discussion of both of these therapies. One difference between them is the direct approach found in REBT, since Ellis suggests disputing the “irrational” thoughts, while CBT is less direct and focuses more on a modification of the thought. There seems to be more pressure in the REBT approach to directly challenge thoughts that do not appear to be rational, which in my opinion may lead to more conflict with clients (especially if they are insecure or feel cornered). Another difference would be the emphasis on behavioral change found in CBT; there is lots of focus on guiding an individual towards adaptive behaviors. REBT focuses more on an individual’s overall way of thinking, but does not talk as much about the transference of these thoughts to behaviors (once these cognitive distortions are rationalized), although I’m sure it is assumed.

    Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue essentially refers to the conversations we have with ourselves in our own head, as well as the images that pop up. This internal dialogue can be directly linked to our emotions, which is why we can find ourselves becoming sad, angry, etc. during this time. An example of this could be thinking about the last conversation you had with your grandmother before she passed away and then noticing yourself feeling overly upset. Internal dialogue can be very significant, especially if the dialogue we are having with ourselves is of a negative nature. Certain automatic thoughts can trigger emotional reactions to stimuli when we are not even aware of the thought itself. In addition, one’s perception of a situation can influence the internal dialogue that they have with themselves. For example, an individual may feel very anxious when they sit down in class on the first day and no one sits next to them. They can then attribute this feeling to no one liking them (internal factor), instead of thinking about the situation from a different lens; this could be the result of these students also feeling nervous about where to sit on the first day (more externally related to the situation), instead of being directly related to the internal attributes of that individual. These internal dialogues that we have with ourself are very important in CBT as they influence the ways we perceive ourselves as well as how we behave. CBT wants to change these patterns of thinking so that we can express more adaptive thoughts and behaviors.


    • Tim Cody
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 14:55:39

      Hey Cassie,
      I appreciated the example you gave for reciprocal determinism. I definitely had a difficult time understanding this theory, but your example with the child in the classroom clarified some things for me. You were able to pull from all three different sources and factors for this example. While the environment of being around one’s friends in the class is tempting to have a conversation and joke around, it will ultimately affect the child’s behavior. Their personal habits of talking during class will affect the allotted time they have the rest of the day. Once the consequences of their behavior come into effect, they may feel negatively about themselves for the choices they made. This example proves that there is an intricate and interwoven way in which our behavior, environment, and personal factors shape us as individuals.


    • Christina DeMalia
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 15:55:45

      Hi Cassie,

      I found the connection between REBT and philosophy to be very interesting. Although philosophy is usually seen as a much larger study and questioning of existence, reality, etc. it is important to remember that everyone has their own personal philosophies that they live by. If a person has adopted beliefs about life and how it works, it will likely influence the thoughts they have, and the emotions and behaviors that occur as a consequence. If a person has developed the philosophy that the world is a cruel place that will always be out to get them, it will have an impact on how they think and behave. A person with that world view could get into a small car accident. With this philosophy at the foundation of their thinking, they might think “Of course this would happen to me. It’s always one thing after another. I’m never going to get a break and things are never going to look up for me.” If the person truly believes the world is cruel and they are always the victim, these thoughts would be likely. As a result they might feel depressed, anxious about the next bad thing around the corner, untrusting of any positive things in their life, and scared about what bad thing might happen next. These emotions could result in undesirable behaviors.

      On the other hand, someone with the philosophy that the world gives you challenges and trial so that you can come out stronger, would have a very different reaction. If that person got in a small car accident, they might think “Thank goodness I’m alright and no one was seriously injured. It might take a little while to get my car repaired, but at least it’s not totaled.” In this case, the emotions the person experiences would be relief and gratitude, and their behaviors might be to be more careful going forward or more appreciative of their health and safety. This change is why I think the role of philosophy is so important in REBT. A person will have a hard time changing individual thoughts if their over all beliefs or philosophies are contradictory to those changed thoughts. If a person can reassess how they view things on a larger scale, it will be much easier to adjust their individual thoughts in the moment.


  6. Abby Robinson
    Jan 20, 2021 @ 22:37:17

    Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism are that all behaviors, thoughts and emotions (personal factors), and environmental factors all interlock with each other in that they have effects on each other and what the outcomes will be in a situation. This is not a linear pattern that these determents follow. For example the environment may negatively affect an individual’s behaviors, which will affect the thoughts and emotions of that person, or, an individual may have negative emotions and thoughts that affect their behavior, which then interacts with the environment. This shows that the pattern of the determents can go in multiple ways and there will always be interactions between the individual and their behaviors, thoughts and emotions and their environment. This leads to Bandura’s thoughts that everyone has “free will” and that these continuous interactions between the three determents drives the psychological functions of people. This shows that there can be some control of our own behaviors. The context of the situation will also have an influence on these determents because some or one may be weighted more than others. Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism relates to CBT because there may be maladaptive ways of comprehending the results of the determents interacting with each other. For example, an individual may be not aware that their environment is affecting them negatively, which will then result in possible problematic behaviors, thoughts or emotions. Or, if the individual is aware of the negative environment, do they have the skills to change it? And if not, how can the individual go about doing so?
    Self-efficacy is the degree to which an individual believes they can produce the correct and beneficial behaviors when in a particular situation. Having self-efficacy guides and directs the behaviors of the individual to complete the “task” at hand. If the individual believes that they can successfully accomplish these behaviors, they will have goals for themselves and be motivated to persist at obtaining those goals. Also, during this pursuit of goals, the individual with high self-efficacy will be able to note if their particular behaviors are actually going to produce the desired outcomes and if not, know what changes need to made in order to do it effectively. Bandura’s thoughts on self-efficacy relate to CBT because many clients are in therapy because they want to change an unwanted thought or behavior. Self-efficacy is important because the amount of motivation to change will effect how the client does during treatment. If they have goals and will persist in getting to those goals, they will likely have a more positive duration of treatment whereas if they don’t have self-efficacy, the client may not care about changing and may think that they cannot change which may effect their treatment.
    Ellis’ REBT is similar to CBT in that REBT helps the individual focus on themselves and focus on what is with-in themselves which then creates an individualized plan for them. This may help show that the individual’s perception of events or environments really shape how their behaviors, emotions and thoughts are effected by their perceptions. This is similar to CBT because this is an individualized process to help the individual seeking treatment realize their thoughts may be affecting their own behaviors. Another similarity between REBT and CBT is that for both, in order for a change in behavior(s) there needs to be change in their thoughts (cognitive). The differences between REBT and CBT are that REBT takes a more humanistic approach to its ideas and classifies characteristics of thoughts as rational or irrational. REBT uses rational and irrational thoughts as part of the therapeutic changing process. The first step to change in REBT is to identify the irrational beliefs, then debate the truth or usefulness of those thoughts and then finally label the thoughts as rational or irrational. These steps are not usual in CBT. CBT may also have a focus on identifying some intrusive thoughts but will also work on understanding those thoughts and forming a plan to change the unwanted behaviors.
    Meichenbaum’s theory of internal dialog is that individuals have a “conversation” in their head. This is an intra-personal dialogue within the person. During periods of psychological arousal, the individual perceives the situation/event and has an internal dialogue with emotions and thoughts, which leads to their behaviors. This theory of internal dialogue is relevant to CBT because most individuals show a pattern of thinking. The strips of internal dialogue within the person may showcase their ways of thinking and automatic thoughts. This understanding of automatic negative thoughts and internal dialogue notes that in order for change in these negative thoughts there should be change in the cognitive thinking structure.


    • Elizabeth Baker
      Jan 22, 2021 @ 04:01:49

      Hello Abby,

      I enjoyed reading your discussion for this week’s post! While reading, I think I forgot, or missed, the part of CBT being more humanistic and REBT being more involved with irrational/rational thoughts. I know when I first saw the word irrational I was quite taken aback, although I understand what Ellis means by irrational, that word seems like something you would not want to direct toward clients.
      I also enjoyed your description of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue”. We are our own worst critics, and this internal dialogue can be so negative that it contributes to the development of maladaptive thoughts and behavior patterns. I wonder why this internal dialogue is so strong to the point of it increasing distressing emotions and thoughts to the point of inducing strong negative feelings. The mind is such a powerful tool.


  7. Anne Marie Lemieux
    Jan 20, 2021 @ 23:53:21

    (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?
    I understand Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism to be an element of social learning. Specifically meaning that our personal traits, behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and environment are interwoven with each other to the point that any interaction creates a circular loop of continuous reciprocal interactions. However, people are somewhat in control of their circumstances as they have free will in how they choose to respond to the stimulus. Yet, some people can be unaware of their role in the interactions or if they do have insight at times their perception can be skewed. Self-efficiency on the other hand is a more focused look at self-esteem. It specifically examines one’s belief that they are able to be successful and do what is needed to meet a specific situation. It is a perception that will guide a person’s ability to pursue goals. If someone has high self-efficiency they are more likely to set bigger goals which in turn creates a stronger commitment and perseverance to meet that goal. However, a person can have high self-efficacy in specific areas of their life and not other areas. For example, someone can have high self-efficacy in school but have low self-efficacy in meeting fitness goals. People with low self-efficacy are at risk to experience depression and anxiety. Both constructs are important to CBT because having a client understand the role they play in their life and taking responsibility for what they can control can create behavioral change. It is also important to assess the accuracy of a client’s perception of not only their circumstances but their self-efficacy. Addressing self-efficacy and working to improve it through setting and meeting small goals can improve a person’s negative cognition.
    (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.
    It appears to me that REBT is a version of CBT with the primary difference being the terminology used and the style in which it is implemented. An example of this is CBT refers to challenging illogical thoughts as cognitive restructuring while REBT calls it disputation, meaning to dispute, which can be interpreted as confrontational. However, there are many similarities between REBT and CBT. Both take on a humanistic approach and believe people possess free will. Similarities also include the overall context that a person’s cognitive thoughts are primary in determining their emotional state and outlook. Also, that cognitive thinking can shift using specific techniques. One example of this in both REBT and CBT is challenging cognitive distortions. In REBT ridgid thinking is referred to as musturbation when someone must, or should, or ought to do something which is referred to as black and white thinking in CBT.
    (3) Share your understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” and its relevance to modern CBT. My father used to talk out loud to himself often. When caught he would joke that it was the only decent conversation he could find. Internal dialogue is the conversation that we have with ourselves through self talk. Arousal can occur in people through internal dialogue. We often have automatic thoughts that in turn impact our emotional state leading to behaviors. People can experience the same arousal yet perceive it markedly differently. For example, I could make a statement in class and be wrong and internalize the experience by thinking I’m stupid, while my classmate could make the same statement and be wrong and externalize the experience to think the professor should have taught better. Our perception can also be altered by our emotional state. A more heightened the emotional state will impact perception. Meichenbaum claims that it is not what is causing the arousal but what you think about it that matters.


    • Lilly Brochu
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 10:39:47

      Hi Anne Marie,

      Internal dialogue is extremely interesting, and it is important to examine how our self-talk can lead to negative behaviors and how we perceive the environment around us. There are several contexts in which our internal dialogue can help or hinder us, such as during an exam. In my own experiences, there have been times where I was attending more to my anxious thoughts about the exam or if people were finishing earlier than me. Attending to the negative self-talk rather than the task at hand could have affected the performance and the amount of time I had left to complete the exam. However, if I had attended to positive self-talk during an exam, I found myself performing better and my focus increased. This example shows that our internal dialogue can sway the consequences of our cognitions, behavior, and environment both in positive and negative ways. Great post! 😊


    • Christina DeMalia
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 14:57:55

      Hi Anne Marie,

      I really like the example you used for internal dialogue and your father’s comment about talking out loud to himself and joking that it was the only decent conversation he could find. Although this was probably meant to be a humorous response, it made me think about the idea of decent conversation. If I were to tell a friend of mine about how I answered a question wrong in class, and they responded by saying that I was stupid and that I should be embarrassed, that is probably a person I wouldn’t want to talk to anymore. In fact, if that is how conversations with the person typically went, I wouldn’t want to be friends with them at all. Even though I wouldn’t accept that dialogue from someone else, I continue to have conversations like that with my myself though my internal dialogue. When I do something and have negative internal thoughts about it, I’m subjecting myself to this unhelpful dialogue that I wouldn’t accept from any external source. I think this is an interesting way to look at internal dialogue, especially in the context of CBT. If you have to have conversation with someone all day every day (in this case, yourself) it seems worthwhile to make sure that those conversations are productive, healthy, and helpful.


    • Tim Cody
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 15:01:37

      Hi Anne Marie,
      I think you bring up an interesting point of how each person has different types of internal dialogues. While most people would assume it is the conversation we only have in our minds, some people like your father (and my mother) talk out loud more than they do in their heads. This would ultimately affect their environment if other people were around to hear their internal conversation. You also bring up the fact that these external conversations of internal dialogue could impact our emotional state. provided that these dialogues have an effect on our environment and personal factors, and drawing from our class on reciprocal determinism, internal dialogues would shape others behaviors as well.


  8. Elizabeth Baker
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 01:06:53

    1) What I understood from Bandura’s explanation of reciprocal determinism is that the interaction between the person, behavior, and environment are all intertwined. There is no specific determinant (e.g., environment) that causes the other (e.g., behavior), rather, it is more of an endless give-and-take cycle of these three determinants. From this cycle, we gain information that shapes the person (their emotions and thoughts), their behavior (their actions and reactions), and their environment (positive or negative). Additionally, Bandura believes that although the environment can place rules/conditions that restrict these determinants, we still have a sense of free will where we can control how we perceive experiences and behave. Thus, this sense of control allows individuals to process and learn from their experiences, which in turn, alters their person (thoughts and emotions) and behavior in specific environments. Regarding CBT, the interaction of the environment, person, and behavior affecting one another in a continuous cycle is also what clients experience. As clinicians, we try to understand how the client’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior have developed, and we understand that by analyzing the three determinants listed above. Simply put, we try to analyze the three determinants prior to the distressing event(s) and analyze their current emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and environment. We try to connect what is contributing to their distressing situation by analyzing those three determinants.
    Furthermore, this cycle and sense of control (or lack thereof) can impact an individual’s self-efficacy. Self-efficacy can be described as how well we believe in our skills that are required to perform specific tasks. As stated earlier, experiences (visual, auditory, and physical) can alter our person and our behavior, which can make us feel competent or incompetent in our skills. Self-efficacy can increase with encouragement, motivation, education, and continuous practice; but can easily decrease if those aspects listed above are missing and are resulting in unsuccessful attempts. This is related to CBT because this is what clients, as well as ourselves, have struggled with and have influenced current adaptive or maladaptive behavior patterns. As therapy continues and clients are encouraged to try new coping habits to decrease negative emotions in stressful situations, clients will have to continue working on these new skills before they feel competent enough to engage or handle said stressful situations.

    2) Some similarities that I have found between RBET and CBT is that they both have the goal of challenging maladaptive emotions and thought patterns. Both therapies believe that these maladaptive cognitive activities contribute to their distress and strive to analyze their origin to assist clients through their own understandings and develop adaptive cognitive activities. These two therapies also believe that experiences contribute to thoughts and emotions that result in symptom development. As said before, both therapies try to analyze the distress, anxiety for example, and try to understand the source and what maladaptive cognitive and physical behaviors are contributing to the distress. Another similarity is that both therapies include coping and problem strategies in their sessions. As we know, CBT incorporates various techniques to help clients understand their thoughts and feelings, challenge their current and their aspired self, and increase adaptive problem solving and coping habits. REBT shares the same integration of techniques by having their clients do self-monitoring of thoughts, bibliotherapy, relaxation methods, and more.
    One difference that I have found is through the philosophical means of each therapy. That is, RBET believes distressing emotions are the only consequence of maladaptive thoughts, whereas CBT believes that distressing thoughts, emotions, and the environment are all interrelated and can cause, as well as significantly increase, distress. The main difference between these two is that CBT includes the environment in the equation, whereas RBET does not.

    3) My understanding of an “internal dialogue” is that it is the (sometimes overly criticizing) voice in our heads that pops up when we are reading something in our head or making mental comments about things (e.g., the environment, people, life, etc.). This internal dialogue is eternal, as it runs all day, every day. This relates to CBT because this dialogue can contribute greatly to the development of negative thinking patterns and emotions. Due to techniques of CBT focusing on analyzing and helping clients alter and cope with their negative cognitive activity, discussing their internal dialogue and how it alters their mood, behavior, or the environment is a key aspect to providing a proper and beneficial CBT session.


    • Cassie Miller
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 14:44:03

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I liked your discussion on internal dialogue; especially the point you brought up about it being eternal. So much of the discussion in our heads can go on subconsciously, to the point where we develop many automatic thoughts about things without realizing where they are stemming from. This is why when you brought up the word coping, I find it to be so interesting. We talk a lot about changing or altering maladaptive thoughts, but often forget to provide the client with coping strategies to deal with these thoughts when they come on. Providing ways to develop new thoughts is helpful but we still must help them cope with the negative thoughts they may have about themselves because these can be very hard in the moment (making it hard for them to achieve progress). This dialogue you describe is so important because opening up this discussion can allow the counselor to gain a better understanding of the effects of these thoughts as well as help to guide the therapeutic process.


  9. Pawel Zawistowski
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 09:15:08

    Reciprocal determinism is the interaction between behavior, personal factors such as thoughts and emotions, and environmental factors and how they influence one another to promote a specific outcome. An example of this is when a person comes into a loud classroom to give a speech. The speaker may manage the environment such as setting up their podium and asking all those in attendance to quiet down before they give their speech. Now picture the room is too hot, this can affect people’s mood, and influence someone’s behavior to open up a window to create a draft. The interaction between mood and physical sensation, thoughts about being too hot, behavior of getting up to open up the window, and environmental factor of the temperature itself is reciprocal determinism. This idea plays a huge role in CBT because as therapists we have to understand our client, how their environment impacts their decisions and emotions, and how all these things all work together in order to provide appropriate treatment measures. Self-efficacy is the belief that the individual is capable of producing a certain outcome for themselves. Individuals who lack self-efficacy may struggle with motivation and confidence. Self-efficacy is important to understand in CBT because it give’s the clinician insight about what is an attainable goal for a client, and how likely they are to follow through with treatment plans.

    I believe one way that REBT is similar to CBT is because of its focus on the way the client perceived an event. They both take an approach to understand the individual’s perceived experience and listening to what it is that they have to share with the therapist. They use cognitive restructure techniques to be work through certain cognitions that may be causing a psychological disturbance s to the client. Examples of such psychological disturbances is all-or-none thinking, jumping to conclusions, focusing on the negative, perfectionism, and so on. REBT however is different in a sense that it is more forward, and can be harsher. Techniques such as debating through certain challenges the client is facing is not often seen with CBT. CBT is a more warm and friendly approach to therapy.

    Internal dialogue is how a person internalizes (perceives and interprets) an event. The way a person thinks and the way they regulate emotions will affect the way they process an occurrence. It is the self-talk that we do in our heads, and even the imagery that helps us process what is going on. However, at times it can be flawed because of insecurities and inaccurate representations of reality. It is relevant to CBT because CBT focuses on cognitive discrepancies and cognitive restructuring can be used to facilitate a healthy internal dialogue.


    • Lilly Brochu
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 10:07:27

      Hi Pawel,

      I liked your example of how reciprocal determinism is important in understanding the connections between our thoughts and emotions, behavior, and environment. If a person is prepared to give a speech, but is mentally attending to the warm temperature of the environment, it may lead the individual to become hyper focused on how the room is making them feel rather than the task at hand, and this can lead to poorer performance, and outcomes for the individual. Within CBT, it is important to consider the client’s entire perception of the environment or situation as well as their own thoughts and emotions, and how they interact with each other to gain a complete understanding of an individual, and what treatment plan is the best option for them. Great post!


    • Michelle McClure
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 14:07:11

      Hi Pawel! I hope you had a nice holiday. I agree with you that understanding a client’s level of self-efficacy is valuable for clinicians in understanding their client so that they can create more effective treatment plans and that they can meet the client “where they are.” I also really like how you explain Michenbaum’s internal dialogue including the imagery in our heads that help process. I also liked how you explained how cognitive restructuring can be used to make our inner dialogue healthier. Hope you are having an awesome week.


    • Nicole Giannetto
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 20:22:25

      Hi Pawel. One thing that stood out to me was how you explained internal dialogue and your mention of how it is not always accurate of what is occurring externally. This inaccuracy can be due to different factors, such overthinking. When I read this, I thought about instances of people who experience auditory hallucinations, and I am curious how this functions in regards to their internal dialogue. I believe it would be completely separate, since the AH are not exactly controlled by the individual themselves. Great post!


  10. Lilly Brochu
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 09:39:00

    (1) Albert Bandura believed in the concept of reciprocal determinism. This means that one’s behavior is influenced by both their own personal factors as well as the environment. In other words, this means that our thoughts and emotions affect our behaviors, and that those behaviors influence our environment, and the environment can respond back to those behaviors. It is not just the individual nor the environment that solely has an influence on one’s behavior, but an interdependent relationship between the behavior(s), personal factors (thoughts and emotions), and the environment itself. Moreover, reciprocal determination suggests that we are not “puppets” to our environment – people do have a level of control over their decisions and are subject to any consequences following their behaviors. The construct of reciprocal determination is related to CBT because of how it is built upon the idea that how we think, feel, and behave all interact together. CBT identifies one’s aversive behavior(s), thoughts and emotions, and their environment, and creates strategies to assist or modify one’s behaviors and cognitions through several coping skills and methods.

    On the other hand, self-efficacy is one’s belief that they can perform a set of behaviors successfully within a specific situation or environment. For example, an individual who has high self-efficacy pursues greater goals and has a stronger sense of perseverance and diligence in being successful. However, individuals with low self-efficacy may have trouble staying committed or motivated to complete their goals and are more at risk of experiencing anxiety and depression. The construct of self-efficacy is related to CBT because of how its therapeutic interventions are designed to increase one’s self-efficacy, and to help people cope with threats or environments that have caused distress previously.

    (2) One of the differences between REBT and CBT is that REBT is grounded in principles of philosophy, and rational/irrational thinking. Ellis believed that humans had rational (e.g., self-interest, self-acceptance, acceptance of the unknown) and irrational (e.g., guilt, blame, anger) thoughts and behaviors. Ellis argued that these irrational beliefs always came in the forms of “musts,” “shoulds” and “have tos” and were exacerbating one’s emotional distress. As for treatment, REBT has a multidimensional approach that is focused on questioning, challenging, and debating the client’s thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. The approach of REBT may come off as harsh to some individuals and they may feel as though the therapist is “attacking” them for thinking or feeling the way they do compared to the therapeutic interventions of CBT. On the contrary, CBT is based on principles from both behavioral and cognitive psychology, and it aims to challenge and change cognitive distortions and unhelpful behaviors. It stresses the importance of identifying one’s distorted thinking, and assisting the client in how to develop healthy, and effective coping strategies to overcome their distress (e.g., relaxation techniques, mindfulness). Regardless of their difference in theoretical underpinnings or therapeutic techniques, a major similarity between REBT and CBT is that they both believe that thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are deeply interrelated and dependent on each other. Additionally, they do share similar therapeutic techniques, such as role playing or relaxation methods.

    (3) My understanding of Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue is that it is the conversation we have in our own heads with ourselves. It is what we hear when we are thinking or reading a passage in a book. There are moments that this voice inside of our heads can be extremely critical, and may create false self-fulfilling prophecies that affect our behaviors, and environment. The internal dialogue can lead to negative emotional and behavioral patterns if we attend to what is being said in the internal dialogue. The internal dialogue is relevant to modern CBT because the framework of CBT focuses on breaking those negative thought processes, and works towards creating a new inner dialogue that will lead to healthier and better behaviors.


    • Michelle McClure
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 14:16:01

      Hi Lilly! I really liked how you brought in Bandura’s beliefs about people having free will by using the puppet analogy. Even though I think most people would agree their are things about our environment and life that are absolutely out of our control, there are also certain aspects of our environment that are within our control and we make choices everyday and those choices have consequences. I think one of the things that most draws me to CBT is that having the ability to change your thinking and change your inner dialogue therefore changes your behaviors and allows you to use your free will to make healthier choices and choose healthier coping skills and that then leads to better outcomes and more positive consequences. CBT is therapeutic hope that just because someone is experiencing negative thoughts because of unfortunate circumstances that they can change their thoughts and have a more positive future. I hope you are having a great week!


    • Elizabeth Baker
      Jan 22, 2021 @ 04:14:55

      Hello Lilly,

      Excellent job with your discussion post! Your explanations in each section were clear and made me understand the content even more. Don’t you think it is interesting that this internal dialogue is always running? That it is constantly sorting, processing, and critiquing everything that we do? Although this dialogue was initially used to innocently learn the wonders of the world as an infant, as we grow, that voice seems to turn into something more catastrophic. Of course, this depends on the individual and their experiences; but it is so interesting that this dialogue can become so obstructive that it rapidly develops irrational thoughts and blocks out rational ones.


    • Nicole Giannetto
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 20:16:05

      Hi Lily. I liked how you explained the impact that having either low or high self-efficacy can have on the development and maintenance of mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. I think it was great to make that link, because it shows how that term works within a psych context. I also liked how you explained internal dialogue. It was simple, yet informative, and I was able to understand exactly what its purpose was. Also, great job making the connection between internal dialogue and CBT.


  11. Yen Pham
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 12:18:56

    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?

    1.a . Understanding of Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism
    Reciprocal determinism is a theory proposed by psychologist Albert Bandura, saying that a person’s behavior is both influences and is influenced by personal factors and social environment. Bandura argues that not only does the environment influence a person’s thinking, but their subsequent behavior influences their environment. In other words, the environment influences how a person thinks and feels which in turn influences their behavior, which impacts the environment, and so on. The relative influences exerted by three interdependent factors (Person factors i.e. thoughts and emotions, Behavior, Environment) differ in various settings/contexts. The behavior of one individual can activate particular responses from the repertoire of the other individual, which prompt reciprocal counteractions that mutually shape the social milieu in a predictable direction.

    1.b. Reciprocal determinism related to CBT
    Reciprocal determinism related to CBT because similar as reciprocal determinism, CBT presumes that cognitions (which include perception, beliefs, images, and self-talk) mediate one’s emotions, behavior, and physiological reactions in response to the environment. In other words, in the human perception of a problem is always related to the environment, from which people always behave and react to that problem depending on their understanding of the problem. The factors cognitions, emotions, physiological reactions (e.g., physical sensations and symptoms), behavior, and environment are interacted each other.

    1.c. Understanding of Bandura’s thoughts on self-efficacy
    Self-efficacy is a trait where one can make a sound judgment about his or her own decision. An individual who trusts him or herself is considered of having good self-efficacy. Therefore, self-efficacy is a crucial factor in creating a harmonious society through the demonstration of ethical behavior. Bandura argues that an individual who possesses a high level of self-efficacy can achieve personal success as well as behave positively. On the contrary, a person with a low level of self-efficacy is less successful and less confident in achieving the goals set.

    1.d. Self- efficacy related to CBT
    Self- efficacy related to CBT because it explains why a person has positive and negative attitudes in life, as well as the reasons for success or less success. Here is the interaction between the factors: the individual’s ability, the thought that they will succeed (personal factor) which makes them determined to work more confidently (environment), and finally they are happy because of their success (behavior).

    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.

    Theory Basics of REBT: at the core of REBT is the assumption that human thinking and emotion are significantly interrelated. According to Ellis’s ABC model, symptoms are the consequences (C) of a person’s irrational belief systems (B) regarding particular activating experiences or events (A). The goal of therapy is to identify and challenge the irrational beliefs at the root of emotional disturbance. REBT assumed that individuals possess innate and acquired tendencies to think and to behave irrationally. Thus, to maintain a state of emotional health, individual also must constantly monitor and challenge their basic belief systems. The major therapeutic tool remains a logico-empirical method of scientific questioning, challenging, and debating, designed to assist individuals in surrendering irrational beliefs.

    2.a. Similarities of REBT and CBT
    CBT and REBT were philosophically influenced, people have free will. Very similar to CBT, REBT agrees that cognitive distortions are a feature of psychological disturbance. In addition, CBT and REBT both employ multidimensional approach that incorporates cognitive, emotive, and behavioral techniques. For example, both theories use some of the techniques such as role playing, modeling, exposure therapy and relaxation and stress reduction techniques. Finally, CBT and REBT both refer to the core elements that make up the theory, they interact each other. Specifically, similar to CBT: A (environment), B (cognitions), C (emotions and behaviors) has reciprocal influence.

    2.b. Different between REBT and CBT
    One of the major differences between REBT and CBT approaches lies in its philosophical emphasis. Ellis’s distinctly philosophical outlook is reflected in what he identified as the major goals of REBT: self-interest, social interest, self-direction, tolerance of self and others, flexibility, acceptance of uncertainty, commitment to vital interests, self-acceptance, scientific thinking, and a non-utopian perspective on life. REBT assumes that individuals who adopt this type of rational philosophy will experience a minimum of emotional disturbance. In contrast, CBT emphasizes the self- efficacy, self-esteem. CBT explores harmful thoughts and feelings that a patient may have that exacerbate their symptoms. CBT encourages clients to challenge their assumptions, change their thinking patterns and improve their behavior with positive changes and perspectives.

    3. Share your understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” and its relevance to modern CBT

    3.a. Understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue
    I understand that internal dialogue, also known as self-talk, inner speech, inner discourse, or is the inner voice of a person providing a verbal monologue about thoughts while they are conscious. It is often associated with one’s sense of self. It is especially important in planning, problem solving, self-reflection, self-image, critical thinking, feelings, and human criterion. Self-talk includes negative and positive, and its nature is both unhelpful and helpful. Specifically, it is unhelpful when a person has a negative self-talk which is based on beliefs about themselves that develop during childhood based on feedback of others, particularly parents. These beliefs create a lens through which the present is viewed. Examples of these core beliefs that lead to negative self-talk are: “I am worthless”, “I am a failure”, and “I am unlovable”. Negative self-talk has been implicated in contributing to psychological disorders including depression, anxiety, and bulimia nervosa. On the other hand, it is helpful when a person has a positive self-talk involves noticing the reality of the situation, but shouldn’t overriding beliefs and biases that can lead to negative self-talk. An example of coping self-talk is, “Mary, you’re anxious about doing the presentation. Most of the other students are as well. You will be fine.” Coping self-talk is a healthy coping strategy.

    3.b. Internal dialogue is relevant to CBT
    Internal dialogue related to CBT because this theory focuses on identifying dysfunctional self-talk in order to change unwanted behaviors. In other words, Dr. Meichenbaum views behaviors as outcomes of our own self-verbalizations. For example, let’s say you have to attend a meeting at work tomorrow. You’re anxious and fearful that you will have a panic attack at the meeting. You may tell yourself, “What if I have a panic attack and have to leave the meeting? I would be so embarrassed.” So, you call in sick to work the next day so that you can avoid the meeting. Applying CBT in this case we can ask, what if you were able to change your thoughts. And, what if by changing your thoughts, you are able to attend the work meeting instead of avoiding it?


    • Pawel Zawistowski
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 19:26:53

      Hello, I enjoyed reading your explanation of reciprocal determinism and how the behavior of one individual can activate a response and how these counteractions can influence the environment at the same time. I also like how in regard to self-efficacy, you discussed that a person with low self-efficacy is less successful and less confident in achieving their goals. This is true because they approach their goals with lower levels of confidence and effort. The goal here I believe is to help build confidence in the individual’s abilities.


  12. Michelle McClure
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 13:42:39

    1. Reciprocal determinism is Bandura’s theory to explain the influence of the environment on a persona and that person’s influence on the environment in return in a continuous cycle of cause and effect. Self-efficacy is determined by a person’s belief in their own abilities and accomplishments. In the article Bandura was theorizing on how to predict psychological changes that alter the levels of self-efficacy. Self-efficacy, according to Bandura, is decided from the interactions of four categories of information that a person experiences. These four areas being performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion as well as the final area being the persons own physiological arousal or emotional states. Bandura explains further in his theory about how big a role cognitive processes play in learning new behaviors and the ways people learn new behaviors such as modeling and motivation and how a person’s self-evaluation affects how they experience these things. If a person believes a certain outcome will happen that may or may not lead to increased self—efficacy, it also depends on whether the person believes that he or she is capable of achieving that outcome. Bandura’s theories are related to CBT because in CBT cognitive processes also play a role in learning and replacing behaviors. In CBT a person’s negative beliefs which would lead to a low self-efficacy and problematic functioning is challenged and changed by the therapist working with the person to create and strengthen new more positive beliefs. These positive beliefs then change the person’s emotions and motivations leading to higher functioning and better self-efficacy.
    2. Ellis’s rational emotive behavior therapy is similar to CBT because it also believes that the power of a person’s thoughts affects that person’s emotions and behaviors. REBT and CBT both believe that negative thoughts and emotions lead to problematic behaviors which can negatively effect a person’s functioning and that challenging the negative thoughts will lead to more positive, functional thoughts, emotions and behaviors. CBT and REBT both believe that thoughts and emotions effect both negative and positive behaviors. The major differences in CBT and REBT are the approaches that are used to get the desired outcomes. In REBT the approach is often more confrontational and in CBT the approaches are collaborative in nature with the therapist and the person being served becoming more of a team. In REBT they use a process called disputing where in my understanding the therapist debates with the client about the rationality and realism of the belief; this would not work in CBT where the goal is not to argue with the client but to work collaboratively with the client to explore their beliefs.
    3. Michenbaum’s internal dialogue asks the questions about how deeply a person’s inner voice, which is developed in childhood, affects a person’s behavior and environment and vice versa. This internal dialogue consists of many “I” statements assessing the ability of a person’s abilities to do something or even further to do it well. Michenbaum believes that by changing a persons inner voice or dialogue that it will change the way a person pays attention and change what a person pays attention to and have lasting physiological effects on a person as well. Michenbaum then further explained that when a person changes their cognitive experience of these physiological effects, such as a racing heart or sweating, from being incapacitating to being cues that the person needed a response alternative or a coping strategy. Michenbaum’s internal dialogue works really well with CBT which also relies on changing inner cognitive beliefs to effect a person’s outward behaviors. CBT also makes use of response alternatives or coping skills when attempting to change a person’s response to stressful stimuli.


  13. Brianna Walls
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 14:11:34

    1.Bandura proposed the concept of reciprocal determinism from a social learning standpoint. He said that there is a continuous reciprocal interaction between personal, behavioral, and environmental determinants. In other words, each factor influences and is influenced by each other simultaneously. Personal factors refer to all characteristics previously learned, including beliefs, expectations, and personality characteristics. Behavior refers to anything that we do that may be rewarded or punished. The context in which the behavior occurs refers to the environment or situation, which includes rewarding/punishing stimuli. Bandura said that people behave the way they do because of the environment they find themselves in. In addition, personality also plays a crucial role in the way a person behaves. Further, the existing behavior of a person is also responsible for future behavior.
    Reciprocal determinism is related to CBT. This is because just as reciprocal determinism does, CBT also focuses on the influence that behavior and cognition have on each other. CBT helps clients identify and change problematic thoughts that cause the individual to engage in problematic behaviors.
    Bandura originally proposed the concept, self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is whether or not the individual believes that they can successfully execute a plan of action in prospective situations. An individual’s self-efficacy will influence the individual’s goals and the risks they are willing to take. In other words, an individual’s self-efficacy will guide and direct their behaviors. The higher the individual’s self-efficacy the higher the individual will set their goals and they will have a stronger commitment to those goals.
    Self-efficacy is related to CBT. Self-efficacy is a part of CBT because if the individual does not have high self-efficacy they most likely will not benefit from therapy and therefore will not have a successful treatment. Also, an individual’s self-efficacy can be strengthened during CBT. For instance, CBT will encourage the individual to start off with small goals and once they are able to reach that goal it will encourage them to set forth more difficult goals and therefore increase their self-efficacy.
    2. Similarities
    • REBT is a type of CBT; it helps with identifying negative thoughts and feelings and challenges the rationality of those feelings and replaces them with healthier, more productive beliefs.
    • Cognitive distortions lead to psychological disturbance.
    • REBT is philosophic; humanistic.
    • In REBT, cognitions, emotions, and behaviors are not viewed as separate psychological processes but as interdependent and interactive processes.
    • REBT focuses on irrational and rational thoughts. REBT has a multidimensional approach that is focused on debating, challenging, and questioning the client’s thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.
    3.Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” is just how it sounds, it is the individual talking to themselves but not out loud and the individual is also listening to oneself. Or in other words it’s the individual’s self-talk or inner speech. Meichenbaum proposed that an individual’s thinking can impact their behavior(s). Therefore, Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” is relevant to modern CBT because if one changes their cognitive structures it will lead the individual to have new inner speech and therefore new behaviors. In order to change one’s behavior, the individual must think before they act. CBT is used to focus on one’s negative cognitive distortions and behaviors, therefore improving how the individual thinks this will help the individual change their unwanted behaviors/problems.


    • Lina Boothby-Zapata
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 14:43:00

      1.From the Social Learning theoretical perspective, psychological functioning is composed of three elements: behavior, Personal Factors (thoughts and emotions made part of), and environmental factors. All three factors influence how a person learns new behaviors. Questions such as how these components, behavior (B), Person (P), and environment (E) relate and influence each other was one of Bandura’s primary goal; Analyzing on data and reports how much of the variety of behaviors were influenced or affected by personal and environmental. In other words, Bandura was asking about the determinism of behaviors by the individual (thoughts and affection) and the environment, Is the animal controlling the environment or is the environment controlling the animal? Bandura concluded that it depends on the type of person, situation detected, and behavior. We can’t generalize and we need to see in particular cases. However, these factors have a continuous reciprocal interaction of personal and environmental determinants. An example is that expectations (thoughts before the action) influence how the individual behaves, then the outcome or result of these behaviors will affect the original expectations. Then, the expectations will be different in a second round”. The example illustrates the individual’s capacity of modified/control behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and the environment, allowing us to exercise some measure of control over our own behavior. The implication is that we have the freedom and responsibility of change. Another element to consider is reciprocal counteractions; one individual’s behavior has the potential of activating a response from another individual and will happen to create multiple sequential responses.

      Self-efficacy is the individual’s belief if she/he has the capacity or potential to execute an action/behavior in a determinate environment. Usually, these believe direct the individual’s goals in his/her life. For example, completing my Master’s Degree needs to have some level of self-efficacy to decide to do the program and maintain it in the program and have the goal to complete it. Hence, the individual’s goals and risks are strongly influenced by their perception of self-efficacy. Motivation is partly root with self-efficacy. The function of motivation is too active and maintain the behavior. In Bandura’s definition of motivation can be understood as the anticipated satisfaction of desired and the negative appraisals of insufficient performance, being a motivation to re-program the behavior or attempt to do it again. There is two types of Self- Efficacy Expectation and Outcome Expectation. Self-efficacy expectation is what was define the individual can execute a behavior to produce the outcomes. Abd Outcome expectation is the calculation that certain behavior will produce specifics outcomes that the person wants to obtain.
      CBT; Dr. V Psychoeducation-Diagnosis illustrates the use of Reciprocal-Determinism educating his client and leading her into a further understanding of her panic attacks. For this purpose, Dr. V illustrates the Reciprocal-determinism of Environment/class, individual/thoughts, and behavior. In summary, this concept is possible to bring into the clinical practice to educate the client about in her symptoms how her panic attacks work, triggers, escalate and go on interacting and reciprocally affecting each other. With self-efficacy, I thought about motivation where the therapist assesses rapport and commitment to maintain in the therapy process. Assessing self-efficacy also can determinate the goals for the therapy sessions. Self-efficacy in depression.

      2. While CBT theory adopted the Bandura’s social learning model about learning behaviors, social-experience, and reciprocal determinism. The behavior, personal factors (thoughts and emotions), and environment factors all operate reciprocally and influence each other as separate entities. REBT as well adopted cognitions, emotions, and behaviors. However, they are not viewed as a separate entity that have reciprocal interactions. Contrary, they interdependent and interactive. One element that I observed with Ellis’s reading is that he explains how emotions influence cognitions and REBT’s main goal is to reach appropriate emotions. REBT helps the client to identify emotions that became a challenge for the client creating irrational thinking and negatively impact the client’s behaviors an example is feeling depressed, self-downing, or enraged under the same conditions. Strengthen your self-emotional control.

      Techniques in CBT and REBT. CBT focuses on cognitions such as automatic thoughts and core beliefs, identifying, evaluating, and modifying them with techniques. An example of this clinical approach is a client who is diagnosed with agoraphobia and is presenting thoughts such as; “I am going to have a heart attack”, “I am going to die”. CBT therapist identify, assess, and modify these thoughts, challenging them in the environment where the client is having the panic attack, in this case at the “Supermarket”. While Ellis focusses on Emotive techniques such as humor methods, shame-attacking exercise, therapist self-disclosure of similar problems and are of stories, mottos, parables, witticisms, poems.

      3. Internal Dialogue. Meichenbaum tell us that behaviors/actions are affected by different constructs such as physiological responses, affective reactions, cognitions, and interpersonal interactions; may all these constructs occur at once. His question is how does inner speech affect and how is it affected by there concurrent events? A good simple example of this phenomenon is when “we talk ourselves in our heads”. Another question that emerges is how the internal dialogue influences and, in turn, is it influenced by other events or behavioral processes? There are three sources to research on Self-internal dialogue: Interpersonal Instructions, research on cognitive factors and stress responses, and physiological reactions. First interpersonal instructions are seen as Self-Instruction. For example, “we talk ourselves in our heads quiet or loud,” one of the functions could motivate him/herself to focus on achieving a specific goal. Second Cognitive Stress Factors is defined between low and high test-anxiety. The statements of this two-opposite test-anxiety will facilitate or challenge the individual’s performance, an example could be talk with the audience. Third, physiological effects, are a response by the client’s internal dialogue and appraisal. “Internal Dialogue” is relevant for the modern CBT because this is what is currently named as a “Automatic thoughts”.


    • Alexa Berry
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 16:12:50

      Hi Brianna,

      I thought some of Bandura’s explanation of reciprocal determinism was jargony, and I like the way you explained it in simple terms. The connection you made between CBT and reciprocal determinism stood out to me, it is definitely important to CBT to identify problematic thoughts and corresponding behaviors. One of the differences you pointed out between REBT and CBT was that REBT focuses on challenging, debating, and questioning a client’s thoughts/behaviors/emotions. This is something from the reading that I noticed as well. It seemed like REBT was a lot more therapist guided than CBT is. A lot of the examples/scenarios shared in the reading had instances of the therapist outright telling the client what they were doing wrong, without giving the client a chance to think it over themselves first.


  14. Nicole Giannetto
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 15:12:05

    Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism is that the individual, their environment, and the individual’s behavior all interact and influence each other. Self-efficacy refers to the belief held by an individual that they believe in their own capacity to achieve. Reciprocal determinism relates to CBT in that they both are based on a triadic model in which three factors are said to influence each other.
    In R. D., it is the individual, their environment, and the individual’s behavior, while in CBT, the triangle looks at the interactions between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Self-efficacy in relation to CBT is important, especially during the actual treatment portion. One of the main goals of CBT is for the client to be able to recognize their interactions and influence of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and then to believe in their capacity to regain control of this process.

    One example of how Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is similar to CBT is that they both focus on cognition, and both use a triadic model depicting which factors are involved and how they influence each other. REBT identifies “ABC”, activating event, belief, and consequence, while CBT identifies thoughts, feelings and behaviors as factors. One way that REBT is different from CBT is that the main goal is to change the individual’s underlying core belief system that is causing negative emotions during experiences, while in CBT, the goal is to change our negative perception of a specific experience to something positive.

    Meichenbaum’s internal dialouge refers to the way an individual perceives and views themselves and the world around them. Internal dialouge is relevant to modern CBT because it focuses on the internal thought processes that individuals engage in that influence their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Through verbalizing, or bringing these internal dialouges to the external, the individual can work towards labeling parts of their process that influence their internal dialouge.


    • Maya Lopez
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 18:03:20

      Hey Nicole, I really liked how you described the triad for both CBT and Reciprocal determinism it made it easy to conceptualize. It’s interesting how both have a big emphasis on behavior as it is in both triads. It makes sense for this because behavior is the way in which we interact with our environment. It also seems as though R.D focuses more externally whereas CBT has more of an internal focus. I also thought you did a great job explaining the differences between REBT and CBT in their goals. Lastly, you have a good point that by taking internal dialogues to the external or conscious process we can then decipher if they are beneficial to reaching our goals or helpful to us overall.


    • Althea Hermitt- Mcpherson
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 00:12:19

      Hi Nicole, I liked how you highlighted that both REBT and CBT emphasize cognition and factors that influence each other within the environment and the individual. The ways you broke down the fact that REBT focuses on activating events, beliefs, and consequences and how CBT focuses on thoughts, feelings, and behavior was enlightening. It was also nice that you touched on the individual being able to work towards labeling parts of their process that influence their internal dialogue. I continue to look forward to learning those skills.


  15. Cailee Norton
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 15:18:15

    1. Bandura viewed reciprocal determinism through a social learning view of interactions. Essentially there are three factors that all operate as a cycling of effect: behavior, personal factors (such as our thoughts and emotions), and environmental factors. Each of these units act as a determinant of the other. Personal factors affect our environment in the same theoretical way that our environment affects our behavior. This cycle of stimuli function as a continuous reciprocal interaction of determinants. Bandura also had a specific approach to self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is an individual’s belief that they can successfully execute behaviors required by a particular situation. Bandura asserted that any one individuals perceived self-efficacy would influence the goals that they set for themselves as well as the risks they’re willing to take on to achieve such goals. Bandura believed the more self-efficacy an individual had, the greater the goals that person possessed and risks they were willing to take to achieve them. Such commitments and perseverance would not be seen in an individual who had little self-efficacy, these individuals are often more vulnerable to things like anxieties that discourage such goals or risk taking. Bandura’s concepts of self-efficacy and reciprocal determinism relate to CBT in that they both put the individual at the heart of the matter, while still considering other influential factors. CBT recognizes that problems go beyond specific behaviors, and Bandura’s ideas about self-efficacy show that the motivations (or lack thereof) can inhibit or encourage such behaviors to occur. Another key component of CBT focuses on how interactions between events, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors influence an individual. Bandura stream lines this into the concept of reciprocal determinism and provides a cyclical understanding of determinants and influences.

    2. Robert Ellis’ belief shown through his Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) assertion that emotions, cognitions, and behaviors are highly interdependent and interactive processes. This is different from the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) perspective that the cognitive factors are viewed as separate psychological processes. While CBT does view that these processes can influence each other, REBT does not think they influence each other but rather depend on each other. Essentially CBT sees a cycle of influence while REBT sees interaction and transactions (I believe)Another important point in which REBT and CBT align is in the belief that cognitive distortions are a feature of psychological disturbance in which an individual believes in “musts.” There a myriad of various cognitive distortions such as all or nothing thinking, focusing on the negative, disqualifying the positive, jumping to conclusions, etc. REBT and CBT both understand that thoughts and emotions can effect both negative and positive behaviors. The difference lies in how CBT and REBT view and understand these distortions and how to effectively treat them.

    3. From what I understood from Meichenbaum, internal dialogue is the way in which our cognitions and mind talk to one another. Rather than being one sided (a monologue) our back and forth thinking patterns resembles that of a conversation, and often one part of the conversation occurs through processes such as automatic thoughts (in which thoughts emerge automatically, either adaptively or maladaptively). These conversations are a way for us to organize information within our minds Often with internal dialogue we are able to create classifications for behaviors or environmental stimuli. External and internal attributions act as a way for us to either accept responsibility or excuse ourselves from responsibility. This is possible through the internal dialogue each individual performs when facing an event. Interestingly, through focusing on such internal dialogue we have the ability to change our perception of an event. This understanding of our thoughts and emotions, allows for a change in behavior that then impacts the environment we are in. This is an integral part of the cognitive behavioral theory of psychology. By understanding and making changes to these thoughts and emotions, we are able to influence change of behavior over time. Modern CBT poses the client as an active participant, and through our work we are able to make uncover this internal dialogue and adapt it to be adaptive rather than maladaptive.


    • Brianna Walls
      Jan 22, 2021 @ 14:14:31

      Hi Cailee, your response to question two made it more clear to me how REBT and CBT are different. At a first glance, these two therapies are very similar to one another, but after reading your response it is now very clear to me that REBT believes that emotions, cognitions, and behaviors are highly interdependent and are an interactive process and that CBT sees these cognitive factors as separate psychological processes. Thank you!


  16. Anna Lindgren
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 15:24:00

    1. When I saw the title of Bandura’s chapter, “reciprocal determinism”, I was intrigued because I’m slightly familiar with the philosophical debate of determinism versus free will but hadn’t heard of reciprocal determinism. I was relieved to read that Bandura is not in fact condoning the metaphysical definition of determinism, which basically states that only one course of action is possible and therefore free will cannot exist. Bandura, contrastingly, argues that there is an ongoing series of exchanges between the individual, their personal factors, and their environment, which is what shapes the events and outcomes of an individual’s life. I feel that this is a much more constructive viewpoint to take, particularly for individuals in counseling who wouldn’t be helped by the viewpoint “You have no control over your life” that the metaphysical definition of determinism provides. Reciprocal determinism is an important concept for the practice of CBT because it recognizes the influence that an individual has on their life, and how they can make changes for the better by implementing good habits, learning new skills, etc. This also ties into Bandura’s thoughts on self-efficacy, that one’s belief in their own mastery of an area plays a large role in whether or not they will attempt and succeed at that behavior. For example, if someone does not believe that they have the skill set to perform a task, they are less likely to try consistently and more likely to give up once they reach an obstacle. In contrast, someone with high self-efficacy in an area is more likely to grapple with a task even if it is challenging because they believe that they have the mastery needed to succeed. Something that I think will be important in practicing CBT is assessing the client’s level of self-efficacy and helping to bolster that self-efficacy if needed so that clients can be successful in improving various areas of their life.
    2. One similarity I found between REBT and CBT was the emphasis placed on thoughts and the role they play in emotions and behavior. Particularly in the exchange between Dr. Harper and Dr. B, the explanation given by Dr. Harper of Dr. B making himself angry through his own thought process reminded me of the concept of automatic thoughts that exists in CBT. Another similarity that I found was the practice of assigning homework to the client, where they are active participants in their treatment. One difference that I noticed between REBT and CBT was the tone of the therapy session. Instead of taking on a collaborative and supportive tone and using open questions to get clients to come to conclusions on their own, REBT seems to be much more direct. In this way, it seems to work backward from CBT, where it points out the troublesome thoughts and then clients have to work at accepting that the thought causing their distress is not serving them and therefore stop believing it. CBT on the other hand seems to work more carefully at questioning the individual in a way that gets them to see for themselves what their cognitive distortions are. Another difference is that REBT seems laser-focused on changing thoughts as the main vehicle for healing, whereas CBT has interventions for thoughts and behaviors.
    3. My understanding of Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue is that the way we speak to and about ourselves internally has implications on our view of ourselves and how we interact with our environment. This directly relates to those automatic thoughts that we deal with in CBT. For example, someone who is at a big fancy party may see someone across the room, recognize them and wave, only to have that person stare blankly at them and not wave back. Someone with a negative inner monologue might think “Of course they wouldn’t remember me, I’m not important enough to be remembered” and therefore their confidence in interacting with others at that party has taken a hit. My understanding is that CBT aims to expose those automatic thoughts and question their legitimacy.


    • Zoe DiPinto
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 15:56:29

      Hi Anna,

      I found it really interesting that you opened with a discussion of free will. After taking a philosophy class in my undergrad, I became very intrigued at the debate around determinism as well. Bandura’s perspective seems to rely heavily on the presence of free will around our cognition and behaviors. In fact, I believe all of CBT values our human capability to make an internal change by recognizing maladaptive tendencies and associations. That, after all, is the core of “reciprocal determinism”– that a change in one of the three factors with affect the others when we choose to make that change. I don’t think a philosopher would argue that the interaction between these factors doesn’t exist, however, a philosopher may argue that there is no choice involved. The changes will just happen because something influenced it. I believe many people choose to label this “something” that influences change as magical or even “God’s Will.” This makes me wonder how religion or a disbelief in free-will may affect the CBT process. Will a clinician using CBT need to make sure their client has self-efficacy in making change?


    • Lina Boothby-Zapata
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 22:18:08

      Hi Anna,
      I like your example in terms of trying to look for different situations that could explain self-internal dialogue. My first thought was that It really will be such a pain if we always are thinking about every action that we do, especially automatic actions like “old the door for someone else” I think, “self-internal dialogue goes more in the direction of being automatic thoughts with the characteristics of “automatically and extremely rapidly” Beck. pas33. But furthermore, this self-internal dialogue comes along with three sources; interpersonal instructions, stress responses, and physiological reactions. Hence, I think, an example such as; “having anxiety of speak in public” and revealing the thoughts before of the speech, will be kind of the self-internal dialogue that the individual is doing.


  17. Christina DeMalia
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 15:33:25

    Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism looks at interactions in a social learning view. This view suggests that not only is a person influenced by their environment, but the environment can be effected by the person. An example of this two way influence is a child that is looking for attention or is in need. If that need is not met, the child might intensify their behaviors until they do receive that attention. Therefore a child might scream and cry until their needs are met. The screaming and crying of the child causes the parents to react to stop the unpleasant behavior, and in this way, the child is effecting the environment. However, the child now learns that if they scream and cry, their needs will be met, and it reinforces the behavior. The parenting approach, or the environment, is now effecting the child, teaching the child to use similar to methods to have their needs met going forward. This is related to CBT because in maladaptive functioning, clients may not be aware of the way their environment is effecting them. For example, if a person is noticing that they are not themselves, and that they are quicker to snap at people and on edge more often, they may look for something to fix within themselves. However, if that person is in a relationship with and living with someone who is abusive, it could be living in that environment that is making the client behave in those ways. An adaptive client could be cognitively aware of the way their environment is effecting them, and remove themselves from that environment in order to change their behaviors. This combination of understanding where adverse behaviors are coming from and then using that cognitive knowledge to help change behaviors is at the core of CBT.

    Self-efficacy according to Bandura, is about how much an individual believes in their own ability to handle situations. Whereas self-esteem is more about one’s opinion of their worth, self-efficacy has more to do with one’s belief in their ability to accomplish things. This idea of self-efficacy is especially important when it comes to CBT because it addresses the cognitive side of a person’s improvement. Studies have been done to support the idea that if a person believes that the have the capability to help themselves and to improve, they will have better outcomes than someone with low self-efficacy who believes their problems are out of their control. When a person can change their cognitions to recognize themselves as capable of doing and accomplishing things, they may be able to more easily change their behaviors to be more desirable. Someone who feels they cannot help themselves may struggle to make changes in their behavior. If they don’t think things like therapy or working on themselves will eventually be successful, they will be unmotivated to participate is something they don’t expect to work.
    Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is similar to CBT in many ways. One major similarity is that both REBT and CBT are based in the belief that the thoughts/cognitions a person has effects their behaviors. They are both able to recognize that when a person has unfavorable outcomes, it stems from unfavorable thinking, and favorable outcomes come from favorable thinking. Although they are very similar in this way, the specificity of this idea is where the two slightly differ. CBT suggests that our cognitions are the basis for our behaviors. Therefore, every action or experience of a person can be explained by the thought process that led them to that action. REBT, on the other hand focuses more on the way emotions effect behavior, and how thoughts first effect those emotions. In CBT, you might suggest that a student is failing math because he believes he is bad at math and will never understand it. In this example, his thoughts about himself suggest that he can’t be good at math. This leads him to being unmotivated to put effort into his math classes if he does not believe he can do well anyways. If he changed his thoughts to recognize that he has learned many other difficult things, and could do well in math with some practice, he might be willing to put more effort into math class, and see real improvements in his math performance.

    In REBT, the same student could be looked at in a slightly different way. An REBT therapist might dive in to what emotions the student is feeling. Maybe he feels nervous that if he gets a low grade on an exam, his parents and teachers will scold him, or maybe he is embarrassed that his peers will view him as intelligent. In these cases, his thoughts, which could likely be false, cause him to experience negative emotions: fear, embarrassment. Because of his thoughts leading to those negative potential emotions, he chooses instead to not try at all and pretend not to care about math. If he was able to remove those irrational thoughts, he could reframe them as, “If I fail a test, it won’t be the end of the world, and I can do better next time. Chances are no one will view me differently for one bad grade.” By doing this, he removes that potential fear and embarrassment. Without unhelpful emotions stopping him, he could do his best to study for the exam, knowing that he will be all right even if he doesn’t end up scoring well. By being willing to study, his performance in math would likely improve.

    When I look at these two forms of therapy, I see it almost as if REBT could fall under an umbrella of CBT. CBT focuses on examining one’s thoughts to better understand how they influence behaviors. By improving the way one thinks, they can have more desirable behaviors. REBT aligns with all of those ideas, but also goes one step further in identifying what leads from the thoughts to the actions. This theory suggests that the thoughts cause the person to experience emotions, which then results in behaviors. In this case, REBT isn’t suggesting that emotions are bad or that a person shouldn’t feel them. Instead, they explain that feelings and emotions have important roles for survival and happiness. The differentiation they make is between rational and irrational thought. If a person thinks, “It’s cold outside, I’ll regret it if I don’t grab a jacket,” the person is having a rational thought, accurately recognizes the regret they would feel, and behaves in response to that by wearing a jacket. If the same person goes to grab a jacket and thinks, “People might think I look like a loser for wearing a jacket, and then I would feel embarrassed all day,” then chooses to leave the jacket at home, it is an irrational thought. Imagining people judging them and thinking negative things about them isn’t necessarily accurate, and is not a helpful thought. Neither is the feared emotion of embarrassment useful. In the end, it causes the individual to make an irrational decision. REBT would ask a person to be honest with themselves and identify what emotion they felt when making a decision, and then further examine what thought elicited that emotion. By correcting the initial thoughts, they can change the emotions they feel, and improve their behaviors.
    Meichenbaum’s idea of internal dialogue essentially classifies the “voice inside your head”. It is the ongoing thought process that has conversations or dialogue with itself in your mind. As I read about this idea of internal dialogue, it reminded me of the question people will sometimes pose “what went through your mind when you did that?” Sometimes this can be asked rhetorically, but it is actually an extremely important question to ask. Almost no decision or action (unless it is an automatic one like breathing) is made without some type of thought or internal dialogue. In one example, a person might not hold the door for the person walking into a building behind them. From an outside perspective, this could appear rude. However, for the individual that didn’t hold the door, there could have been an entire inner dialogue that led to that decision. The individual could have recalled how the day before, a person held the door open while they were still very far away, causing the individual to try to sprint to the door so the person holding it wouldn’t have to wait too long. Now, the individual might think to himself or herself, “I don’t want to make that person rush to the door just because I’m holding it.” In this case, the inner dialogue of holding a door for someone potentially backfiring into an inconvenience for them caused the person to keep walking without holding the door.

    This idea is particularly important to therapy and CBT specifically because it supports the idea that what a person does and their behaviors are often dictated by the thoughts they first have in their head. If a person is having maladaptive thoughts about themselves or the situations around them, it could lead to them behaving in a maladaptive way. An example of this that was given is an individual with anxiety. Even if the individual has learned many coping techniques to deal with this anxiety, they might have the thought that “I must really be anxious if I have to use all of these techniques.” In this case, even though the client has been prepared to deal with anxiety provoking situations, their inner dialogue tells them they MUST be very anxious, which in turn could produce more behaviors influenced by those feelings of anxiety.


    • Zoe DiPinto
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 17:39:47

      Hi Christina,

      I found your example of internal dialogue very interesting. I enjoyed this every-day anxiety driven example of choosing to hold a door open. I suppose that there is an internal dialogue present in most, if not every decision. When reading and listening to the lecture, I saw the emphasis of the importance of internal dialogue highlighted in situations of association. In your example, you highlighted how the internal dialogue had taken a stance after learning and forming an association from a previous awkward experience. In the assignments, we also saw how internal dialogue forms associations with defensiveness such as blame, somatic responses, and automatic thoughts. I wonder if our voices that tell us the attribution, response to physiological stimuli, and automatic thoughts are usually formed out of previous experiences. At this risk of getting too psychoanalytic, I wonder how important past experiences are in forming associations that will lead to maladaptive internal dialogue.


  18. Carly Moris
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 15:40:39

    Reciprocal determinism is the interaction between a person’s behavior, environment and personal factors (thoughts and emotions). These three factors interact with and effect each other. This means that not only does our environment have an effect on our behavior, but our behavior has an effect on our environment. Personal factors like thought and emotions also play a role. How we perceive a situation or environment will affect the behavior we respond with. This behavioral response will then have an effect on our thoughts and feelings about the event or environment. Depending on the situation one of these factor may be more important, or you may have more control of one than the others. For example we all had to go to high school. We didn’t have a large amount of control over the environment of the school (its location, how it was set up, or its policies). But, we could choose how to behave while at school which would influence our personal factors and the environment in regards to teachers and other students. This is important because it means that we have free will, and are not just controlled by our environment or reinforced behaviors. While their may be limitations to our choices, we still have a choice. This is important for CBT because it means we can change maladaptive thought processes or behavioral patterns. For example Bandaura talked about detrimental reciprocal systems where “Unfavorable social practices evoke coercive behavior which due to its aversive properties, creates the reinforcement conditions likely to perpetuate it”. By changing our response to the event/unfavorable social practice, we can change the maladaptive/coercive behavior. In CBT this means we want to examine the personal factors, environment, and behaviors involved in a clients problem, and help the client determine which of these factors to change and how, to be able to change their maladaptive to adaptive functioning.
    Self-efficacy is another important concept in CBT. Self-efficacy is an individuals beliefs or expectations about their ability to succeed or successfully preform in a given situation. An individual’s self-efficacy can vary across tasks and situations, because people have different strengths and weaknesses. How a person perceives their self-efficacy is important because it influences the goals they set and the risks they are willing to take. A person with high self-efficacy is more likely to set higher/more ambitious goals and persevere in the face of obstacles. While, individuals with low self-efficacy are likely to be less motivated to set goals and persevere when faced with challenges or set backs. Motivation is an important part of self-efficacy because it involves how likely an individual is the persist in a behavior when faced with challenges. Self-efficacy can be broken down into two parts efficacy expectation and outcome expectation. Efficacy expectation is if an individual thinks they have the ability to perform a certain behavior in order to achieve a specific outcome. Where outcome expectancy involves if a person thinks their desired behavior will lead to a specific outcome. This distinction can be important when working with a client. In both cases they may not attempt to engage in a behavior, but the reason for it is different. If the client doesn’t think they have the ability to preform the behavior, you want to help them gain confidence in their abilities. Where as, if they don’t think the behavior will achieve the desired outcome, you can work with them to come up with ways they can achieve that outcome. Self-efficacy is also important for CBT because it involves an individuals expectations for coping with problems. If an individual believes they can cope with a problem they will cope. But if they don’t belive they can the individual will not. CBT can help an individual increase their expectations of their coping ability through various techniques like guided participation.

    Ellis’ rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) has a number of similarities to CBT, though there are a few key differences. Both therapeutic techniques emphasis the importance of thoughts and behaviors. That they are not separate processes, but that they are highly interrelated because our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors influence each other. Both theories believe that it is not the event itself but our interpretation of it that is important and can lead to problems. That individuals can have distortions in thinking that cause can cause problems. These distorted thought patterns are similar across REBT and CBT but go by different names. For example awfulizing in REBT is called catastrophizing in CBT, while all or none thinking in REBT is called black and white thinking in CBT. Both therapies believe that these distorted thought patterns or problem interpretations can be modified through therapy. However, for REBT this involves rational and irrational thoughts, and that irrational thoughts are harmful to the self. Ellis believes that individuals have a tendency toward irrational thoughts and that the therapist needs to dispute these thoughts in-order to help the individual think rationally. In REBT irrational beliefs are identified, and then the therapist debates, usually through Socratic questioning the truth/falsehood and usefulness/un-usefulness of these beliefs in-order to help the client discriminate between rational and unrational thought. This differs from CBT, in that the REBT therapist is more confrontational with the client. While, both therapies work to help the client change maladaptive thought processes, Ellis at times will directly advice client on what to do. While the patient has the choice to take this advise, direct advice is not given in CBT.

    My understanding of Michenbaum’s internal dialogue is that it is the voice that we hear in our own head. For example it the voice I have been hearing inside my own head that says the words as I type them for this assignment. This internal dialogue can offer us self-instructions that help us preform tasks. For example, when preforming a kata for martial arts especially if I am learning a new one, I say the steps internally to help me with the process like “right front kick, left cat stance, half moon while thrust punch” as I go through the motions. Internal dialogue is also important because what we think about something can effect how we feel. If we chose to focus on something that makes us feel a certain way it can amplify that emotion. In depression individuals tend to ruminate on their negative emotions, this repetitive negative internal dialogue can perpetuate feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. Internal dialogue also involves self statements which are the way that we perceive events or what we tell ourselves about a situation. Individuals can experience the same situation but interpret the situation differently which will effect their feelings and behavior. For example I had a panic attack during one of my classes in undergrad. My heart was pounding, I felt like I couldn’t breath and that I had to leave because something horrible was going to happen. However, I was able to recognize that I was having a panic attack and talk to myself that everything was going to be okay. Even though my heart was pounding and I felt like I had trouble breathing I kept telling myself I was going to be okay and I could continue with class, and eventually the feeling subsided. Where as an individual who has never experienced or is not familiar with panic attacks may have a different internal dialogue. That their heart is pounding and that they are having trouble breathing so they must be having a medical emergency and they need to leave class and get help. This is extremely important for CBT because if we can help people change their internal dialogue we can help them change their perceptions toward specific events. In the case of panic attacks we can help an individual recognize the signs and symptoms and help them come up with an internal dialogue that can help them deal with the panic attack.


    • Yen Pham
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 23:06:27

      Hi Carly,
      You did a nice job! I have enjoyed reading your work. You answer each question in great detail and clarity. I appreciate your understanding of self- efficacy. I agree with you that knowing self-efficacy is a person’s ability when they believe they can do well in a planned thing. As you said a person’s success is related to his or her self- efficacy. They are more successful if they had had high self- efficacy and less successful if they had a low self- efficacy. Besides, I also like the way that you consider the personal self- efficacy of each individual is different, so the therapist should know and apply it in a useful way for each client. Understanding of internal dialogue, like you, I claim that internal dialogue is the self- talk, the inner voice or the he voice that we hear in our own head. The internal dialogue can be negative and positive voice, and its nature is both unhelpful and helpful for each individual. As a therapist, we should realize the both sides of the self-talk so that we can help our clients to change their negative self-talk to positive self-talk. If we do so, I think there is the way how the CBT related to the self-talk.


    • Laura
      Jan 28, 2021 @ 10:51:04


      I found your explanation of the similarities and differences between CBT and REBT to be helpful at illustrating the main ideas in a more simple and easy to digest way. I think that including the specifications of REBT, such as awfulizing, helped to solidify the differences between the two. Further, I think you had a great point in mentioning that REBT is more confrontational than CBT!


  19. Zoe DiPinto
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 15:45:14

    1) Bandura claims that the basis of learning is through observing interactions. The underlying concept is that humans learn by watching how one thing affects another. However, it is not just observing the external environment. We also learn from interactions that happen within ourselves. Our internal thoughts and emotions, behaviors, and environmental factors all interact with one another. Awareness of this continuous reciprocal interaction may lead to an individual to gain more control over their thoughts and behaviors, and thus, how they feel. This focus on internal discovery affecting our cognition to become more adaptive is one of the key features of cognitive behavioral therapy. Bandura also values the concept of self-efficacy. Without self-efficacy, an individual may lack a sense of capability. If an individual believes they can do something that will provide a positive outcome, this will affect their thoughts, beliefs, goals, risks, coping, motivation, and subsequently, their behavior. This concept also follows the values of CBT by placing emphasis on forward-thinking cognition to change the individual’s perception of themselves and their situation, and thus, their behavior.
    2) REBT values the same ABC rules of current CBT practices. To formulate a case, the individual and/or clinician will explore the Activating event/ trigger, Behavior/ Beliefs, and Consequences. Similar to CBT, it also places emphasis on identifying cognitive distortions, labeling them as irrational, and taking power away from them. However, the process of modifying these thoughts is different from modern CBT approaches. Ellis suggests socratic questioning and debating as methods of therapeutic change. While debating may have a similar effect, modern CBT approaches value a mutual exploration and sympathetic standing from the clinician rather than a challenge to modify cognitive distortions.
    3) Meichenbaum suggests everyone has an internal dialogue that responds to stress and arousal. Using intrapersonal communication, an individual may be more or less likely have certain perceptions of themselves or the world. The first example of this is internal vs external attribution. One individual may be more likely to blame themselves for an outcome while another may tend to blame external forces. Individuals also have tendencies to associate perceptions with physiological effects to make somatic experiences emotionally driven. Using similar tactics to CBT, an individual may be able to recognize cognitive associations to confrontation, physical stimuli, and automatic thoughts. This recognition may pave the way to the individual having control over their internal responses and open the door to using coping structures. All of these historic theories have frameworks that are similar to the values of modern CBT: Understanding the interactions between the self and the world, recognizing that which is not helping the self, and coping by changing cognition (or in some cases behavior/ environment) to change maladaptive associations.


    • Maya Lopez
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 18:30:09

      Hey Zoe,
      I like that you focused on learning in your first example and explained that we learn from things externally and within ourselves as well. I don’t know if we always are aware of the reciprocal effect the environment has on us, or the effect we have on others and the environment around us though. I know for myself at least, I typically am not aware of this in the moment but rather during reflection after. I like that you mentioned irrational and cognitive distortions in REBT and CBT they definitely are similar in this way and are a major part of both theories. I also find it interesting some therapists will choose to have a more direct, blunt attitude when “debating” or challenging their client’s irrational thoughts. It makes me a little nervous to think of “arguing” with a client but I suppose it’s not really arguing and is more beneficial to make the client think critically on the validity of their distorted thoughts. I think you made a great point to use the recognition of how a person feels physically to identify triggers or associations of automatic thoughts. If someone is ruminating with automatic thoughts they may not realize it but may realize their body is trembling.


    • Connor Belland
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 22:26:59

      Hey Zoe, I like how you talk about Banduras basis of learning not only as observing interactions around you but also interactions you have yourself and within oneself. This reminds me of Miechenbaum’s inner dialogue which is how we talk to ourselves or our sort of inner voice, maybe this inner voice can influence behaviors that in turn help people to have interactions that they can learn from and influence future decisions and impact their inner dialogue.


    • Lina Boothby-Zapata
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 22:28:26

      Hi Zoe,
      I agreed with you about the main difference between CBT and REBT, which is more focused on technique. I am not sure if it was tricky for me in the reading, but Ellis left me with the feeling that for him was more important to identify and show to his audience how emotions influence cognition. I was with the impression that REBT’s main goal is to reach appropriate emotions. REBT helps the client to identify emotions that became a challenge for the client creating irrational thinking and negatively impact the client’s behaviors an example is feeling depressed, self-downing, or enraged under the same conditions. Hence his therapy efforts were center on Strengthen the client’s self-emotional control. While CBT focus on the support of different techniques in modifies automatic thoughts and core beliefs.


    • Laura
      Jan 28, 2021 @ 10:59:32


      I appreciated your entire response and enjoyed the way you were able to answer each of the questions in a progressive way, in regards to starting with the beginning thought and building on all of the individual factors. I specifically thought “While debating may have a similar effect, modern CBT approaches value a mutual exploration and sympathetic standing from the clinician rather than a challenge to modify cognitive distortions” was a particularly concise and thoughtful way to express this idea that REBT “argues” ideas, while CBT does not. Last, I found that your answer regarding internal dialogue was clear and thoughtful, especially in regards to the inclusion of internal and external attributions.


  20. Alexa Berry
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 15:45:33

    In Bandura’s discussion of reciprocal determinism, he highlighted the interaction between factors like the environment, and other such as personal and behavioral factors. Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism make me think of the transactional-ecological model of development that we have begun learning about in developmental psych. Essentially, the environment and an individual influence each other in a bidirectional, circular, and dynamic way. This means that while the environment may influence an individual, an individual may influence the environment in different ways. These various influences create continuous changes over time. A notable difference in Bandura’s discussion is that he states the environment can only influence an individual if the individual interacts with that environment. Examples such as a student attending a lecture and a fire burning someone only if they touch it are provided to emphasize this idea. As stated by Bandura, “behavior can create environmental conditions, as well as regulate their impact”. Behavior is an influential determinant of future contingencies, and individuals can influence future conditions by managing their own behavior. This is relevant to CBT because with the social learning view of interaction, there is an emphasis on mechanisms such as self-regulatory processes. Reciprocal determinism highlights the fact that individuals are not only pawns of external influences, but rather social learning encompasses both aspects of the bidirectional influence approach. This is important for its implications with CBT because individuals may look at how their behaviors influence their experiences, as well as how their thoughts (cognitions) can influence/change their experiences.
    Similarly, Bandura’s thoughts on self-efficacy show that cognitive processes mediate change and play a prominent role in the acquisition and retention of new behavior patterns. Self-efficacy is largely a cognitive process related to an individual’s belief that they can successfully execute the behaviors required in a particular situation. Self-efficacy has relations to motivation, which is also partly rooted in cognitive activities. Perceived self-efficacy can have an impact on coping efforts. Bandura believed that behavioral treatments/ other therapies could work to increase individual self-efficacy, with the most effective expectations coming from performance accomplishments. Self-efficacy is related to CBT because it is related to cognitive processes and their corresponding behaviors based on thoughts about the self. Additionally, behavioral therapies can help to build self-effiacy and coping skills, such as in the case of a person with a phobia. For example, if a person with a fear of social situations copes well in a difficult social situation, this exposure will strengthen their sense of self-efficacy. This will help them believe they are able to cope in similar situations in the future.

    Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) shares some similarities with CBT. A few major similarities between REBT and CBT are that they both focus on the connection between thoughts and feelings, although CBT goes further to emphasize thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and both require self-analysis for change. The goal of both REBT and CBT is to get clients to a point where they can function and think for themselves, such as what to do in a tough situation, otherwise they may always remain dependent upon others or their counselors. In REBT and CBT, therapists may “assign homework” for clients to practice their skills outside of session and monitor their progress independently. In contrast, there are also many major differences between REBT and CBT. Most prominently, REBT has a more direct approach from the therapist than CBT, where the REBT therapist directly tells the client that they have a problem and need to challenge their illogical assumptions to be able to act more rationally. In the examples provided in the text, the REBT therapist many times made assumptions on the clients behalf and told the clients what it was they were doing wrong, whereas in CBT a therapist/counselor may encourage their client to come to these realizations on their own. There were multiple instances in the reading where “correcting” client behavior was discussed, which appears to be central to REBT. Overall, CBT focuses more on the connection between thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, where REBT focuses mainly on the connection between thoughts and emotions.

    Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” relates to the phenomenon of inner speech. An important implication of internal dialogue is how change of an individual’s internal dialogue can lead to behavior change. Meichenbaum discusses three functions of the internal dialogue: interpersonal instructions, cognitive factors in stress responses, and instructional sets and physiological effects. The internal dialogue is relevant to modern CBT because it shares a link with automatic thoughts. Automatic thoughts are something that can be examined and challenged in CBT. For example, a client may have the automatic thought that if they don’t receive good grades in school, they are unlovable. In CBT, these automatic thoughts that stem from our inner dialogue can be examined more closely and dissected so that individuals may work towards restructuring these cognitions to more accurate representations (i.e. even if I do not get good grades in school, I am lovable; I have these automatic thoughts because growing up my parents praised me and gave me attention when I received good grades in school, and scolded me/ did not pay attention to me when I did not receive good grades). Our inner dialogue and automatic thoughts occur very quickly, so in CBT further examination can lead to “de-automatizing” these thoughts and corresponding behaviors.


    • Pawel Zawistowski
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 19:38:14

      Hello Alexa,
      I like how you refer to internal dialogue as inner speech. It is sort of the way we talk ourselves through different occurrences in our daily life and how we process automatic thoughts of a situation at hand. I also agree that as clinicians it is important for us to understand this concept so that we can gain a better understanding of our client, how they react to situations, and how we can use cognitive restructuring to be able to work through some of those mental discrepancies. I also wonder if educating our clients about such concept can help them become more self-aware.


  21. Tim Cody
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 15:50:47

    (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?
    a. Bandura viewed Reciprocal Determinism as both an element of social learning theory and as many different factors that influence an individual and their behaviors. While some theorists believe there is a bidirectional link between the individual and the environment and that is how psychological functioning occurs, Bandura was driven by the feat that there is a continuous interaction between the person (their behaviors, thoughts, and emotions) and the environmental determinants. The difference here is not only does the environment influence the individual, but it can be driving force to determining how they react to certain stimuli. The same is true for how individual’s behavior and personal factors influence their responses as well. There is no single driving force or factor that determines our response to certain environmental stimuli, but rather our cognitive function is an interwoven mechanism that determines our behavior. Bandura suggested that we exhibit control over our own behavior through the environmental conditions and reciprocal actions. Our own free will also play a role determining our response to certain stimuli, but according to Bandura it is only a “partial role”. Self-efficacy is defined as the belief one has in oneself in which he or she is able to successfully behave correctly to particular situations. It is their inner cognitive belief that they are supposed to act a certain way to a certain situation. This acts as a guide to directing one’s behavior, and so long as we have high self-efficacy, we are able to accomplish higher and hard goals. These two concepts of reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy are related to CBT through the control and free will. Both their control over their behaviors and the belief in choosing the correct response will determine how the individual will react to certain stimuli. CBT focuses on putting the individual first and determining their own desires to accomplishing certain goals and tasks.
    (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.)
    a. Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) deals with one’s viewpoint or individual beliefs. It takes into account an individual’s beliefs about a certain aspect of activating event and then addresses the consequences of that event. Similar to CBT, REBT grants a humanistic outlook on therapy. Concepts such as psychotherapy merely treat the individual as a construct, while both CBT and REBT focus on the individual as a person. Therapists of both CBT and REBT are more focused and driven to learn about the individual’s beliefs, emotions, cognitive function, and behaviors, and how these characteristics and factors are different from other individuals. A treatment that is shared amongst both types of therapies is changing and shifting of beliefs. REBT focuses on changing the rationale of the individual’s beliefs, and CBT focuses on changing the negative outlook and connotation of those beliefs. A difference however, would be the outcome of this therapeutic approach. REBT focuses entirely on the individual’s thoughts and beliefs and will not shift to their behavior, since their thoughts are what are driving the behavior. CBT, on the other hand, focuses on every aspect of the individual which includes both their thoughts and behaviors.
    (3) Share your understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” and its relevance to modern CBT.
    a. Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue is the conversations we have with ourselves, most likely in our heads. Often, we may find ourselves thinking about a memory or something that recently happened, and this triggers an emotion which can often be viewed externally. It can be a funny memory that will make us chuckle, or something that recently frightened us that constantly comes to mind. People who deal with PTSD frequently relive the traumatic event in their minds and this can often lead the individual to feel sad, depressed, or distant from others. This internal dialogue is helpful for CBT Therapists determine an individual’s behavior and help them to overcome their mental health deficiency. Therapists will often as, “What is on your mind?” in order to understand the internal dialogue that the individual is experiencing.


    • Yen Pham
      Jan 21, 2021 @ 23:39:32

      Hi Tim,
      I completely agree with you that Bandura’s theory represents an important shift from a behavioral perspective to a more social cognitive approach to understanding behavior. Bandura realizes the importance of two-way relationships between individuals, their behavior and the environment. As like you, I believe that three interdependent factors differ in various settings/contexts. But this shows that while people are certainly influenced by the things they experience in their environment, they also have the right to change their circumstances through their own choices and behavior. What you notice in your post is “free will”.


  22. Maya Lopez
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 15:55:07

    In your own words, explain your understanding of Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy? How are these constructs related to CBT?
    What I understand of Bandura’s reciprocal determinism is the belief that personality/behavior and environment are constantly interacting and changing on another and their effect is dependent on each other. There is a reciprocal effect in that one may change their environment in a beneficial way which then allows their environment to help their learning etc. there can also be negative reciprocal effects in which a person acts unpleasant during an interview causing those around them to also act unpleasant thus creating a negative environment and affecting the person to feel or behave defensively or worse.
    What are a couple of 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.)
    REBT is similar to CBT in that both have an emphasis on behavior and cognition and the ways they interact. Both theories also have similarities in the cognitive distortions and irrational thinking patterns that are looked at when clients have distress over things they “should” or “must” do. Although REBT has more of a philosophical approach and more deeply explores emotional disturbances whereas CBT focuses more on the irrational cognitive distortions and behavior that is correlated.
    Share your understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” and its relevance to modern CBT.
    My understanding of Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue is that people are in fact distressed/soothed by the way they internally think about arousing/distressing events. The idea that one may view the loss of a job as something stressful but another person could view the same event as an opportunity to pursue a new career. The importance is on the way events are cognitively thought about and may attempt to think about them more adaptively. This is relevant to CBT in that there are attempts through Socratic questioning and “debate” to challenge and alter cognitions about one’s self or events. Both theories find strength in adapting the way a client perceives distressing times.


    • Cailee Norton
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 16:21:21


      I really love how you broke down Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue. Your focus on how individuals emotionally respond to their thinking about arousing or distressing events perfectly summarizes the dialogue part he stresses. I talked about the way in which internal dialogue can be conceptualized as a conversation between the individual and their perception of events around them, being distressing or arousing, but I love that you brought it home with your take on the emotions of this process. Internal dialogue can greatly impact how we perceive an event, and to Meichenbaum’s beliefs if we change this dialogue we can have a different outlook on an event. Really great job!


    • Alexa Berry
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 18:16:12

      Hi Maya,
      The example you added in your discussion of Bandura’s reciprocal determinism was a good way to elaborate on what those interactions might look like. It’s interesting that the environment can have an influence on individual’s, in either a positive or negative way, as you put it. In your explanation of Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue, I like how you pointed out that in CBT our inner thoughts can be challenged through a Socratic dialogue. This made me think of the video we watched about challenging automatic thoughts, which is a great intervention for individuals whose internal dialogue may be self-sabotaging or have other maladaptive attributes.


  23. Connor Belland
    Jan 21, 2021 @ 16:58:19

    (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?
    Reciprocal Determinism in my understanding just means that a person’s environment affects them and how they think or behave but also those behaviors and thoughts in turn affect the environment. It is a constant cycle of back and forth influence of environment on person and person on environment. It reminds me of the ecological-transactional model we are learning about in developmental psychology but also in a way Newtons law that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, although in the case of reciprocal determinism the actions are always changing based of perception and the reactions are not all equal. A persons thoughts or behaviors like seeing a friend across the restaurant and saying hello to them, they respond to this stimulus with a wave, this wave is then a stimulus also that causes a response for the first person to walk over and talk to them.
    Self-efficacy reminds me of self confidence or self esteem in a way but is slightly different. It is a person’s personal belief that they can do something or have the ability to do something or accomplish something. For example, I played a lot of videogames this past year so I have high self-efficacy in my ability at playing videogames, and since I haven’t played baseball since high school, I have low self-efficacy that I will ever be a professional baseball player, but this dream isn’t that important to me so despite the lack of self-efficacy in achieving this goal, it doesn’t cause me much stress, which it might if I was actively pursuing and focusing on achieving this.
    (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.)

    The idea of helping the client change the way they think about something going on in their life in order to change their emotions reminds me of the CBT practice of Psychoeducation. They are different as Psychoeducation is teaching the client about what’s really going on biologically and scientifically with their thinking and behaviors in order to hopefully help them better understand themselves, which is also similar to the RET model of changing the way the client thinks about their thoughts. For the main difference I see, It seems that RET focuses on mostly trying to change thinking which will in turn eventually change the persons behavior and emotions, while CBT tends to focus on changing the persons behavior directly in order to influence their emotions. I don’t know if this is right but RET kind of reminds me of that new Diet fad “noom” where they try to change they way people think about food to change their behavior while CBT would focus more on changing behavior like going to “fat camp” or giving them different strategies to try when dieting. Of course they are both similar but CBT seems to be much more widely accepted and used and just a more complex and effective method in general.
    (3) Share your understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” and its relevance to modern CBT.
    In my understanding, Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” refers to the inner voice people have in their heads, it is the way the person perceives something and how their mind communicates emotions and thoughts. The way our mind perceives something and then can trigger an emotional response. In CBT we may try to change the way a person perceives something arousing or distressing or how a person communicates something in their own head.


    • Cailee Norton
      Jan 23, 2021 @ 16:25:43


      I appreciate that you were able to see clear differences between CBT and REBT, and your use of psychoeducation as an example. I think that RET looks at problems more conceptually in the person, and like you said will eventually change a person’s behavior, while CBT focuses on making those changes while examining and validating a person’s thoughts throughout the process. While they’re both similar and attempt for the same goal, I think CBT’s popularity is largely due to the action portion emphasized in the treatment process while REBT is more in depth which can be off putting to many individuals. Great use of your examples, it definitely helped me to see the distinctions between these two lines of thinking.


  24. Laura Wheeler
    Jan 28, 2021 @ 10:42:05

    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?

    My understanding of Bandura’s idea of reciprocal determinism is related to social learning, based on three main interlocking determinants: environment, behavior, and personal factors (including thoughts and emotions). These determinants impact each other in a circular, reciprocal manner, and therefore impact the individual and the environment. The overall idea is that the individual impacts the environment, by means of their behavior, and the environment impacts and shapes them as an individual. An individuals thoughts and emotions can be impacted by an environment and vice versa. Further, an individuals reaction between themselves and the environment is shaped not only by personal factors but also by the type of environment. This is related to CBT because it also focuses on the influence that cognition, behavior, and emotion have on both individuals and there environment. There is also a relation to CBT in the ability to change maladaptive thoughts or environments; in reciprocal determinism the individual has the free will to change the environment and their response/behavior if it is negatively impactful; similarly, in CBT if a thought is determined to be maladaptive, changes can be made to achieve a more adaptive level of functioning.

    Self-efficacy is an individuals belief that they can successfully execute the behaviors required by a particular situation. Self efficacy is not only the confidence in a skill, but the confidence in the skills and the ability to achieve the desired result. For example, a person that is participating in this program likely has a strong belief that they are capable of both learning the skills necessary to be a successful therapist and the ability to achieve results with their clients; therefore having strong self-efficacy. People with stronger self-efficacy tend to have loftier goals and more motivations to achieve them. Self efficacy is related to CBT because results are based on the cognitive confidence and comfort in the skill.

    2. What are a couple examples of how Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is both similar to CBT and different from CBT?
    REBT is similar to CBT in that the role of cognitive factors is stressed in both; though in different ways. Similarly, the concept of rational and irrational thinking line up fairly closely with adaptive and maladaptive, in CBT. Further, in both REBT and CBT, clients “think about thinking”, therefore identifying their maladaptive/irrational thinking, and then have the ability to choose or make changes to these ways of thinking. REBT is more focused on “humanistic” and full psychological themes while CBT identifies specific thoughts/challenges/behaviors and works to reframe them directly. CBT involves cognitive restructuring, not disputing, which is involved in REBT.

    3. Share your understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” and its relevance to modern CBT.
    Internal dialogue refers to the way an individual talks to themselves, provides themselves with self-instructions, and the automatic thoughts they experience. Internal dialogue is important because the way we talk to ourselves impacts how we feel about things. Self talk is relevant to CBT because the therapeutic process is focused around restructuring cognitive thoughts, so being aware of what those thoughts are is crucial.


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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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