Topic 1: Social Learning & Cognitive Theories {by 1/23}

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 1/23.  Have your two replies posted no later than 1/25.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.   *Note: If this is your first post to my website there may be a delay of a few hours to a day until your post is viewable.  This will only be the case for your first post if you use the same email address and user name.  *Note 2: It is best/safest to type/save your response as Word document and then copy and paste it to the blog.

37 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Robert Salvucci
    Jan 17, 2020 @ 20:06:44

    Howdy Everyone! This is a blog post 😊

    1. Reciprocal Determinism
    Bandura defines reciprocal determinism as the reciprocal relationship between behavior, environmental factors and personal factors such as thoughts and emotions. These factors are perpetually interacting with one another at all levels and cannot be viewed or understood in isolation. This is particularly relevant in the context of social situations. One’s attitudes and thoughts will influence behavior, and individuals respond to one another based on how other people behave. Hence, the behavior of other people influences our behaviors, which influence our emotions and thoughts, and so on. This is also true in the absence of social stimuli, as we are always occupying an environment and do not behave in a vacuum. If we do find ourselves behaving inside of a vacuum, well that’d be strange and would certainly suck.

    If we want to make a ham sandwich, our emotions will be influenced by variables that coincide with or interfere with our goal of making a ham sandwich, and we will be interacting with the environment at every level of the process. Ideally, we will have all the ingredients necessary and can smoothly go about making our snack. In this case, our behavior will likely occur as planned with minimal goal-related emotional dysregulation. We will alter our kitchen by making a mess to clean up, and taking some of the sandwich ingredients, which will have to be replaced at some point. If our sandwich making operation does not go as planned, whether that be as a result of missing ingredients or getting an urgent call, our emotions and behaviors will change in response, and we will manipulate our environment accordingly, and hopefully get back to our sandwich later.

    Self-Efficacy is an attitude we hold regarding our competence to achieve desired goals in a variety of settings. It is a filter through which we appraise our own abilities and capacity to get things done effectively. Self-Efficacy is related to the tendency to view difficult situations as challenges rather than a threat, and is also related to locus of control; an individual’s tendency to feel a sense of agency and capacity to change one’s life. Self-Efficacy can be global or domain specific. General self-efficacy is a more global evaluation of oneself as competent and capable, whereas domain specific refers to perceived competence in a particular aspiration (such as writing, golf, playing an instrument, etc.). Generally, high global self-efficacy translates into higher domain self-efficacy in many areas, as a general sense of being competent carries over into a belief in one’s capacity to learn and achieve. However, we can feel very confident in our ability to write a paper, and not at all confident in our ability to perform brain surgery on our next door neighbor’s 5 year old golden retriever Cooper.

    Reciprocal Determinism and Self-Efficacy: Relations to CBT
    Self-Efficacy is a very important attitude and construct that influences the development of depressive symptoms. It can be thought of a one of the most influential elements in the “self” component of the cognitive triad that influences maladaptive cognitive distortions and contributes to irrational and self-defeating core beliefs. “I’m incompetent” could be thought of as a core belief in itself that is reflective of self-efficacy. The implications of low self-efficacy could go even further, and manifest as a belief such as “I’ll never find a loving partner”, if an individual has low social/intimacy self – efficacy. I personally believe that enhancing self-efficacy is one of the most crucial components of CBT interventions for many individuals. Low self efficacy can often be related to a sense of control in one’s life, and contribute to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. In addition to the two examples of core beliefs I mentioned, we would likely see many automatic thoughts relating to one’s incompetence that surface as a result of low self efficacy. These automatic thoughts may contribute to phobias or avoidant behavior that strengthens anxiety. Repetitive negative thoughts about being rejected for a date or for a job can keep us trapped in avoidance. From the cognitive element of a CBT lens, we can target these maladaptive cognitions, core beliefs, and also engage in adaptive self-talk. From the behavioral component, we can engage in incremental goal setting, and incremental exposure to change our relationship with these thoughts and to begin behaving in more adaptive ways that mitigate symptoms of anxiety, and increase feelings of self-efficacy.

    2. CBT and REBT – Similarities

    CBT and REBT both rest on the assumption that it is our interpretation of an event, and not just the event itself that causes psychological distress. It is our irrational assumptions and interpretations that create and maintain suffering. Both CBT and REBT therapists guide client’s in exploring the underlying assumptions and beliefs they hold regarding situations. Both approaches engage in a degree of socratic dialogue to learn more about a client’s thoughts and also to encourage critical thinking and personal insight related to thought patterns and how they influence emotion and behavior.

    CBT and REBT – Differences

    Therapeutic Relationship – REBT therapists are more direct, assertive, and act more as an expert than in CBT; where the relationship is more collaborative and person centered. REBT therapists will be more proactive in guiding the conversation and challenging assumptions.

    Level of Belief Intervention – REBT and CBT take different approaches to the level at which they attempt to address cognitions. CBT addresses automatic thoughts and the rationality of core beliefs, whereas RBT will challenge whether a core belief is adaptive in itself. If a client is socially anxious and believes that their new coworker doesn’t like them, a CBT clinician might encourage a client to challenge the rationality of that worry, and weigh the evidence supporting this claim. And RBT clinician would encourage a client to ponder “So what if your boss doesn’t like you? Does your self-worth need to be contingent on the approval of this co-worker, or the approval of others?”. CBT tend to be more based in rational thinking whereas REBT addresses adaptivity of beliefs

    Philosophy – Unconditional Self/Life Acceptance – REBT is more philosophical, in that clinicians attempt to encourage clients to move towards self-acceptance and life acceptance, rather than positive self esteem per say. Clients are encouraged to challenge core beliefs related to what they “should” and “ought” to do, and examine how they assumptions create distress. CBT doesn’t specifically encourage self-acceptance necessarily, there is more of an emphasis on the therapist’s acceptance of the client and the rationality of core belief and automatic thought content.

    3. Meichenbaum’s Internal Dialogue and CBT

    Meichenbaum’s concept of internal dialogue is in many ways highlighting the manifestation of core beliefs and automatic thoughts into internal self-talk. This dialogue is influencing our behavior and emotions at all times, whether or not we are aware of it. The things we say to ourselves about the past, present, or future influence our motivational states, self-concepts and core beliefs. One of the primary goals of CBT is to become aware of our internal dialogue so that we may modify it to be more adaptive and realistic. This is achieved in conversation with a therapist, through journaling and through internal monitoring of our thoughts throughout the day. Depending on the theoretical orientation, it can be helpful to change the dialogue itself or change one’s relationship with the dialogue.

    Internal Dialogue and Third Wave CBT

    In more traditional CBT, the focus is more on altering the dialogue itself, challenging the dialogue, and seeing the dialogue as not necessarily true. In third wave CBT approaches such as ACT and MBCT, emphasis is also placed on the meta-cognitions related to our internal dialogue. In mindfulness approaches, rather than trying to change the dialogue per say, clients are encouraged to see the dialogue as merely appearances in consciousness, rather than objects that need to be attended to. The strategy in mindfulness is to create psychological distance or “de-center” from the internal dialogue. Mindfulness approaches also suggest that we become aware of our metacognitions and judgment regarding our inner dialogue. Rather than saying things like “I shouldn’t be thinking this” “I must be crazy” “I need to make these thoughts stop”, mindfulness approaches encourage a gentle awareness and noting of the dialogue, and then a return to the task at hand or any sensory modality that brings our attention into the present moment.

    Hooray for learning


    • Jess Costello
      Jan 22, 2020 @ 15:39:37

      Hi Bobby! I agree that self-efficacy is one of the most important things to develop throughout CBT because of its relationship to locus of control and an individual’s beliefs about his/her capabilities and capacity for change. I think someone’s internal dialogue can almost be seen as a manifestation of self-efficacy or a way to evaluate what a client believes about him/herself. Good work! And nice vacuum pun.


    • Shelby Piekarczyk
      Jan 22, 2020 @ 17:54:30

      Hi Bobby,

      I completely agree where you state that self-efficacy is a crucial part of CBT and to help a client one must help the client towards a positive self-efficacy. I also believe that self-efficacy is a crucial part of CBT and all therapies. How an individual views themselves and what they believe their capabilities are can really impact how someone reacts to the environment around them. Changing a negative self-efficacy that an individual has within themselves can entirely change their lives, leading them to better adaptive coping strategies, and a more positive lifestyle.

      I like how you references past, present, and future when talking about internal dialogue. I agree with this and believe that ones internal dialogue is not just based on the here and now moment, but a collaboration of three of these factors. Changing out internal dialogue (more positive talk to ourselves) can have a large impact on an individual, ultimately leading to a better self-efficacy.


    • Jenna Nikolopoulos
      Jan 23, 2020 @ 14:44:14

      Hi Robert! I really liked your ham sandwich example to explain how reciprocal determinism still operates without any social stimuli. Since humans are social beings, our personal and behavioral factors are usually influenced by those we interact with in our surrounding environment. However, it’s important to recognize, which you did, that reciprocal determinism is still present even in the absence of others. When we’re by ourselves making a ham sandwich, our environment is influencing us just as much as our behavioral and personal factors are influencing the environment. This continuous relationship occurs regardless if we’re alone or with others.


    • Renee Gaumond
      Jan 23, 2020 @ 16:11:35

      I was really interested in the examples you used in your post, specifically the ham sandwich example. Making a ham sandwich is a really good example of how cognitions, behavior, and the environment interact. Preparing it affects the environment, going through the motions of preparing the sandwich is behavioral, and anything that happens can trigger an emotional reaction. Whether making the sandwich is completed or something goes wrong, an emotion of joy for the sandwich or a feeling of disappointment in the case it falls on the floor will be experienced. This example is particularly good because it shows how behavior can affect the environment, which is something that I feel might be more difficult to understand than the relationship of behavior and cognition.


  2. Erin Wilbur
    Jan 20, 2020 @ 19:20:08

    1. Reciprocal determinism is the social learning view of interactions between personal, behavioral, and environmental factors. These factors all interact in a reciprocal way, meaning that they all influence each other, and one cannot be understood without the existence of the others. This means that behavior will influence personal factors such as thoughts and emotions, which will in turn affect the environment, and so on. Bandura also stresses the point that we have partial control over these things, and manipulate our environments rather than being controlled by them.
    Self-efficacy is our belief in our ability to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Our perceived self-efficacy leads us to set goals that we deem manageable. If our perception of self-efficacy is low, there is low motivation to set goals and a vulnerability to anxiety and depression, whereas if it is high, we are more committed to achieving them.
    CBT is related to these constructs through factors like self-efficacy and core beliefs. Core beliefs are held by clients in CBT and have a strong relation to self-efficacy. If a client has a core belief that they are inadequate, they will view goal-setting as useless, because they won’t believe in their ability to achieve. In other words, they have low perceived self-efficacy. Bandura’s view of reciprocal determinism rests on the belief that we have some control over our behavior and therefore our emotions and environment. This is related to CBT because clients are taught to change their thoughts and core beliefs in order to change their behavior, supporting the concept that reciprocal determinism allows us partial control over our own “destinies”.
    2. CBT and REBT both aim to explore the client’s underlying beliefs which guide their interpretations of events. These are called core beliefs in CBT and rigid evaluative beliefs in REBT. These therapeutic techniques both emphasize the role of cognitive distortions in influencing the client and aim to restructure the thoughts to encourage independence.
    However, REBT therapists are more direct in their approach than CBT therapists. CBT therapists focus many sessions on rapport building and aim to form a relationship with the client in which both parties are active participants, whereas REBT therapists are more likely to act as the professional expert in the relationship instead of collaborating with the client. REBT therapists are also more direct when challenging the cognitive distortions of clients. Whereas CBT therapists aim to challenge core beliefs and thoughts through thinking rationally about them, REBT therapists will more directly address them, having clients perform activities that make them uncomfortable or using humor to make clients more comfortable.
    3. Meichenbaum’s concept of internal dialogue is best described as our inner voice, or talking to ourselves. This self-dialogue is the source of our behavior change, in that self-instruction is similar to interpersonal instruction, effecting change in us. Internal dialogue is present in modern CBT through the concepts of automatic thoughts and cognitive reappraisal. Automatic thoughts are a part of internal dialogue that CBT aims to change to effect positive behavior change. Our internal dialogue is filled with automatic thoughts that CBT tries to correct through challenging the negative thoughts and beliefs of the person. One function of internal dialogue addresses the cognitive factors in stress and explains that how a person responds to stress is influenced by how the person appraises the stressor and assesses the ability to cope. CBT also has the goal of helping a person reframe their interpretation of an event that may have caused negative internal dialogue.


    • Melanie Sergel
      Jan 22, 2020 @ 14:11:51

      Hi Erin. I like how you related CBT to the constructs of self-efficacy and reciprocal determinism. Self-efficacy and core beliefs do relate strongly to each other. I also agree that if a client has an inadequate core belief then the individual will view goal setting as useless, like you said, in other words showing the client would have a lower perceived self-efficacy. You mentioned that REBT therapists seem to be more direct and act as the professional expert in the relationship and I agree with this statement because I also noticed that REBT therapists are more straightforward than CBT therapists, who collaboratively work on the problem with the client. Learning about this made me feel like, as a client, it would be hard to build a good rapport and therapeutic relationship with an REBT therapist. Whereas, CBT therapists want to focus on building rapport with the client. Lastly, your explanation of Meichenbaum’s concept was well explained and shows that it does tie into CBT. This was a great post!


    • Robert Salvucci
      Jan 22, 2020 @ 16:11:02

      Hi Erin!

      You captured the relationship between self-efficacy and goal-setting well. If a client doesn’t believe they are capable of achieving a goal, they are unlikely to be willing to set one and fail. This ties into the crucial role of challenging cognitive distortions as you mentioned and setting specific goals in CBT

      Mentioning the role of rapport building in CBT and REBT was also important, in that CBT places more emphasis on it and is more humanistic I also liked how you pointed out that humor is often used in REBT, which can soften the discomfort that s present with a more direct approach


    • Robert Salvucci
      Jan 22, 2020 @ 16:44:20

      Hi Erin!

      You captured the relationship between self-efficacy and goal-setting well. If a client doesn’t believe they are capable of achieving a goal, they are unlikely to be willing to set one and fail. This ties into the crucial role of challenging cognitive distortions as you mentioned and setting specific goals in CBT.

      Mentioning the role of rapport building in CBT and REBT was also important, in that CBT places more emphasis on it and is more humanistic I also liked how you pointed out that humor is often used in REBT, which can soften the discomfort that is present with a more direct approach.


    • Shelby Piekarczyk
      Jan 22, 2020 @ 18:01:20

      Hi Erin,

      I like how you relate self-efficacy and core beliefs within CBT. I agree that these two components go hand and hand. If you have negative core beliefs your self-efficacy will also have a greater chance of being negative. Using the tools in CBT the therapist can help the client dig into these core beliefs, changing them to more adaptive believes, changing their self-efficacy in the process.

      I also liked how you spoke about CBT and REBT, where CBT is more of a collaboration between the therapist and the client and REBT the therapist plays more of a professional role. Another positive within your blog post was stating that REBT therapist can sometimes use approaches that are uncomfortable for the client. I think this is important to notify because in CBT we always want our clients to feel at ease, and that they can communicate with us at all times, never losing the therapeutic relationship. I think this was a very good point to make!


    • Renee Gaumond
      Jan 23, 2020 @ 18:23:12

      I agree that REBT is very to the point whereas CBT fosters a therapeutic relationship. Ellis uses questioning and debating skills that might upset clients. CBT builds a fellowship with the client and is a core part of the process. REBT is more of a “tell it like it is” type of therapy which may lead to hurt feelings on the client’s side. CBT finds a way to allow the client to come to their own conclusions with the therapist’s guidance, this gives the client a feeling that he/she solved their own problems. CBT is more collaborative and REBT takes the approach that the therapist is the expert who will give the client the answers.


    • Taylor O'Rourke
      Jan 24, 2020 @ 20:35:58

      Hi Erin!

      I really liked how you mentioned that one of the differences between REBT and CBT is how the REBT therapists are much more direct with their clients and act in a more expert/professional manner (in a way showing their knowledge and mastery to their client). I think this is one of the biggest differences between the two modalities and this directness is a hallmark feature of REBT. As Dr. Doerfler has said, REBT is more of that “New York CBT” where the client may feel discomfort as a result of how direct and blunt the therapist can be at times. Although that discomfort is important to be experienced is basic CBT sessions as well, it is definitely not to the same extent that is found with REBT. That discomfort should never be so intense that it changes the client’s motivations for coming to sessions or continuing to advance in therapy. For example, CBT uses in vivo exposure all the time very effectively. Maybe sending a client to a mall because they fear public places. However, this is much different than REBT’s tactics of having a person embarrass themselves on purpose in public. This may cause more humiliation than anything!


  3. Melanie Sergel
    Jan 21, 2020 @ 12:14:59

    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
    Reciprocal determinism is the idea that behavior is controlled or determined by the individual through cognitive processes, the environment, and external social stimulus. Personal factors (thoughts and emotions), environmental factors, and behavior interact with one another but are not understood on their own when examining how they impact an individual’s behavior. The way an individual acknowledges their environment will influence the individual’s behavior. If a person acknowledges another person’s behavior it could affect their behavior and emotions. This is known as a stimulus in the environment, but it is the person’s knowledge of the environment, not the stimuli, that is changed by the correlated experience. An example that explains my understanding of Bandura’s reciprocal determinism is an individual comes home from school eager to complete their homework so they have time to hangout with friends after. When the individual walks into their house they find a list of chores to complete that they were not expecting. The individual’s cognitive component consists of being eager and motivated. The environment is coming home to a messy house and being asked to complete the chores. The individual’s behavior switches to becoming angry or stressed that they have much to complete tonight. In the case that the individual had a sibling who wasn’t asked to complete the chores but offered to help then this would introduce a reinforcing stimulus.

    Self-efficacy is an individual’s belief that they can successfully implement behaviors that are needed for certain situations to accomplish what they want or the goal they set. Self-efficacy is a way a person views their own confidence in themselves to be able to reach the goals they set. It also the ability to self-recognize if one is willing to reach past his/her comfort zone to complete a goal. An individual is going to determine how far and realistic their goal setting is determining on their level of perceived self-efficacy. If an individual has a lower perceived self-efficacy they are more likely to set lower goals because they are not motivated enough to pursue them and commit to them. Whereas, someone who sets a higher goal because they know they are capable of reaching that goal and committing to it, has a greater perceived self-efficacy. An example to explain my understanding of this concept is two students graduating high school. One student sets the goal of getting their bachelor’s degree. The other student believes that they are not smart enough to go to college and get a bachelor’s degree. Each student has the same grade point average after high school but each student has a different perceived self-efficacy. The student who has a lower self-efficacy does have the motivation to set goals or achieve the goals. This student does not have that much confidence in themselves, does not want to make the commitment, and/or even does not have the perseverance in pursing four years of college to get a bachelor’s degree. While on the other hand, the student who is going to college to get a bachelor’s degree has a greater perceived self-efficacy. This student has set high goals, has stronger motivation to make the commitment and has the perseverance in pursing this goal.

    How are these constructs related to CBT?
    The three fundamental propositions of cognitive behavioral therapy are (1) cognitive activity affects behavior, (2) cognitive activity may be monitored and altered, and (3) desired behavior change may be effected through cognitive change. Reciprocal determination clarifies how behavior can be altered by the reciprocal relationship among personal factors (thoughts and emotions), environmental factors, and behavior. In CBT, counselors want to educate and help clients on modifying their behavior. In order to do this, as clinicians we need to have an understanding of how our clients behavior is changing with the reciprocal relationship among the three factors. With understanding how the client’s behavior changes due to reciprocal determinism factors, self-efficacy is going to be used in CBT to help the counselor have a better understanding of how the client thinks of themselves. Self-efficacy is very important in CBT because the counselor should distinguish where the client’s perceived self-efficacy lies. If the client has a lower perceived self-efficacy, the client is not ready to set goals, make a commitment to these goals, and probably does not have a motivation to achieve them either. Setting goals and achieving them is ideal in CBT interventions because we are attempting to alter the client’s behavior to get the client to the desired behavior. This would mean the counselor would want to lead with easy goals that are realistic to the client and we are able to do this when we know where the client’s perceived self-efficacy is. Then we can gradually progress and make a plan with the client as the client also progresses. It is also important to note that an individual with lower self-efficacy is more vulnerable to depression and anxiety. In CBT, counselors are going to want to increase self-efficacy in the case where clients are experiencing maladaptive thoughts. This is going to assist in removing and modifying these cognitive distortions.

    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.

    CBT is a psychotherapy that says that cognitive activity affects behavior, cognitive activity maybe monitored and altered, and desired behavior change may be effected through cognitive change. CBT views the underlying issue as it being unhealthy and incorrect ways of thinking and behaving. REBT is a psychotherapy that involves identifying maladaptive thoughts and beliefs towards oneself and exchanging them for healthier thoughts and beliefs.

    REBT and CBT both share the concept that an individual with a psychological disturbance is suffering from faulty cognitive thoughts and beliefs. Both of these psychotherapies work towards changing an individual’s behavior to get to the desired behavior. This is done by both by changing the way the individual thinks in some type of way. By changing the way the individual thinks will result in changing the way the individual behaves. In both CBT and REBT, the individual is going to be pushed to examine other thoughts and ideas to test the ones they are currently experiencing.

    There are several differences among REBT and CBT. One difference is that REBT focuses more on philosophical views. For example, REBT uses one cognitive technique called “debating”. This technique is carried out through Socratic questioning. Another philosophical view in REBT is self-acceptance. The therapist teaches the client to have an unconditional acceptance towards themselves and to accept that he/she has flaws, but the therapist also teaches the client to accept others as who they are. Where in CBT, the therapist is going identify flaws and try to help the individual boost his/her self-esteem. Another difference among CBT and REBT is the way negative emotions are being addressed. CBT identifies negative thoughts and just goes about changing them. Whereas, REBT is going to ask the individual to explore negative emotions and discover on their own why they think they feel this way. REBT therapists are going to have client discover that negative emotions come from the individual’s thoughts. REBT views that individuals have the option to choose how he/she thinks and emotes. The belief is that individual makes the decision to be happy or sad.

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

    Internal Dialogue
    Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” is a concept that individuals experience automatic thoughts that are known as an inner speech. “Automatic thoughts” best describes Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” because what we are thinking comes automatically and quickly. Sometimes we are unaware of our inner speech even though it affects us all the time. Our behavior and our emotions are continuously being influenced by our inner speech. Our inner speech is also influenced by other events and behavior around us. An individual’s inner speech can be modified and by doing so it can lead to a behavior change.

    There are three sources that have been proved to be helpful in generating suggesting for the functional value of inner speech; interpersonal instructions, cognitive factors in stress, and instructional sets and psychological effects. Through interpersonal instructions, the individual is provided with a principle in which he/she can mediate his/her behavior.

    Inner speech differs among individuals significantly when it comes to cognitive factors in stress. Meichenbaum used the example of two individuals giving a public speech with one having a higher anxiety level than the other. It is my understanding that if the individual attends to the fact that he/she feels anxious and ruminates on the idea that they are nervous, then he/she will become more anxious. Whereas, if the individual does not acknowledge that he/she feels anxious or does not have an inner speech about the worst possible outcomes then he/she will have a better performance. Depending on if an individual appraises the stressor, views the stressor as external or internal attribution, and how he/she assess the ability to cope is going to influence how that individual will respond to stress.

    The last source is instructional sets and physiological effects. When working on altering a client’s internal dialogue it is not only influencing his/her attention and appraisal but it also will have physiological effects as well. Counselors can teach clients to recognize their physiological cues when they do arise and instead of recognizing them as becoming nervous, recognize them as a sign to cope. This means that the client will have to be taught recognize these physiological cues and respond to them with different cognitions. Instead of the individual saying “I’m so nervous” when recognizing an increase in heart rate, he/she will shift his/her cognitions away from what the individual usually thinks when experiencing this.

    Relevance to CBT
    One of the major goals of CBT is reaching a desired behavior change through a modification in cognition. Meichenbaum’s inner dialogue plays a significant role in changing an individual’s behavior. In CBT, we want to educate the client on inner dialogues and to become aware of it. The counselor and client need to acknowledge the client’s dialogue and explain to him/her what would be maladaptive inner dialogue. We would need to recognize any maladaptive thoughts and work on modifying them to being realistic. For example, a client who is suffering from depression is going to have maladaptive and unrealistic thoughts of themselves. In CBT, we would want to learn more about these thoughts so we can break them down and change them. Overtime, with the change of thoughts, behavior will start to change also. We do not always have to think before we do something but in order to change behavior we must think before we act and this is what we would address in CBT.


    • Ashley Ann
      Jan 23, 2020 @ 16:22:01

      Hey Melanie,
      I agree and liked your example of coming home on reciprocal determinism and getting a degree through self-efficacy. I also touched on examples for question one as it just seemed to make more sense in the break down of the two parts. I enjoyed how much detail you brought to your post, showing a full understanding of the material. The three fundamentals you gave for the CBT model also was spot on for behavior change as well. I like the break down you showed within this post. Great job!


    • Monica Teeven
      Jan 23, 2020 @ 18:56:19

      Hi Mel! Your answer to question 2 great! However, there was one sentence where I had mixed thoughts when you said “Where in CBT, the therapist is going identify flaws and try to help the individual boost his/her self-esteem.” From my recollection, CBT and REBT both want to increase someone’s self-esteem and self-efficacy. The difference, which you mentioned in your blog post, is how the clinician may try to improve these concepts are different between these two therapies. Overall great work!


  4. Shelby Piekarczyk
    Jan 21, 2020 @ 16:49:32

    1. Bandura explains reciprocal determinism as the interlocking of behavior, personal factors (thoughts, emotions), and environmental factors. These three factors work as a unit, interlocking and having an impact on one another, not working independently. Bandura continues to explain that reciprocal determinism is learned through observation, resulting in specific behaviors to certain situations. In many situations our thoughts and emotions can have an impact on things (e.g. people) around us. Leading to how we react (our behaviors) towards certain individuals or environments that we are put into. However, this is also seen working in the opposite direction where the environment impacts our behavior and our thoughts/emotions.
    Self-efficacy is how an individual sees themselves and their abilities in certain situations. If an individual has high self-efficacy, they are willing to set higher goals for themselves and take more risk when pursuing their goals. For example, an individual with high self-efficacy may enroll in a graduate program that they know is very hard to complete. But because of their drive and confidence in themselves to successfully achieve this goal, they will apply to the program instead of shying away from this opportunity. However, if an individual has low self-efficacy this can lead to them not going after goals that they might view as fearful, ultimately not believing in their own abilities. Because of this the individual may develop anxiety and depression, isolating themselves.
    When considering CBT, the constructs of reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy relate in a variety of ways. Self-efficacy is a major component in an individual’s cognition and plays a role not only on their internal thoughts/emotions but the behaviors they portray. By using cognitive restructuring in therapy an individual can develop a better self-efficacy, enhancing their belief in themselves. Developing a stronger self-efficacy can in turn help diminish depressive and anxiety symptoms within an individual, leading to improved social situations along with more appropriate behavioral skills. Once these maladaptive/negative thoughts are decreased behavioral components such as goal setting and exposure can begin. Depending on the specific situations, the individual with the help of the therapist can set goals that will help lead to recovery. An example of a goal would be going to the gym once a week or applying for a job that they have been anxious about. Making small changes from the start that will in turn lead to a lifestyle change.

    2. Within both REBT and CBT it is believed that the individual develops distress based on how they view a situation, not necessarily the situation itself. Because of this both REBT and CBT consider the cognitions, emotions, and behaviors of an individual within therapy. They use these factors to gather information on the assumptions and interpretations of each given situation and help the client develop a more adaptive thought process. Another similarity between REBT and CBT is the thought that cognitive distortions are linked to psychological conflicts.
    REBT and CBT have many differences within a therapy session. First, REBT is said to have an aggressive form of intervention where the therapist ultimately takes charge. Within this therapy session the therapist asks questions and is more directly involved, taking responsibility for more of the work during a session. However, in CBT the therapist first develops a strong therapeutic relationship with the client and ultimately serves as a support and works together, in collaboration with the client. Leading to independence within the therapy session, where the client takes on the responsibilities within a session. Another difference within REBT and CBT is REBT’s philosophical emphasis. In this REBT tries to get the individual to accept uncertainty and tolerate self and others. Whereas in CBT the therapist puts more of an emphasis on cognitive restructuring and behavior activation than the acceptance of self and life.

    3. Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue is describing an individual’s self-talk and what they say and emphasize within their head. For example, if an individual has a high stress level and only a few people show up for their seminar they may have a self-talk of not feeling good enough, leading to a behavior change. While on the other hand, someone with a low stress will view the situation very differently. Our internal dialogue is a strong component to the way we view and react to situations. Our internal dialogue can also play a role in how we react to future situations, and how we will react when put into a certain situation.
    Internal dialogue plays a large role in modern CBT because an important goal of therapy is to change maladaptive thoughts/emotions, making them more adaptive. When using cognitive restructuring in CBT the therapist will take these maladaptive thoughts (e.g. I’m not good enough) and change them into better thought patterns. This can be achieved through working with a therapist and giving the client homework. Homework, such as journaling is a crucial part of CBT that can ultimately help the client see their thoughts throughout the day. They then take this journal into therapy to discuss with the therapist these thought patterns, changing them into appropriate, positive thoughts/emotions. Another growing part of CBT is mindfulness where you become aware of these thoughts, and you consider why these thoughts are occurring. Instead of viewing them as bad and that you are a bad person for having these thoughts, a CBT therapist will help develop a better understanding of each thought, ultimately changing each thought form maladaptive to adaptive. Within CBT the therapist will help the client develop their own coping strategies to work through their negative internal dialogue that will set them up for future independent success outside of therapy.


    • Robert Salvucci
      Jan 22, 2020 @ 16:42:29

      Hi Shelby!

      I thought it was insightful that you emphasized the link between low self-efficacy and isolating behaviors. It’s definitely important to consider how one’ self-belief can keep them in a state of avoidance in many different contexts. It was interesting that you proposed that maladaptive thoughts should be changed prior to goal setting.

      You also made an important distinction with internal dialogue, in that what is important is what we emphasis to ourselves, not just which thoughts are occurring. I think this is particularly important to understand in the context of CBT and mindfulness. We have so many thoughts running through our minds day to day, what’s important is how we react to them and which ones we emphasis/focus on.


    • Erin Wilbur
      Jan 23, 2020 @ 18:47:44

      Hi Shelby,
      I really like how you related the CBT skill of cognitive restructuring to self-efficacy and the behavior changes that would result from it. It would definitely be a lot easier to set effective goals with a depressed individual if we help them increase their self-efficacy and therefore show them that they are capable of achieving the goals they set and it’s “worth it” to strive to accomplish things. I also think that linking our internal dialogue to the homework in CBT like journaling was helpful to see how tracking our internal dialogue can help us become more aware of our thoughts and then work to adaptively change them.


  5. Monica Teeven
    Jan 22, 2020 @ 10:04:41

    1.Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism are that in normal everyday life both environmental determinism and personal determinism occur simultaneously. This means that a stimulus in one event can be a response, or an environmental reinforcement to another event. These events are interchangeable in their sequence of occurrence. Bandura’s thoughts on self- efficacy is that if an individual’s self-efficacy is enhanced, the individual’s behavior improves. The improvement in behavioral changes will carry over to other similar situations that the individual is faced with even though the events may differ from the events on which the treatment was based.
    Bandura’s reciprocal determinism is similar to CBT because the idea that environmental determinism and personal determinism occur interchangeably is similar to CBT’s main components which are: emotion, thinking, and behavior which also occur interchangeably. Bandura’s self-efficacy can be seen as similar to the insight stage of CBT. During the insight stage, clients are given tools to use when faced with difficult situations, even when the situations differ from the issues discussed with the clinician. This enables the client to handle the situation in the best possible way. Similarly, the clinician gives tools to the client to build their self-efficacy when faced with a difficult situation. The client can then use these tools to help them handle difficult issues on their own, even issues that were not based on the treatment in therapy.

    2.Ellis’ REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy) and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) are similar in multiple ways. One is that both of these forms of therapy can be conducted in both individual and group therapy. Another similarity is that clinicians give homework assignments to their clients to practice skills learned in therapy to help them successfully address their issues in everyday life when not in therapy. In addition, the goal of the clinician for both forms of these therapies is for the client to eventually be able to think for themselves and not depend on others to solve the client’s issues. However, there are some differences between these two forms of therapy as well. For example, in REBT, clinicians are much more directive and confrontational with their clients in order to identify irrational thoughts. Clinicians who use CBT want to help their clients to identify their irrational beliefs on their own. In addition, REBT believes that distorted beliefs are irrational, whereas CBT believes distorted beliefs are caused by cognitive errors.

    3.Meichenbaum’s states that internal dialogue is an individual’s inner speech and it is an important factor in the way the client behaves. In addition, there are three concepts that value the function of interpersonal dialogue: interpersonal instructions normally used in problem-solving tasks, research of cognitive factors that are exhibited in stress responses, and research of physiological reactions based on instructional sets. Research has shown that altered internal dialogue leads to changes in what the individual focuses on in their environment, how an individual appraises their multiple stimuli, what their behavior is attributed to, and their overall expectation of their capabilities for handling stressful behavior. This relates to CBT because the three main components of CBT are: emotion, behavior and thinking. Inner dialogue can be seen as a form of thinking because Meichenbaum believes that by altering the internal dialogue, it will change the client’s affects, thoughts, and behaviors. This will then influence the process by which the individual attends to and appraises their environment.


    • Melanie Sergel
      Jan 22, 2020 @ 14:04:37

      Hi Monica. I like that you make a note about REBT and CBT both giving homework because it is an important tool for both therapies. Like you said, it helps the client become more independent and less dependent on their therapist. I also noticed that REBT therapists are more directive and confrontational with their clients. I agree with your statement that CBT clinicians want their clients to identify their irrational beliefs on their own but I do think that CBT therapists collaborate with their client to help identify their irrational beliefs. I like how you incorporated the insight stage of CBT into relating it to Bandura’s self-efficacy and I think that it is a different way of thinking about it. If clients are given tools to use when faced with difficult situations, whether it is problems discussed in therapy or not, the client then can use these tools outside of therapy which can result in handling a situation better. After they realize they were able to handle the situation, the client’s self-efficacy can become higher. Great job!


    • Madison Armstrong
      Jan 25, 2020 @ 13:11:06

      Hi Monica,
      I found it interesting how you compared self-efficacy to the insight stage of therapy. It is very important to help the client increase their self-efficacy and give them tools while working through this stage. I also liked how you mentioned that in both CBT and REBT the clinicians assign their clients homework. This is a similarity that I did not address in my post, however, I think this is crucial in therapy. This is crucial because a clinician wants a client to not just be practicing the skills they are learning in the short time they are together, but they want them to be able to take the skills they are learning and apply them to their everyday life. This is why it is important to give homework to make sure they are able to cope with everyday triggers or stressors.


  6. Jenna Nikolopoulos
    Jan 22, 2020 @ 12:46:52

    1. Bandura defines reciprocal determinism as the constant relationship between one’s personal factors (i.e., thoughts and emotions), behavioral factors, and environmental factors. He uses the term reciprocal to mean that each of these three factors influence each other in some way or form; such as how we are feeling can influence our behaviors, which can then influence our surrounding environment. Because of these factors’ reciprocal nature, they have to be examined collectively in order to understand their influences; each factor cannot be examined separately as they are interdependent. For instance, one cannot truly understand one’s behaviors without considering how one’s thoughts, emotions, and environment have influenced the individual in that moment. Bandura also states that our control over these factors is not totally out of our hands because if we are able to regulate our own behavior, then we will be able to influence our personal factors and the environment. So in this way, we are able to partially control certain factors in our lives instead of being controlled by them.
    According to Bandura, self-efficacy is our confidence in our skills to physically accomplish the goals that we create for ourselves within different environmental contexts. How we perceive our self-efficacy determines the kinds of goals we set, how able we feel to accomplish those goals, our motivation to accomplish those goals, and the amount of effort we put into accomplishing those goals. If we have a low perceived self-efficacy, we have low motivation to not only set goals, but also complete the lower goals we set because we feel we don’t have the capabilities to accomplish them. However, if we have a high perceived self-efficacy, we will be more likely to set higher goals for ourselves as we have the motivation and feel we have the capabilities to accomplish them. Additionally, the more confidence we have in our abilities (high perceived self-efficacy) to accomplish a goal, the more motivated we will be to act, and the more effort we will put into our actions to accomplish it. However, if we doubt our abilities to accomplish a goal (low perceived self-efficacy), we will be less motivated to act, which will cause us to put little effort into our actions to accomplish it.
    CBT has three beliefs that are at its core: cognitive activity affects behavior, cognitive activity may be monitored and altered, and desired behavior change may be effected through cognitive change. Reciprocal determinism is related to CBT because the concept emphasizes the importance of the reciprocal nature of personal, behavioral, and environmental factors. In CBT, clinicians want to help clients’ change their maladaptive behaviors to more adaptive ones, but cannot do that without understanding the reason behind the behaviors in the first place. In order to modify the client’s behaviors, clinicians have to look at the other factors that are influencing the behaviors, such as personal (i.e., thoughts and emotions) and environmental, which will give the clinician a better understanding of how to help the client. Self-efficacy is related to CBT because it informs the clinician on how the client regards him/herself. CBT requires active participation from the client, which makes it important for the clinician to know how the client perceives his/her self-efficacy before beginning treatment so the clinician can gauge how/where to start. If the client has a low perceived self-efficacy, the client will be less motivated to set goals in treatment as he/she doubts their capabilities, put little effort into sessions or into any goals they did set, and have little confidence going through treatment. If the client has a high perceived self-efficacy, the client will be motivated to set goals in treatment as he/she feels confident in their capabilities, put effort into sessions and goals they set, and have confidence going through treatment.

    2. One similarity between CBT and REBT is that both believe that our cognitions are the reason for symptoms of psychological disturbance to appear. The goal of both of these therapies is to help clients challenge their irrational beliefs about themselves in order to produce changes in their behaviors. If a clinician can get their client to change the way they think, the individual will be able to change their current behaviors to more adaptive behaviors. Another similarity is that both CBT and REBT believe that it’s not an event itself that causes psychological distress in an individual, but it’s the way the individual interprets the event that causes the distress. In both CBT and REBT, the clinician will assist the client in exploring their irrational beliefs surrounding the particular situation in order to help the client change the way they think about the situation to help ease their distress surrounding it, which also helps the client change their emotions and behaviors attached to the situation as well.
    One difference between CBT and REBT is that both are different in the way they approach therapy. REBT clinicians are more direct with clients. They are the ones really guiding the conversation with clients and act as more of an expert. In CBT, clinicians build rapport with clients over the first few sessions and collaborate with clients during sessions. CBT is more focused on the client, as he/she is usually the guiding the conversation. Another difference is that REBT has more of a philosophical emphasis than CBT does. REBT clinicians encourage clients to accept some concepts like self-acceptance and acceptance of uncertainty because they believe that if people will experience minimal emotional disturbance if they adopt this kind of philosophy. With CBT, clinicians focus more on changing clients’ cognitions and initiating changes in their behaviors.

    3. Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” concept describes the way that individuals talk to themselves. Our internal dialogue, or the way we talk to ourselves, is important because it can influence the way we behave, think, or feel in certain situations. This concept is relevant to CBT because our internal dialogue has to do with the concept of automatic thoughts. Automatic thoughts are a part of our internal dialogue as they occur due to reactions or feelings from our given environment. One of the main goals of CBT is to help clients change their maladaptive thoughts, behaviors, or emotions to more adaptive ones to improve clients’ functioning. CBT aims to focus on those automatic thoughts that are negative in nature and help the client modify them to become more positive, thus changing the client’s internal dialogue and giving he/she a new perspective on the matter.


    • Jess Costello
      Jan 22, 2020 @ 15:24:50

      Hi Jenna! I like your point that REBT has more of a philosophical emphasis and encourages clients to accept uncertainty. However, I would also say that CBT encourages clients to do the same. A client may believe that “X will always happen” or “Y would never happen” when that is ultimately irrational. Accepting some degree of uncertainty may be appropriate for the client’s situation. Great insight!


    • Timothy Keir
      Jan 25, 2020 @ 22:26:02

      Hi Jenna! You clearly defined both reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy in a readable fashion. I think you captured quite accurately how these descriptions of internal influences relate to the principles of CBT. Furthermore, your comparison of internal dialogue to automatic thoughts is spot-on. I would go further to say that internal dialogues ARE automatic thoughts, but that is a point of contention. Anyway, great post!


  7. Renee Gaumond
    Jan 22, 2020 @ 21:03:40

    (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?

    Bandura describes reciprocal determinism as the interaction between personal, environmental, and behavioral factors. Bandura says that these factors exist together rather than separate. Each different type of factor influences each other to the point that it’s inaccurate to separate each factor due to the constant collaboration between all three. Environmental factors will influence behavior, which will influence personal factors. Those personal factors can then influence environmental factors as well. Each factor is determinant of each other.
    Self-efficacy is someone’s belief in their abilities to accomplish a goal. Self-efficacy is a reflection of a person’s perception of their capabilities. A person who has a low self-efficacy will think little of their capabilities and become unmotivated due to their personal perception of the lack of competence. While someone with high self-efficacy will be confident in their potential and believe that they are capable of more things.
    Reciprocal determination and self-efficacy are related to CBT concepts. A concept of CBT is that by changing how a person thinks and perceives situations, behaviors will also change. This is similar to the idea of reciprocal determination because in both CBT and reciprocal determination, thoughts and behaviors influence each other. By changing personal factors such as thoughts, behaviors will then change along with it due to the reciprocal nature of each factor. Improving thoughts will then improve behavior due to the link between the factors. Self-efficacy is important to CBT because it gives a person the ability to recognize that they are capable of making a change. A client is less likely to make a positive change if they believe that they have no ability to make the change to begin with.

    (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.)

    CBT and REBT have a few similarities and differences. One similarity is that they both involve the concept that thoughts have a major influence over the perception of a situation. A situation is inherently neutral and it’s the thoughts of the situation that determines whether or not it’s good or bad. CBT focuses more on the idea that thoughts influence behaviors and once thoughts are changed, then behaviors will change with them. REBT focuses on the concept that it’s thoughts that determine emotions which lead to behaviors. Both CBT and REBT agree that thoughts are a determining factor of behavior, though REBT adds a factor of emotion. CBT and REBT also have a similar goal to focus on changing distorted thinking. Both psychotherapies attempt to change maladaptive cognitions that influence emotion and behavior in order for the client to improve.
    CBT and REBT are different in the skills that are used during therapy. REBT is more directive than CBT. It utilizes questioning and debating in order to challenge distorted thinking in clients. CBT incorporates rapport and the therapeutic relationship where therapy is a collaborative process between client and clinician. REBT also has an aspect of acceptance that therapist desire to achieve with clients. Self-acceptance is an important part of REBT. CBT doesn’t focus on self-acceptance, therapists spend more time on attempting to change cognitions in order to improve behaviors.

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

    Meichenbaum’s idea of “internal dialogue” is a person’s automatic inner speech, or the way that person talks to themselves. The way we talk to ourselves influences the way we think, feel, and behave. The idea of internal dialogue is relevant to CBT because, like CBT, it focuses on the concept that cognitions influence behavior. Being aware of the internal dialogue might help in the CBT process by allowing for the opportunity to begin change. If a client doesn’t understand how they talk to themselves or how the way they talk to themselves affects their behaviors, then the potential of cognitions changing decreases. It would be difficult for the client to recognize distorted thinking if they’re unaware of it. Being able to recognize those automatic thoughts will allow the client to start questioning the validity of them rather than having an immediate reaction to the distorted thinking.


    • Taylor O'Rourke
      Jan 24, 2020 @ 21:33:33

      Hi Renee!

      I really like how you explained and summarized what internal dialogue is. I think you did a great job solidifying all of the important aspects of it like the cognitions, emotions, behaviors, and also automatic thoughts that go along with it. I definitely agree that it is important for clients to be aware of the thoughts that they are having because there would be no way for them to change if they do not see anything or wrong or distorted, as you mentioned. I also like you how mentioned that the client may begin to question the validity of their thoughts; especially the automatic ones. I believe that much of REBT and even CBT relies on clients determining whether or not their thoughts are rational versus irrational. By having the ability to question the validity of this internal dialogue a client is experiencing, it may be an even stronger catalyst for change.


  8. Jess Costello
    Jan 23, 2020 @ 08:41:12

    1. Reciprocal determinism is how Bandura conceptualizes the relationship between our internal factors like thoughts and feelings, our external behaviors, and the environment in which we act. All three of these pieces influence and reinforce one another, so that a response to one stimulus itself stimulates a response. How an individual appraises a given situation affects his or her experience of a particular emotion, its physiological signals, and ultimately, the resultant behavior. How other people in the individual’s environment respond to the behavior reinforces the behavior. The idea of reciprocal determinism parallels well with basic concepts of CBT, such as the idea that a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors all interrelate and can help clinicians assess their general level of functioning.

    Self-efficacy is the belief that one can change his or her behavior and the course of life. According to Bandura, self-efficacy correlates with general level of functioning and progression through treatment. Self-efficacy is important to assess and develop within a CBT framework because it is closely related to an individual’s beliefs about himself or herself, which both influence behaviors and become reinforced by them. For example, if someone doesn’t believe they will ever be able to get the job they want, the application process will seem insurmountable and difficult, and they probably won’t go on to complete it, thereby confirming their belief. However, if someone with a high level of self-efficacy does believe they have what it takes to secure such employment, they will probably try harder to demonstrate their abilities and as a result look more impressive to the hiring team. This also confirms the individual’s original belief about their capabilities and capacity for change.

    Similarly, if a depressed client does not understand the roots of their negative automatic thoughts, they may not believe that they have the ability to challenge and change these thoughts into more realistic or accurate thoughts. Therefore, in someone with demonstrated low self-efficacy, the negative thoughts will persist until they are challenged, first by a clinician and then by the client both in and outside of treatment.

    2. CBT and REBT both focus on turning irrational beliefs and thoughts into more rational ones that will free clients from their limiting beliefs and maladaptive interpretations of negative events in order to live more fulfilling, freeing lives. In each of these approaches to therapy, a negative event itself is not the cause of the client’s psychological distress, but rather the way he or she interprets it, particularly if there are cognitive distortions at work.

    Ellis’ formulation of REBT comes off as much more directive and aggressive than a typical CBT clinician, as the REBT clinician places more blame on the client for creating their inaccurate perceptions of the world. In CBT, the psychoeducational focus is on ensuring the client understands the links between cognitions, emotions, and behaviors, and then developing a more realistic outlook. But before any of that can happen, the clinician and client must develop a strong therapeutic relationship in which they show mutual respect and positive regard. This relationship is crucial in CBT, and often involves temporary validation of some of the client’s fears or aspects of a false belief. However, in REBT, the clinician can dismiss the client’s irrational beliefs as unwarranted, silly, or stupid and be much more direct, with less focus on developing a trusting relationship.

    3. Meichenbaum’s concept of internal dialogue refers to an individual’s running stream of thoughts. It is what we tell ourselves, perhaps without even realizing the narrative we are creating.

    Internal dialogue is useful in CBT because of its shared properties with negative core beliefs and automatic thoughts. A dialogue with oneself influences how the person relates to and thinks about themselves. Negative self-talk can influence both behavior and emotion, which will create reinforcements in the environment that will in turn influence subsequent cognitions. For example, if Person A is on a date with Person B and perceives themselves as not “good enough”, this lack of confidence will be reflected in behavior that could end up pushing away the new person.

    Meichenbaum used the example of giving a speech or presentation in order to illustrate how changing someone’s internal dialogue can reduce anxiety. After learning about the power of his internal dialogue, the person still experienced physiological symptoms of anxiety, like a racing heart and sweaty palms. But instead of worrying about this or allowing negative thoughts to overtake his mind, he changed his cognitions about the physiological states. Instead of signs of impending danger, he thought about them as facilitative signs that the upcoming event was important and he wanted to do well, and was ultimately more comfortable.

    As a CBT clinician would challenge a client’s distorted, irrational thoughts by looking for evidence of their validity in the real world, a client’s environment can be integrated with their cognitions to create a more rational, realistic picture of how one functions in the world, and through this process create a healthier, more realistic internal dialogue.


    • Monica Teeven
      Jan 23, 2020 @ 15:56:04

      Hi Jess! I loved what you said in your response to question number 2. How individuals can “become free from their limited beliefs and maladaptive interpretations of life events”! In addition to your overall statement of how CBT and REBT are similar, clinicians practicing either of these therapies teach clients similar skills to use as tools such as relaxation techniques to use outside of therapy when faced with a stressful situation. In addition, clinicians in both therapies often give homework to their clients to help them learn more about their issues and to learn which skills are a better fit for that client. Great job Jess!


    • Erin Wilbur
      Jan 23, 2020 @ 19:14:23

      Hi Jess,
      I thought it was interesting that you predicted that someone with high self-efficacy would try harder to demonstrate their abilities to a hiring team when interviewing for a job because they were confident. I would think that someone with low self-efficacy may put in more effort to try to prove themselves to the interviewer because they don’t believe in their abilities as much as someone with a higher level. I would think that an interviewee with high levels of self-efficacy would be overconfident in themselves and therefore not believe that they had to strive to impress the hiring team because they deem themselves “impressive” already. This definitely differs with depressed clients however, who would typically struggle to even apply or interview because they may not see the point in setting this goal due to their low level of self-efficacy. So I think I would agree with your point if we were discussing a clinically depressed individual with very low self-efficacy, but maybe not a client with an “average” low level of self-efficacy.


  9. Ashley Ann
    Jan 23, 2020 @ 11:03:36

    1. Reciprocal Determinism
    According to Bandura, reciprocal determinism is the mutual actions of events between interactions of personal, behavioral, and environmental factors. Environment factors are the only factor to spark action where personal factor are utilized in potentials that can be influenced for action. Behavior factors are determinates for environmental influence. These factors are dependent upon each other. Like a car, the key in the ignition is viewed as environmental factors, where without the key turning on the car there is no action of movement of the vehicle. Personal factors are the gas pedal in the vehicle, it influences the action and gives potential. Finally, the movement of the car is the behavior factors as it influences the other factors counter parts.
    According to Bandura, self-efficacy is the beliefs that an individual hold true about themselves on the grounds of ability to succeed in fulfilling a goal or achievement. This belief gives individuals the capacity to set achievable goals based on the confidence of the individual. Like everyone in this class, we have made the goal to earn a master’s degree. Through self-efficacy, we have determined we are confident enough with our abilities within ourselves to achieve this goal and be successful.
    Relates to CBT
    Reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy have many similarities that coincide with cognitive behavioral therapy. Reciprocal determinism’s concept of mutual actuation is similar to the cognitive triad. The cognitive triad is constructed through mutual counterparts of behaviors, thoughts, and emotions in examining and individual’s dysfunction or distress. Both are examining not just one area for root causes for action. If I have a client who is struggling with addiction to alcohol and is in the contemplation stage, we are going to not only examine thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of why that is so and the drinking, but we will examine the reciprocal determinism of the individual. The same holds true for self-efficacy. If the same individual holds belief that he/she does not have the confidence in his/her ability abstain from drinking, then they won’t until they do. Countering that, if they hold the belief, they can overcome their problems, then they are more likely to be successful in treatment. Within CBT, someone who is struggling with self-efficacy, we challenge those negative or false beliefs to guild in a more positive and realistic thinking and understanding.

    2. REBT and CBT
    Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy or REBT aims to identify thoughts and feelings that are irrational beliefs. Treatment is done through challenging those thoughts and rationality of those feelings. Finally, replace those thoughts and feelings with healthier beliefs. This is done through a form of empirical basis of psychotherapy. Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT aims to identify and change patterns of cognitions of thinking or behavior that are distressful or bring dysfunction to an individual. Treatment is done through challenging those thought and behaviors and replacing them with healthier one. This is done through a form of empirical basis of psychotherapy.

    Similarities & Differences

    REBT and CBT have many similarities. To start both are on empirical treatment options. They both provide practices that are examined and hold empirical evidence through research. Both also aim to challenge problematic thoughts to form healthier ones. Finally, both are forms of psychotherapy. There are also many differences between REBT and CBT. A part of CBT in the beginning, rapport building is an important step in the therapeutic relationship. In REBT, there is no rapport building, the therapist jumps right into sessions. REBT is a more directive approach where the therapist takes the role of directing how the session and the relationship plays out. Whereas in CBT, the client is in charge and the therapist aids in insight and action for the client

    3. Internal Dialogue

    Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue is the inner voice we hold within our self also known as self-talk. Individuals use this dialogue in many decisions and while examining reasoning. This relevant to modern CBT as this dialogue is used in the examinations of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. If a client is ignored by another individual after saying hi and has a negative belief dialogue on why someone did not interact back in conversation, that individual could talk themselves into believing they did something to anger the other person. In CBT as therapist, we would examine this dialogue as irrational and examine more realistic possibilities such as the other individual did not hear them or is having a bad day, challenging the negative thoughts within the client.


    • Madison Armstrong
      Jan 25, 2020 @ 12:54:04

      Hi Ashley,
      I liked how you compared reciprocal determinism to the functions of a car. I think it was a strong analogy that shows how environmental, behavioral and personal factors can all have an influence on one another just as the functions of a car impact one another. When comparing CBT and REBT I also touched on the differences between the therapeutic relationship. I find it interesting how REBT is also an empirical treatment option but there is no rapport building, even though it has been shown how important rapport is in therapy. In my post, I talked about how in REBT the therapist plays the role as a teacher, providing more support to the client. However in CBT the therapist’s ultimate goal is for the client to gain skills that they can transfer to problems that may arise in the future.


  10. Taylor O'Rourke
    Jan 23, 2020 @ 12:06:03

    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 thoughts on reciprocal determinism is that is
    consists of three key pieces: behavior, personal factors (which can be broken down even further into emotions and thoughts), and environmental factors. In this triad, all three concepts work together and are the external factors that influence events, thus the ‘determinism’ aspect of the term reciprocal determinism. The ‘reciprocal’ piece comes into play because these three factors that interact with one another for social learning can work in any direction. For example, environmental factors can influence thoughts and feelings which in turn influence behavior, but this can work in the opposite direction as well. Bandura also emphasizes that there are no inner forces that drive us as humans; everything is determined by external forces such as the environment interacting with other factors (such as personal or behavioral factors as displayed in the triad model). Bandura introduces reciprocal counteractions which occur when one person’s behavior “activates” behaviors from another, so as a result, these counteractions determine the social environment surrounding the individuals in a predictable way. For example, if two people are conversing with each other, one person’s response will provoke a response from another because that last response turns into a stimulus for new conversation. Overall, Bandura stresses that reciprocal determinism is a way in which our human behavior is controlled and that we hold some of this control. As Bandura (1977) stated, people are not just pawned around based on their environment but actually have some say in what is going on with this inner control.

    Reciprocal determinism is related very much to CBT although it does seem to
    have strong roots in behaviorism (as this is Bandura’s background with social learning and determinism as a whole). CBT focuses on working with a client to change their attitudes and behaviors so that they match; thus eliminating any cognitive dissonance one may be experiencing. Reciprocal determinism, although focused on more external factors like the environment, does stress that individuals have control over their personal factors (thoughts and emotions) and that not every influence comes directly from the environment. People are influenced by many different dimensions including the environment, genetics, their own thoughts/attitudes, and more. Both CBT concepts and reciprocal determinism do a great job of capturing this.

    My understanding of Bandura’s concept of self-efficacy is that an individual believes they have the skills necessary to complete a task successfully. Self-efficacy is something perceived by the individual and is so influential that it can determine what goals or ambitions they set for themselves. More generally, it influences (and may decide) a person’s behavior. For example, someone who has high self-efficacy may believe they truly have the skills and behaviors required to be a great goalie in a soccer game. Because of this, they are more likely to seek out this position and do what it takes to achieve this goal. On the other hand, a person with low perceived self-efficacy may have a lot less motivation to become a soccer goalie because they may not feel as though they have the necessary skills. This results in a higher chance of developing anxiety and/or depression. As mentioned previously, motivation is an important key to self-efficacy. Those who are motivated are able to think about the future and what could happen and are able to set goals for themselves based on the future. Actually taking action for these plans comes from the anticipated satisfaction of completing a goal successfully. Self-efficacy also includes efficacy expectation and outcome expectation. With these two concepts in combination, a person can believe they will reach a certain outcome, however their doubts can lead to behavior not being influenced at all. Self-efficacy also affects coping. Once an action is initiated, both efficacy and outcome expectations can affect coping. Overall, Bandura believes that interventions should aim to increase self-efficacy for clients so that they are able to face situations they once could not.

    Self-efficacy is closely related to CBT because cognitive behavioral therapists strive to increase a client’s motivation and perception of success through practicing skills like role play. By role playing with a client, the CBT therapist is giving the client the added sense of achievement and readiness that is needed to actually step out into the real world and get something done efficiently and effectively. This reminds me of self-efficacy because Bandura believes that the higher a person’s perceived self-efficacy is, the more likely they are to go after something and have the motivation to do so. If a client feels they have the necessary skills to complete a task successfully, they are more likely to initiate this action with much less anxiety.

    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.

    Ellis’ REBT is both similar and different to CBT as we know it. In my opinion, I
    believe there are more similarities than there are differences. Both REBT and CBT focus on the client’s freedom and self-control. CBT stresses that therapy should not last forever and that clients should essentially be able to be their own therapists by the end of their time in treatment. REBT takes the same approach of maximizing individuality so that clients can lead their own fulfilling lives without dependence on another individual. CBT and REBT are also similar in the way that they take emotions and behaviors into consideration, rather than one or the other. REBT underwent many name changes to show that neither of the two constructs were neglected. With this, both treatment modalities argue that the “ABCs” all interact. This means that cognitions, emotions, and behaviors all depend on each other and are not looked at as separate constructs. Lastly, one of the main similarities between REBT and CBT is that psychological disturbance is defined as cognitive distortions for both. Essentially, irrational thinking is the root of all evil for both REBT and CBT. For example, a client with clinical levels of anxiety may be thinking irrationally about a public speaking assignment and how awful it and its outcomes may be. To someone not experiencing these feelings, they are seen as irrational. This suffering individual could be helped by either REBT or CBT because of their evidence of working through irrational thoughts.

    Although there are many similarities between REBT and CBT, there are still two notable differences. The first, larger difference between the two treatment modalities is that they focus on different theoretical frameworks. REBT is a humanistic approach, which differs from CBT. The humanistic approach is psychology focuses on self-actualization and needs whereas CBT focuses more on changing behaviors to become more adaptive in real-world situations. REBT and CBT also differ because REBT stresses that experiences are not what disturb clients, but rather the client themselves is able to be disturbed, thus influencing experiences. An example to show how this differs from CBT is by looking at something like the compensatory model of substance abuse treatment. Sometimes, an issue is not a person’s fault, but they are still seen as responsible for making adaptive changes. The theory underlying REBT with the ability to see a person as “disturbed” feels more like the medical model to me. It puts a sense of lack of accountability on the individual in both etiology and making changes.

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

    Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” can be viewed as one’s automatic thoughts
    because it occurs so quickly and without hesitation. However, this does not mean that people do not think before they actively do something every time. There are other factors such as time and effort that go into actions even more so than cognitions do, hence why this is not the case. More specifically, internal dialogue is made up of interpersonal instructions, cognitive factors in stress, and instructional sets and physiological effects. Interpersonal instructions are essentially how we as humans think/talk to ourselves in our head. This self-verbalization helps direct our attention to things and helps with keeping ideas in short term memory so that hypotheses can be created. Cognitive factors in stress relate to the internal dialogue we have depending on if we are focusing on our arousal level or not. If this is something an individual is attending to, anxiety may arise. This relates to how we are able to cope with these feelings and still come out on top when it comes to things like test anxiety, for example. We can attribute the success or failure internally or externally. The last function of internal dialogue is instructional sets and physiological effects. A person’s reactions are determined by what a person is saying that themselves regarding the arousal they feel. Internal dialogue can be thought of as a mediator between the stress one is experiencing and the behavior the will engage in with the outcome. Overall, internal dialogue is structured for organization of thinking. One’s choices and strategies are held in cognitive structures that come out in certain moments of internal dialogue. When these structures change, internal dialogue will change as a result, too.


    • Jenna Nikolopoulos
      Jan 23, 2020 @ 15:15:10

      Hi Taylor! I liked how you related Bandura’s concept of self-efficacy to the CBT technique of role-play. I didn’t think about the concept of self-efficacy in regards to role-play, but after reading the paragraph and thinking about it more, I now understand how the two are related. Engaging in role-play is used to help clients act out certain situations in a safe place to prepare themselves while also learn new skills needed in order to execute it properly. If a client has a low perceived self-efficacy, he/she can work with the clinician to learn the skills needed that not only can increase his/her confidence to execute the task, but also boost his/her motivation to actually perform it; which helps the client to have a higher perceived self-efficacy. Thank you for the new perspective!


  11. Madison Armstrong
    Jan 23, 2020 @ 13:34:47

    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?

    Bandura thoughts on reciprocal determinism are that there are three factors that have an influence on behavior. These three factors are the environment, the individual and the behavior. These determinants are interchangeable, mutually impactful, and all play a role in the outcome of the behavior. For example, if you had a passion for reading books (individual factor) you may decide to join a book club (environmental factor) which then leads to like-minded friends that you begin to spend your time with (behavioral factor). This could also be a reversed cycle where you already have a group of friends who talk about their book club, which then strikes an interest in books in the individual and leads to them joining the book club.
    Self-efficacy is our perceived ability to complete goals that we set for ourselves. Self-efficacy is a lot like self-confidence, but it is strictly the positive belief that we can do something. Self-efficacy has a direct influence on our behaviors and the activities we chose to engage in. it can be predicted that those with a higher level of self-efficacy will spend more time and put in more effort to reach their goals. While those with a lower level of self-efficacy will put in less effort and time into completing goals and may not even complete their goals. An example of where self-efficacy plays a role is physical activity. If someone has a strong belief that they are able to complete a strenuous hike, they are more likely to complete the hike than if someone had the belief that they were “too weak” or “not fit enough” to finish the hike.
    Reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy have a strong relationship to cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). The foundation of CBT is based on the construct that behavior affects emotions and thoughts, thoughts affect emotions and behavior and emotions affect behavior and thoughts. Like CBT, reciprocal determinism lists factors that are interchangeable which result in the individual’s behavior. In reciprocal determinism the individual factors include the persons cognitions which includes thoughts and emotions like CBT. It is also important to remember as a cognitive behavior therapist that the social environment also plays a significant role in thoughts, emotions and behavior. Self-efficacy is also very important to recognize while utilizing a CBT framework because individuals with a lower self-efficacy may not be ready as quickly as someone with a higher self-efficacy to start setting goals, working on these goals and making changes. In clients with lower self-efficacy it would be important to help them to see what they are capable of and would be a goal to not only help them find more self-efficacy but also higher confidence in themselves and their abilities. For example, if you were working with a client with depressive symptoms, they may have negative cognitive distortions which would need to be worked through to help them believe in their ability to change.

    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.

    Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a short-term therapy that targets the client’s irrational thoughts and beliefs about themselves. It is believed that self-blame is the core problem with psychopathology, and they work to change these irrational beliefs into healthier and more adaptive ones. This is similar to CBT’s negative cognitive triad which also focuses on irrational and negative beliefs about themselves, the world and the future. These views are also targeted for change in CBT but focus on cognitive distortions. REBT also utilizes an ABC model (activating event, belief and consequences). This is a strategy used to analyze a client’s irrational beliefs and can also be used in CBT. It is important to remember that these are both forms of cognitive therapy and a lot of tools can be transferable between these two therapies.
    One of the biggest differences between REBT and CBT is that in REBT the therapist takes on a more active role with the client in helping them target these irrational beliefs providing more support to the client. In REBT, the therapist is looked at as a teacher and the client the student. The therapist helps the client with identifying and changing the beliefs, whereas in CBT the therapist would ultimately want the client to discover these beliefs for themselves and put in the majority of the work. In CBT the goal of treatment is be able to gain helpful coping skills to help deal with problems in the future better.

    3. Share your understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” and its relevance to modern CBT.
    Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue is also known as an individual’s inner speech or concealed verbalizations. These are thoughts to oneself that they may or may not choose to share with other people. This internal dialogue has a huge effect on an individual’s perceived emotions and their behavior. This is relevant to CBT because Meichenbaum notes that internal dialogue has an impact on behavior and emotional state. In CBT it is believed that behavior, emotions and thoughts are all intertwined and have an effect on one another. Internal dialogue is an important concept because it can prove to be very useful in CBT. When working with a client who is experiencing anxiety or depression, a lot of their anxious or depressive thoughts are a result of their internal dialogue. For example, a client who experiences depressive symptoms may have thoughts like “I will never be good enough”. As a CBT therapist you would want to be aware of your client’s internal dialogue and encourage them to share with you their thoughts. Someone with the belief “I will never be good enough” may see changes in their emotions and behavior. They may have a more depressed mood as a result of this belief and in turn not want to get out of the house and engage in social experiences. A CBT therapist could then challenge their negative view of themselves and hopefully see a change in their emotions and behavior.


    • Ashley Ann
      Jan 23, 2020 @ 15:45:39

      Hey Madi,
      I agree with your deciphering thoughts and through the core beliefs within the cognitive triad and its comparison on REBT utilizing the ABC method in negative beliefs. I touched on the triad in my response as well. I think the triad is a key deciphering within the CBT model. It is unique in the sense of focusing on the inter-lockage of thoughts, feeling, and behaviors that involving what ever is distressing or causing dysregulation in the moment within a client. Where REBT is more involved in the the process of how distress and dysregulation has happened in the past, finding pattern, and changing target behaviors. Great job!


    • Timothy Keir
      Jan 25, 2020 @ 22:46:14

      Hey Madison! Great descriptions and examples of both reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy. Your writings make the concepts incredibly easy to understand – no easy task! Your description of Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue is also good, though it may be important to recognize that these thoughts are often automatic and not necessarily conscious to the client; having the client understand what their internal dialogue looks like may be a challenge in and of itself. Anyhow, great post!


  12. Timothy Keir
    Jan 27, 2020 @ 19:51:39

    1. Explain Bandura’s idea of reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy. Relate it to CBT.

    When Bandura speaks of reciprocal determinism, he is explaining the behavioral chicken and egg scenario. Do environmental factors influence an individual’s actions? Or does the individual’s actions create responses from the environment? The answer is yes! Both! And more! Not only are the person and environemnt constantly affecting each other, but the environment and person themselves are in flux. A person’s social setting is constantly adapting and changing in innumerable ways without the individual’s direct input. Furthermore, the individual’s own thoughts and emotions can motivate shifts in behavior independent of environmental factors. It is impossible to tell the origins of this multi-directional interaction, only that they are constantly impacting the following behaviors to arise. The history of actions and reactions between the internal world of the individual and the external reality of their environment are both in play in shaping behavior.
    Self-efficacy refers to the concept of the individual’s perceived capacity to complete a challenge. People’s behaviors are influenced by the possible outcome the action in question has, but how confident they are in performing the behavior correctly. I could begin working on making a large souffle, but my inexperience and lack of confidence in baking makes me very unlikely to even make an attempt, regardless of a possibly tasty result. To that end, increasing a person’s perception of self-efficacy will increase their likelihood of trying the behavior in question. If I watch a few videos on youtube about souffle cooking and then make a preliminary attempt with a more experienced baker, then my confidence in my own souffle skills will rise. My belief in the efficacy both in myself and the specific task determine the likelihood of behavior, prior to even a single attempt.
    How does this all relate to CBT, you ask? In the case of learning, Bandura strongly asserts that individual behaviors arise not simply from a basic observable relationship between environment interactions and the person’s behaviors within it. Internal, invisible value judgments about likelihood for success can impact the behavior of an individual without external influence at all. CBT agrees that learning can change how one cognitively views a subject and their subsequent behavior. It is a more observable example of how this process works, and can be generalized to other cognitions as well.

    2. Give a few examples of how Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is both similar to and different from CBT.

    REBT and CBT both originated at similar times and with highly similar concepts. Both theories employ flexible, independent approaches to therapy that focus on the cognitions of the client. It is understood in both that maladaptive or irrational thoughts are highly influential in negative lifestyles and behaviors. They both seek to not only help clients discover and correct these unhelpful thought patterns, but also to give them the tools to do so on their own in the future.
    Where REBT and CBT differ is often in the therapists’ role. In REBT, the therapist takes a firm role as the expert leading the discussion. They seek out the false beliefs of the client and actively point them out. The therapist guides the relationship and helps determine which beliefs are harmful. In CBT, the client has a much more active role in determining the focus and goals of therapy. The client is given the reins and encouraged to explore as much of their own thoughts as they can on their own, and come to their own conclusions about which thoughts are harmful in their daily lives. Furthermore, REBT can take a more vested interest in the emotional experience of the client in regards to their beliefs. CBT however sees negative emotions as rising from maladaptive cognitions, and thus focuses on the latter to assuage the former.

    3. Explain Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” and its relevance to modern CBT.

    Meichenbaum holds a similar position to CBT in that maladaptive thought patterns lead to distress. He proposed that cognition could be understood as a constantly running train of communication to oneself, and the tone of the discussion leads directly to emotional responses and behaviors. To that end, one seeking to change their behaviors can begin the change by having more awareness of this internal dialogue. One who is quick to anger, for example, could examine exactly what thought they have before they flip their lid. Is the response a defensive response to an imagined slight? Does the dialogue suggest fear or hurt of some kind? By learning to listen to this internal dialogue, the client is taught to be more aware in the moment of themselves in a comprehensive way. They observe not only the behavior, but the preceding thought and accompanying emotion with it! By recognizing the thought, one gains a holistic perspective on the origins of their actions. This concept is highly beneficial for CBT therapists looking to explain the concept of cognition to new clients, giving them a way to explore their thoughts in the moment and in their everyday lives. By recognizing the internal dialogue, the client may learn established mental rules that they did not know they had.


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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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