Topic 1: Social Learning & Cognitive Theories {by 1/25}

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 1/25.  Have your two replies posted no later than 1/27.  *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.

30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stephanie Mourad
    Jan 24, 2018 @ 21:40:56

    (1) In your own words, explain your understanding of Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy? How are these constructs related to CBT?

    Reciprocal determinism is two things that share a mutual action and this means that certain events or experiences in life affect the way a person behaves. An example would be the environment in which a person is in and this could be a student who is influenced by a lecturer when attending classes. Bandura gives examples of these through interdependence of personal and environmental influences. Behavior can create environmental conditions and regulate their impact. Social environment provides wide latitude for creating contingencies that mutually affect one’s own behavior. For example, in social interactions, the behavior of each participant affects which aspects of their potential repertoires are actualized and which remain unexpressed. Influences affect people and produce cognitive changes and affect selection and symbolic processing of subsequent influences.
    Expectations of personal efficacy determines coping behavior that will be initiated, how much effort will be expanded, and how long it will be sustained in the face of obstacles and aversive experiences. Efficacy expectations determine how much effort people will expend and how long they will persist in the face of obstacles and aversive experiences. The stronger the perceived self-efficacy is, the more active the efforts. This is important for CBT because a lot of the techniques and tasks performed are cognitive based rather than behavior based. So, in other words, self-efficacy is important in having the belief that one can overcome an obstacle and react appropriate in a situations. An example could be someone with generalized anxiety disorder having a panic attack and using the appropriate methods to cope through the attack such as practicing breathing techniques.

    (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.)

    Similar to CBT, although we advise clients what to do in a given life situation, we strive for them to think for themselves and come up with these therapy goals on their own. So in other words, we don’t want them to rely on others and remain dependent on them. We teach clients how to observe their own feelings and actions and how to evaluate them objectively instead of moralistically or grandiosely.
    Another similar to CBT, REBT induces individual and group therapy clients to do considerable work in between sessions. This is similar to CBT because “homework” and task to complete outside of therapy is given to the client. Homework includes risk taking, imagining failing and no upsetting themselves about this failure, or changing their thinking in some important way.
    A difference is that REBT holds that rational thinking normally leads to appropriate and irrational thinking to inappropriate emoting. REBT labels rational thinking as that kind of thinking that assists you to survive and to achieve the goals or values you select to make your survival pleasurable, enjoyable, or worthwhile.
    (3) Share your understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” and its relevance to modern CBT.

    Internal dialogue has three functions and those are, 1. the work on interpersonal instructions, usually in the context of problem solving tasks, 2. the research on cognitive factors in stress responses, and 3.the research on the effects of instructional sets on physiological reactions. Interpersonal instructions emphasize both the instigational and directive functions of instructions in controlling behavior. Instructions provide the subject with a rule or principle by which he can mediate his behavior. Teaching a client to alter his internal dialogue will have direct effects on, what the individual attends to in the environment, how he appraises various stimulus events, to what he attributes his behavior, and his expectations about his own capacities to handle a stressful event. Changing the client’s style of self-instructions can have psychological effects and cognitive activity has been suggested as a meditational factor in operant autonomic conditioning. Central to the behavior change process is the nature of a client’s cognitive structures, the accompanying inner speech, and the behavioral outcomes or the results of one’s actions. Cognitive structures are required in explaining behavior change. Cognitive structure is the aspect of thinking that seems to monitor and direct the strategy, route, and choice of thoughts. What a person says to himself about behavioral outcomes will determine whether he considers the results as evidence, which can then alter his beliefs or cognitive structures. This is all relevant to modern CBT because behavior of a client will most likely affects the way they think and function in everyday life.

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    • Aleksa Golloshi
      Jan 27, 2018 @ 13:08:05

      Hey Steph,

      I really like the comparison you made between CBT and self-efficacy; CBT is cognitive based and I agree that it is important to teach clients self-efficacy so that they can respond to aversive situations in an appropriate manner. Helping the client understand how to react in one situation when they are experiencing a certain emotion can help them use that technique in other situations when they experience that same emotion, or one very similar. The example you provided involving generalized anxiety disorder was really easy to understand and it correlated to your point of teaching clients self-efficacy very well.

      Reply

    • Cassie McGrath
      Jan 27, 2018 @ 14:58:25

      Hey Stephanie,

      I like the way in which you discussed internal dialogue. I think it is important to understand the 3 functions of internal dialogue. I also think that the individual’s ability to alter his or her own internal dialogue is extremely important. There is some connection between what you discussed with internal dialogue and the what you stated about self efficacy, there appears to be a connection between self efficacy and changing one’s internal dialogue. Although these two concepts display a disconnect in the theory of origin in that Bandura really discussed self efficacy and Meichenbaum discussed internal dialogue, it appears that they are somewhat interrelated. The way you discussed cognitive structure and the impact that it has on the individual in his or her internal dialogue is another important aspect to consider. in a way, all of these topics are very interrelated and connecting, somewhat addressing the entire person.

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  2. Sarah Mombourquette
    Jan 24, 2018 @ 22:29:21

    1) Reciprocal determinism is the concept that there is a cycle of influence between a person’s behavior and the person’s environment. In other words, the person’s environment can influence his or her behavior and the person’s behavior can influence his or her environment. Although it is described as a mutual interaction of events, it does not necessarily mean that a person’s behavior is the sole determinant of the events that follow. The concept of reciprocal determinism is meant to address the significance of mutual exchanges of influence between a person’s environment and a person’s behavior. Because CBT is focused on change in relation to cognition and behavior, reciprocal determinism is an important construct to consider. CBT theorists argue that cognitions are able to alter behavior. Therefore, reciprocal determinism also involves the thoughts of a person. The thoughts influence behavior, the behavior influences the environment, the environment influences the thoughts, and so on. A practicing cognitive behavioral therapist needs to involve all three areas (cognition, behavior, and environment) in order to effectively create change. By understanding reciprocal determinism and the multifaceted degrees of influence, the therapist can implement effective treatment plans with the goal of cognitive and behavioral change. Specifically, addressing reciprocal determinism would also allow for a change in belief patterns.
    Self-efficacy is an individual person’s belief in his or her ability to successfully complete a task. In other words, self-efficacy is how much a person “believes in himself.” Particular attention has been paid to the concept of efficacy expectations in connection to future success. Theories suggest that the stronger a person’s self-efficacy is, the more likely it will be that he or she will succeed in reaching a goal. Therefore, if a person “strongly believes” that he or she will succeed, then this thought can positively influence performance, making it more likely that he or she will actually succeed. Self-efficacy is related to CBT in both the reason for therapy and the process of the therapy itself. For example, because depressive thoughts often turn to ideas of failure, the depressed individual’s weaker self-efficacy might account for the inhibition of success or the disinterest in trying to be successful. This negative cognition is a representation of the individual’s self-efficacy. CBT seeks to change faulty and unstable cognitions, like the previous example, in an attempt to allow for optimal functioning. Similarly, self-efficacy can also influence coping strategies and degrees of avoidance. Therefore, CBT would need to take into account the individual’s thoughts about him or herself when creating goals and treatment plans. Specifically, in terms of creating goals, a clinician should consider the degree to which the client believes he or she can be successful. If self-efficacy can help to determine future success, the clinician should also attempt to find ways to strengthen self-efficacy for clients who do not believe in their ability to be successful.

    2) REBT can compare to CBT in multiple ways. The first similarity is that both therapies seek to dispute irrational thinking. In doing so, faulty cognitions are addressed in an attempt to create therapeutic change. Throughout the therapeutic process towards change, both REBT and CBT emphasize the importance of consistent effort and consistent practice. Through practice, a client is expected to learn how to manage his or her thoughts without the presence of the therapist. Both orientations utilize homework assignments between sessions as a way for the client to practice new skills. The overarching similarity between REBT and CBT is that both place an emphasis on cognition. More specifically, both orientations suggest that behavior can change through an understanding of thinking. REBT suggests that feelings are manipulated by perceptions. Therefore, it is possible to “choose to feel what you want to feel and what will help you get more of what you want out of life.” This is different from CBT because it suggests an unconditional acceptance of the self. In some ways, this idea is like the therapeutic orientation of ACT which promotes acceptance and mindfulness. CBT differs from this concept, most simply, because of its direction towards change. REBT also suggests that negativistic thinking comes exclusively from our own perceptions. This idea does not further consider the impact of an uncontrollable environment outside of personal perception. CBT, however, recognizes the importance of the interactions between the person, behavior and environment.

    3) Internal dialogue, also known as inner speech, is the proposition that each individual has a thinking process inside his or her head that evaluates and responds to specific events. A common example of internal dialogue could be self-instructions where a person governs his or her actions based on the evaluative process that exists internally. The results of inner speech can have an impact on multiple areas of functioning. The first is connected to stress responses. Therefore, the way that a person responds to stress is often due to the appraisal of the stressor and what the person attributes to the arousal. Inner speech can also be attributable to physiological reactions. Internal dialogue is connected to CBT because of its relation to cognition. For example, internal dialogue has a clear relationship with problem-solving. Because CBT looks to behavioral assessments of change, the problem-solving abilities of an individual would have to be considered when the individual is faced with a situation he or she would rather avoid. Internal dialogue can also encompass the concept of automatic thoughts. Because automatic thoughts are often uncontrollable, CBT would need to address the area of inner speech that created that automatic thought in the first place. This would ultimately be an essential step for change because “if we are going to change a behavior then we must think before we act.” Making use of the knowledge of inner dialogue within CBT would also, therefore, allow for cognitive restructuring as the first step in behavioral change.

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    • Stephanie Mourad
      Jan 26, 2018 @ 15:01:22

      Hi Sarah,
      I like that you used the example of a person who is depressed when describing how CBT is related to self-efficacy. I think that motivation is very key when setting goals and having self-efficacy and that might be hard for someone who has a depressive disorder. Thoughts of failure are often common and this gets in the way of completing tasks and goals set by the client.

      Reply

    • Aleksa Golloshi
      Jan 27, 2018 @ 13:32:27

      Hi Sarah,

      I think you make a really important point when you state that REBT and CBT really emphasize the importance of consistent practice and consistent effort because these two components will ultimately result in the client not needing to see a therapist anymore. I believe this is the ideal outcome for any patient, therefore it’s really important, as a clinician, to be aware of these factors and to incorporate them into sessions.

      Reply

    • Allexys Burbo
      Jan 27, 2018 @ 17:21:09

      Hey Sarah,

      I believe you emphasized a significant feature which helps underscore the major difference between REBT and CBT. While both therapeutic approaches are rooted in their emphasis on cognition and behavior as the basis for change, the difference lies in the source of cognitive patterns. The stipulation within REBT is that there is an unconditional self-acceptance and that maladaptive perceptions are self-derived. From this perspective, the goal for change is to alter the perception of self. Within CBT, however, the promotion toward change considers environmental factors that may both facilitate and hinder such an endeavor. In this instance, maladaptive cognitions are not necessarily self-initiated, but rather, a product of both internal and external sources. This distinction is important as an understanding about the source of maladaptive cognitive patterns will produce subtle differences in the therapeutic approach itself.

      Reply

    • Tori Bryant
      Jan 28, 2018 @ 19:11:36

      Hi Sarah,

      I found your response to question #2 very insightful! When comparing CBT and REBT you stated that both therapeutic perspectives require consistent effort and practice and I think that is a very important point to make, especially when comparing these therapies to others that involve mostly talk-therapy techniques. I also liked how you brought in ACT in comparison to REBT. Both therapeutic perspectives acknowledge maladaptive thoughts, but are not as proactive in making changes as CBT is. This observation is certainly encouraging because as a therapist we are looking to help clients change for the better so that they can function well and live a full life, which typically requires some sort of active, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive change alongside acceptance.

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  3. Tori Bryant
    Jan 25, 2018 @ 08:21:21

    1) In my own words, when Bandura discusses reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy he is emphasizing the point that the environment influences people’s thoughts and emotions, which in turn creates behaviors. Then it is stated that people’s behaviors, which are caused by their thoughts and emotions, influence the environment. There is a common misconception that the environment influences the individual in a unidirectional way. Luckily, the concept of reciprocal determinism states that people have the ability to influence their environment, positively or negatively, which increases an individual’s self-efficacy. Without being able to act on and influence the environment and the belief they could do so successfully of their own will, human beings could potentially feel helpless and wonder what the point of trying to alter their circumstances are. In relation to CBT, these concepts speak to healthy cognitions about one’s ability to be successful within his or her environment. If we solely believed the behaviorist notions of consequences and reinforcement, rather than reciprocal determinism, human cognitions would not matter, and behaviors would not be of their own doing. Cognitions are the root of maladaptive behavior in CBT and people can determine what their cognitions are, which points to the very underpinnings of reciprocal determinism.
    2) Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is similar to CBT in that it attempts to address internal processes that cause people to function in a maladaptive way. REBT is focused more so on emotional processes that involve distorted emotions, while CBT is focused on distorted cognitions; both however, are used to address external behaviors as the end result. Ellis emphasizes that how people decide to perceive what happens around them and to them will impact their emotions; however, people can also determine how they react and process emotionally to these occurrences. The same can be said in CBT when discussing that life events are going to happen to clients, but they can determine how they think and process these events. It seems that both therapeutic perspectives acknowledge that thinking and feeling are often both intertwined and not mutually exclusive. Homework is also assigned in both therapeutic processes so that the client can practice self-regulating skills for his or her emotional and cognitive responses. The client is very involved in their own therapy and there is a great deal collaboration between therapist and client.
    3) Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” is closely related to modern day CBT in that automatic thoughts often play out through internal dialogue. If someone’s internal dialogue frequently consists of the automatic thought, “I am a failure,” the likelihood that that individual is going to feel successful most of the time is quite low. Internal dialogue can also play in role in increasing or decreasing stress; for example, if someone has test anxiety and his or her internal dialogue consists of, “I am a failure, so I am going to fail this test,” his or her anxiety levels are going to rise making success less attainable. In CBT it is believed that people can regulate these internal dialogues, or cognitions, so that they can think and behave in a more adaptive way that is not so stress inducing.

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    • Sarah Mombourquette
      Jan 26, 2018 @ 16:25:27

      Hi Tori, I really like that you emphasized the importance of how a person can influence his or her environment just as the environment influences him or her. This is particularly important for CBT. Thinking about the concept of learned helplessness, it would be important for a clinician to help the client learn that he or she does have some level of control over the environment. I also liked that, in relation to REBT, you pointed out the significance of self-regulation within the therapeutic process. I think that this is important because it also establishes a level of control that the client has even if he or she feels that his or her world is uncontrollable. Lastly, I agree that internal dialogue can play a large role in stress reduction. We often talk about internal dialogue in a negative way because it can relate to negativistic thinking; what you pointed out, however, is the way that internal dialogue can be useful.

      Reply

    • Louis D'Angelo
      Jan 26, 2018 @ 22:29:16

      Hey, Tori!
      It is great that you focused on reciprocal determinism and self efficacy in terms of an individual’s control over their environment and the misconception that this relationship is unidirectional when it is indeed by bidirectional and emphasizes an individuals power in changing their potential environment. Bandura postulates that an individual does indeed have some form of free will and that the environment dose not dictate what their behavior but only is a factor in the system of reciprocal determinism. This also eludes to the idea of an internal vs external locus of control.
      In the response on internal dialogue, be careful when giving examples of automatic thoughts. automatic thoughts are discrete and specific to the situation. The thought of “I am a failure” is not specific to a situation and more resembles a core belief, which dictate our automatic thoughts. “I am a failure” could be a core belief that dictates an automatic thought of “I’m gonna fail this test”

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  4. Aleksa Golloshi
    Jan 25, 2018 @ 09:55:10

    1. Bandura describes reciprocal determinism as a theory that is influenced by an individual’s behavior as well as their environment. He explains that the term reciprocal in this theory refers to a “mutual action between events rather than… opposite counterreactions.” (Bandura, 1977, p. 194) He believed that for experimental purposes, reciprocal sources of influence can be separate but two-way controls operate simultaneously in one’s everyday life. The same event can operate as a stimulus, response, or environmental reinforcer; this placement just depends on where the analysis randomly begins. Bandura shares that internal personal factors also operate as reciprocal determinants of each other. One’s expectations influence their behavior, but also the outcomes of their behavior change their expectations. Other theories describe behavior and the environment as two separate ideas but Bandura argues that each determines the operation of the other.
    Self-efficacy is another theory Bandura studied. This concept involves an individual’s personal beliefs in their ability to succeed in certain situations. Bandura believed there are four main principal sources that should be studied when discussing self-efficacy; these four principals include performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological states. Performance accomplishments refer to “personal mastery experiences.” (Bandura, 1977, p. 195) When an individual experiences a successful event their mastery expectations rise, but if they experience repeated failures their mastery expectations are lowered. After the individual experiences multiple strong efficacy expectations that result in success, the impact of occasional failures is reduced. Vicarious experience refers to seeing others execute threatening activities without adverse consequences. This can generate expectations in the individual that if they observe the act they also will improve, if they persist in their efforts. It helps persuade the observer in thinking that if others can do it they should be able to achieve some improvement in their performance as well. Verbal persuasion is a third concept that Bandura believed related to self-efficacy. Verbal persuasion refers to leading people, “through suggestion, into believing they can cope successfully with what has overwhelmed them in the past.” (Bandura, 1977, p. 198) Bandura also describes how expectations that are created in this manner are more likely to be weaker than those that are created by the individual because they will not appear authentic. The last concept Bandura believed was vital in self-efficacy is physiological states. Bandura explained how “people rely partly on their state of physiological arousal in judging their anxiety and vulnerability to stress.” (Bandura, 1977, p. 198) High arousal typically debilitates one’s performance therefore, one is more likely to expect success when they are not aroused than if they are agitated or tense.
    Reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy both correlate to CBT concepts. CBT focuses on cognition, emotions, and behavior, which are components found in these two constructs by Bandura. Reciprocal determinism suggests that a person’s expectations influence their behavior, which can most likely be a CBT concept as well. In order to change a maladaptive behavior a therapist practicing CBT should help their client consider their expectations on a certain matter and then help them understand why they are behaving in a certain why based on that expectation. Reciprocal determinism also states that a person’s behavior and their environment are related and a CBT practitioner needs to take this into consideration so that they can better assist their client. Bandura’s self-efficacy concept also relates to CBT practices. One concept under the self-efficacy theory is performance accomplishments, which states that when an individual experiences a successful event their mastery expectations rise. A CBT therapist helps their client focus on one discrepancy in their life and once the client has mastered the skills to cope with the discrepancy they can apply their skills on another one of their problems. Therapists practicing CBT can use many of the concepts introduced by Bandura since they are similar to what CBT incorporates in its practices.

    2. Rational emotional behavior therapy, introduced by Albert Ellis, is similar but also different when compared to cognitive behavioral therapy. Chapter 4 in “New Guide to Rational Living” discusses how REBT believes that clients should not rely too much on what others can do for them but should instead focus on thinking for themselves and leading an independent life, which is a similar view that CBT holds. These others include chemists, physicians, and professionals who administer drugs. CBT is strongly against the use of medicine because studies have shown that a lot of chemists don’t know exactly where in the brain a disorder stems from. It is better for an individual to actively discuss their maladaptive behaviors and feelings so that they can learn of different ways to cope with them, rather than taking medicine that will just suppress the feelings. Another similarity between CBT and RET is the emphasis of the patient’s beliefs. The client initiates the session by discussing a concerning matter, while the therapist guides the session by helping the client discover how to deal with the matter. Neither therapy would have a controlling practitioner.

    One major difference in CBT and REBT is the amount of thinking involved in REBT, which makes it a lot more philosophical. Ellis emphasizes the concept that we feel the way we think. Saying, “I might fall in front of my class” versus “falling in front of my class would be so embarrassing” would cause a person to feel two different emotions; the first statement might not create as intense emotions as the second would. (Ellis et al., 1976, p. 10) Ellis emphasizes that the way we think significantly affects the way we feel. The first statement would be more positive to think because it would cause us less anxiety than the second statement would. Ellis highlights a person’s thoughts and their thinking patterns tremendously throughout these five chapters, which is not a concept that is significant in CBT. Thinking is undoubtedly important in CBT but it is not as vital as it appears in REBT. Another distinct difference between the two is the REBT belief that a huge element of emotions “directly stems from thought.” (Ellis et al., 1976, p. 21) CBT believes that emotions are generated through a number of ways, such as a person’s behaviors and experiences. Their cognition certainly generates emotions but it is a mixture of many different concepts that CBT therapists focus on that help with their client’s emotions, not mainly just thinking through certain concepts.

    3. Meichenbaum’s believed internal dialogue was necessary for behavior change to occur. He discusses four concepts that are important to understanding internal dialogue; these concepts include physiological responses, affective reactions, cognitions, and interpersonal interactions. Physiological response refers to changing the client’s style of self-instructions. The client needs to learn to respond to the similar physiological cues that arise in different cognitions in order for his/her behavior to change. Affective reaction refers to the emotional reaction a client has to a situation, which could be positive or negative. If a client learns to control these reactions than they can control their behavior. Cognitions refer to a client’s ability to cope with stress and stressful situations. Self-statements are important when an individual undergoes stress because that internal dialogue can prohibit the stress or enhance it. The client needs to practice techniques that will help them subdue the stress so that it does not overwhelm them. Lastly, interpersonal interaction is the fourth concept that Meichembaum identified as important for the concept of internal dialogue and controlling behavior. He uses Gagne’s list of functions when describing interpersonal instructions. This list included motivating the client by eliciting an achievement set, helping the client identify the important parts of stimulus control, and channeling thinking in terms of task-relevant hypotheses, while controlling outside thoughts.
    These concepts are similar to CBT because they focus on behavior change. One of CBT’s main goals is to alter maladaptive behavior into adaptive behavior that is healthy for the client. Meichembaum states that a client needs to learn how to control how they respond to cues that are similar but occur in different settings and this is a main concept in CBT. Therapists help clients create a healthy behavior that can be applied to different aspects of the client’s life. CBT also helps client’s learn different way to cope with stress and situations that induce stress, which is another topic Meichembaum discussed. If the client can learn how to overcome the stress they experience during a certain situation they can apply that same coping strategy when they undergo stress during another situation.

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  5. Lexie Ford-Clottey
    Jan 25, 2018 @ 11:06:59

    1. A closer look at Bandura’s concept of reciprocal determinism suggests that three factors influence behavior and appear responsible for the way individuals act: the individual, the environment, and the actual behavior. Within an individual embodies personal factors which include traits such as personality, beliefs, emotions, and unique characteristics (i.e., talents, abilities, etc). The environment includes a person’s physical surroundings, indicating that others and objects influence the frequency of a behavior as well as the likelihood of people to keep doing that action. The behavior itself consists of what a person may be doing or saying. Such behaviors may be reinforced depending on who may be present or where on is, indicating that context matters. This shows that humans are not only shaped by their environment but also have the ability through their behaviors to influence the social world around them. The reciprocal relationship among these factors demonstrates the complexity of such interactions, in which behaviors and actions are a result of individual and environmental influences. In order to gain a better understanding to our own behavior, actions, and decisions we must consider how all three of these factors influence one another rather than looking at them as independent constructs.The concept of reciprocal determinism relates to CBT because maladaptive cognitions have the potential to affect a person’s thoughts, actions, and behaviors. The disruptive impact of these cognitions not only concerns the individual but also how that individual shapes the environment and those around them.
    The concept of self-efficacy focuses on the belief of an individual concerning his/her ability to carry out certain tasks successfully when faced with various situations, challenges, or difficulties. Self-efficacy tends to play a major role in how individuals approach goals, tasks, and challenges, while also directly influencing motivation and accomplishments in life. In order to strengthen and enhance an individual’s sense of self-efficacy and foster the belief that one can succeed efficacy expectations (i.e., performance accomplishments, vicarious experiences, etc) are utilized. To help facilitate motivation among individuals who lack self-efficacy modeling plays a major role. If individuals observe others (especially those who are similar to them) perform activities without something unpleasant happening shows that the action is “doable.” The main goal is to help individuals believe they can do something so that the likelihood of succeeding at it is greater, therefore eliminating any dysfunctional fears or thought patterns. Self-efficacy relates to CBT because the presence of maladaptive cognitions can impact why some individuals may lack a sense of self-efficacy. How an individual may perceive a certain situation or action directly effects motivation, the likelihood of completing it, and setting goals. Maladaptive thought patterns influence why individuals may fear or avoid certain situations. In CBT, homework is often utilized to help clients practice specific skills outside of therapy. This would be useful for someone experiencing a lack of self-efficacy because they have the opportunity to practice setting goals or making an effort to challenge themselves. For a CBT therapist it would be of particular interest to use the technique of cognitive restructuring to help individuals form more appropriate thought patterns, which can result in improvements in how they view their capabilities.

    2. When looking at the therapeutic orientations of REBT and CBT both approaches share many similarities as well as unique defining features. With this said, it is important to know what distinguishes REBT from CBT when deciding which form of therapy will be most beneficial to a client. In many ways than one REBT largely is CBT, in which the differences between the two approaches are minor. The first difference is found in terminology/language, where in CBT thoughts are labeled as negative automatic thoughts and in REBT thoughts are labeled as irrational beliefs. The style of REBT and CBT also appear different, and more specifically the quality of the therapeutic relationship. In REBT it is quite common for the therapist to show clients unconditional acceptance, which teaches clients that they can accept themselves even if others may not. Therapist humor is also emphasized in REBT than in other CBT approaches. In CBT there is no validation of the problem behavior by the therapist, indicating maladaptive beliefs and thoughts are “abnormal” and need to be challenged/changed. Philosophy is another key difference between the two approaches. In REBT it is assumed that those who adopt this type of perspective will experience minimum emotional disturbances, indicating that this approach helps people maximize their individuality, freedom, and self-interest. REBT also uses different methods depending on the personality of the client. In CBT philosophy is not utilized as a form of treatment for clients, instead CBT therapists adhere to treatment manuals specific to each disorder. When looking at the similarities between REBT and CBT both approaches are considered to be short-term, in which therapy is not meant to last forever. The ultimate goal for both orientations is for clients to be able to take the skills they have learned in order to independently solve problems after therapy. Psychoeducation is also emphasized, in that CBT finds this concept as an early critical component of treatment whereas REBT relies on psychoeducation throughout the entire process. The main similarity is that both techniques target irrational beliefs and faulty cognitions with the hope of replacing them with more appropriate and adaptive behavior. Homework assignments are quite essential to both therapies and are often given between sessions as a way for clients to witness change as it happens and to practice any new skills or techniques.

    3. Internal dialogue, often referred to as inner speech, takes into account the self-communication that occurs within the mind of individuals and how it effects behavior and influences events. It is found that the talk that goes on in one’s head (i.e., self-instructions) has a similar impact on behavior and course of action as interpersonal instructions. Inner speech also plays a role in other areas of functioning and can be specifically connected to stress responses and physiological reactions. When looking at stress responses, how one responds to stress greatly influences how one appraises the stressor, indicating that what individuals are saying to themselves about the arousal determines if such situations will be debilitating or easy to accomplish. The physiological effects (i.e., sweaty palms or increased heart rate) an individual might present depends on how that arousal is perceived within the self, in which reactions are based on internal dialogue. When describing the content of internal dialogue it is often assumed that such thoughts are automatic, uncontrollable, and appear rather rapidly. A major part of CBT involves helping individuals become conscious of maladaptive cognitions and to replace them with more appropriate thought patterns. With automatic thoughts often being not logical and just kind of happening it is important for a CBT therapist to target these inner thoughts in order to facilitate change. Modifying inner thoughts helps individuals realize the significance in thinking before we act.

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    • Teresa DiTommaso
      Jan 26, 2018 @ 15:49:32

      Hi Lexie,

      I really appreciate your inclusion of the therapeutic relationship in discussing the differences between REBT and CBT. Going beyond what may be different in the theories themselves, the therapeutic relationship is also key to how therapy is conducted and I really think the mention of unconditional positive regard is an important concept of REBT that significantly differs from CBT because it influences how the therapist responds to an irrational thought or something of the like.

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    • Allexys Burbo
      Jan 27, 2018 @ 19:05:40

      Hey Lexie,

      As you point out, one important differentiating feature of REBT from CBT lies in the therapeutic relationship. Validation, acceptance, and unconditional regard are all aspects of the therapeutic encounter for REBT that are not emphasized in CBT. The clinician who takes a strict CBT approach encourages the individual to challenge maladaptive cognitive patterns as a means of facilitating successful change. These cognitive frameworks are not regarded as mere errors of “normal” thought, but rather, abnormal in nature and therefore subject to transformation. While a clinician taking a REBT approach might encourage self-acceptance and assurance in the presence of irrational thought, the CBT clinician will discourage such a feat and use their time to help alter altogether the course of irrational thoughts. In this instance the therapeutic relationship, in the context of each therapeutic approach, will take different forms.

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  6. Allexys Burbo
    Jan 25, 2018 @ 11:37:56

    (1) From Bandura’s perspective, reciprocal determinism describes psychological functioning as the result of continuous reciprocal interaction of personal and environmental components. In this instance, the individual is driven by neither inner forces nor environmental factors but rather it is the reciprocal relationship between the individual’s behavior, emotions and thoughts, and environment that are all determinants of one another and account for the psychological functioning of the individual. The idea is that the individual is able to generate at least some measure of control over his or her own behavior and is therefore at least partially responsible for the outcome of his or her life – that is, the individual is not merely a victim of external influence. Within the realm of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), its main objective emphasizes the interrelationship between cognitions and behavior. The idea is that, similar to how we understand reciprocal determinism, the two are significantly associated and influence one another in a reciprocal way – that is the relationship is not unidirectional. In its relationship to CBT, it is important to consider the relationship between cognitions and behavior in this way and that the individual understands their own role as active (rather than passive) within the scope of their environment. Beyond those components which comprise the individual’s psychological functioning, self-efficacy is the individual’s belief that he or she can successfully carry out the behaviors required in any particular instance. Ultimately, self-efficacy is a determinant of motivation and expectancies. The higher the individual’s perceived self-efficacy, the greater their goals, commitment, and drive to pursue successful outcomes become. Self-efficacy, because it is a reflection of the individual’s perception of self and ability, is a significant component of CBT. According to Bandura’s model, an individual’s behavior is determined by efficacy expectations (the individual’s perception that they possess the ability to successfully execute the behavior required to produce the desired outcome) and the final outcome is a direct result of outcome expectations (the individual’s estimate that a particular behavior will produce a specific outcome) – a relationship between cognition and behavior. Additionally, within the context of CBT, self-efficacy is often an accurate predictor of behavior change and treatment success outcomes. The goal of treatment, then, is to enhance the individual’s sense of self-efficacy in an attempt to increase the belief in their ability to adopt effective coping mechanisms that will initiate positive behavior change. In this instance, if the individual believes they possess the ability to contribute to the success of treatment, the likelihood of this outcome becomes greater.

    (2) At its core, Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) reflects the traditional cognitive-behavioral approach. The major assumption that thoughts, emotions, and behavior are interrelated faculties of human functioning underlies the most significant feature of both therapeutic approaches. Both REBT and CBT assert that in altering the condition of the individual’s maladaptive or irrational cognitions, major behavioral changes will follow as a result. While similar in scope, some major components differentiating Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy can be found in its philosophical underpinnings. According to Ellis’s assertion, the individual is expected to meet a number of self oriented goals if they are to experience significantly minimal emotional disturbance. CBT, on the other hand places less emphasis on such philosophical ideologies. In addition, the REBT and CBT exemplify a linguistic difference. The assumption underlying both therapeutic approaches is that faulty cognitive patterns are the root of maladaptive behavior. The difference, however, is that while REBT refers to these cognitive patterns as “irrational beliefs” CBT labels these same cognitions “negative automatic thoughts.”

    (3) Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue,” otherwise known as inner speech, is the communicative exchange that occurs within the individual. The function of internal dialogue is seemingly three-fold – to aid the individual in problem-solving tasks (interpersonal instruction), function as a coping strategy, and serve as a physiological buffer. Within the framework of modern CBT, the parallel form of internal dialogue is what is known as the automatic thought. Inner speech is comprised of both implicit (unconscious) and explicit (conscious) cognitive structures and functions much in the same way automatic thoughts do. In CBT, automatic thoughts are considered the building blocks of cognition. These cognitive frameworks facilitate behavior (both adaptive and maladaptive) and may operate either at or below the individual’s level of awareness. In the context of CBT, it is important to understand and consider the internal dialogue as a key component for behavioral change.

    Reply

    • Lexie Ford-Clottey
      Jan 27, 2018 @ 12:42:27

      Hi Allexys,
      I think your description to the relationship between CBT and self-efficacy is important because it emphasizes how treatment plays a major role in building/ enhancing self-efficacy. For a CBT therapist it is essential to help clients modify thoughts because it strengths capabilities and facilitates a change in how individuals perceive tasks. One way CBT can enhance a sense of self-efficacy and successful treatment outcomes is through the use of homework. Giving homework between sessions allows clients to practice and work on skills learned in therapy. Therefore, I agree that treatment and especially effective treatment plans/strategies are necessary in fostering a boost in levels of efficacy. I also agree that self-efficacy can be used as a predictor of behavior change in therapy because it depicts how motivated or willing one is towards that change. With this said, how much a person believes in themselves greatly impacts the effort they may put into therapy and ultimately play a role in treatment outcomes.

      Reply

  7. Abbey Lake
    Jan 25, 2018 @ 11:47:58

    (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 essentially there is a reciprocal relationship between a person, behavior, and the environment and each of these factors are related to one another and have equal potential to influence each other. For example, reciprocal determinism explains how an individual’s behaviors, thoughts and/or emotions may either influence his/her social or physical environment, or be influenced by his/her social or physical environment. This construct is related to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in the sense that they focus on a similar underlying concept which is that personal factors such as thoughts and emotions have the ability to affect behavior. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is focused on how cognitions may affect emotions, which may then affect behaviors. Therefore changing cognitions may result in successful therapy through the production of desired behavior change.
    My understanding of Bandura’s thoughts on self-efficacy is that it is how confident an individual is in his/her power to change his/her behaviors, cognitions, and social environment. This construct relates to CBT because this type of therapy is often used to treat individuals with anxiety and depression and Bandura (1977) discusses how individuals are more likely to become anxious and/or depressed if they see themselves as lacking self-efficacy. In order for therapy to be successful it is important that an individual has some degree of self-efficacy, otherwise the individual will not believe that positive change is possible and he/she may not be motivated to work towards better coping strategies learned in therapy.

    (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.)

    Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are both cognitive therapies that challenge an individual to have more realistic cognitions through gaining self-awareness. For example, both CBT and REBT focus on modifying the thinking process so that ideas, thoughts, and feelings are more realistic rather than self-deprecating or irrational beliefs that may be more positive yet aren’t necessarily in concordance with reality. REBT and CBT are also similar in the sense that they both require the client to do substantial work in between sessions. CBT and REBT both include the assigning of “homework” that clients must complete in order to practice what they are learning in therapy. This practicing focus is an important aspect of both REBT and CBT as it reinforces new ways of thinking that are promoted in therapy.
    Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and CBT are similar in many ways, but they also have many unique distinguishing characteristics. For example, REBT seems to be more philosophical in nature. There is a significant amount of emphasis placed on how an individual’s feelings result from their cognitions. Ellis discuses this concept in great detail in the chapter titled, “You feel the way you think”. Although both therapies are cognitive therapies, CBT appears to be more emotion and problem focused whereas REBT appears to be more focused on how thinking patterns may directly impact emotions. REBT is based on the concept that negative thinking is a direct result of an individual’s perception. CBT, however, focuses on challenging thoughts while considering other uncontrollable factors such as the physical or social environment. REBT is also unique because it places importance on the individual accepting him/herself and others as they are regardless of any flaws. The reading discusses that if individuals accept themselves and others unconditionally then they will not become angered when negative qualities or situations are brought to their attention but rather they will be at peace with this. Uniquely, CBT places importance on improving self-esteem through building an individual’s self concept by reinforcement of positive qualities.

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

    My understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” is that it is the unspoken and unfiltered thoughts, feelings, and/or beliefs that every individual experiences in day-to-day life. This may include self-instruction and stress response, and may present as self-doubts, anxieties, or ruminations. “Internal dialogue” is also how an individual perceives these thoughts, which in turn influences behavior. “Internal dialogue” is a strong reflection of an individual’s view of him/herself as well as his/her life experiences and it is a strong indicator of an individual’s ability to cope. “Internal dialogue” is very relevant to modern Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) because modern CBT works towards improving problematic cognitions and making “internal dialogue” more realistic in an effort to modify unhealthy behavior. One example of how “internal dialogue” may be relevant to modern CBT is in the case of an individual who has depression. Depression can have a major impact on “internal dialogue” because it can be very damaging and self- defeating. For example, individuals with depression may view themselves as worthless or view experiences in their life in a negative and distorted way. “Internal dialogue” in individuals with depression may consist of negative thoughts such as, “You will never succeed” or “You are worthless”. CBT helps to identify these negative thoughts through promotion of self-awareness and focuses on improving “internal dialogue” so that the relationship between internal dialogue and emotions is more realistic and healthy rather than self-defeating.

    Reply

    • Teresa DiTommaso
      Jan 26, 2018 @ 16:04:07

      Hi Abbey,

      What I found really important in your third response was that they are unfiltered. This really lends itself to the automaticity of thoughts that are central to CBT. Additionally, you put an emphasis on the idea that the internal dialogue is all about how an individual perceives those thoughts. Therefore, it really is not about the thoughts themselves, but what those thoughts mean to the individual who is having them. There are many people who have the same thought, but the outcome of that thought is very different depending on their perception. I believe this is one of the main take-aways from our readings and class discussion and you really highlighted this point.

      Reply

    • Sarah Mombourquette
      Jan 26, 2018 @ 16:26:59

      Hi Abbey, I think that your description of self-efficacy is particularly important because it emphasizes the impact of low self-efficacy. If a person does not believe that he or she can accomplish something, it is likely to be a pattern within his or her life. Therefore, it would be important to address why the person has low self-efficacy in the first place. I also like your emphasis on the importance of work in between sessions for both REBT and CBT. Without practice of newly learned skills it would be hard for a client to master self-regulation without the presence of the clinician. Lastly, the way that you described internal dialogue as “unfiltered thoughts” was very interesting to me. It makes me think of automatic thoughts and the importance that those play in a person’s attitude towards both himself or herself and the world.

      Reply

  8. Teresa DiTommaso
    Jan 25, 2018 @ 14:07:08

    1. Bandura:
    a. Reciprocal Determinism: Essentially, I believe what Bandura is explaining with reciprocal determination is the multidirectional relationship between personal freedom, environmental effects, and the outcome of behavior. In order to determine why an individual acts the way he or she does, one must look at all of the following concepts and their interconnectedness to each other. Personal freedom to make a choice is a key part to every behavior. Although the freedom to choose appears to be the center of many behaviors, it is much more complicated than that, and I believe that is what Bandura is trying to explain with reciprocal determinism. Having personal freedom is just one piece of the puzzle. The other major piece is the environment. The environment by itself, regarding opportunities or constraints, influence choices and behaviors. For example, if an individual lives in the middle of the woods, then their choices for food are much different than those who live in a metropolis. What is important about Bandura’s theory is not that both personal and environmental factors influence behavior, but that they themselves are interconnected and mutually influenced by the other. Personal choices influence the environment while environment influences personal choices. The continuous and changing intersection of these two influences is where behaviors occur. Reciprocal determinism relates to CBT because of the multilayer connectedness of personal and environmental influences. CBT does not just focus on how one aspect of behavior is influencing the maladaptive pattern, but how all aspects of an individual’s life is resulting in the present problems.
    b. Self-efficacy, as referred to as Bandura, is the ability for an individual to become resilient even in the fact of challenges and failures. The more self-efficacy an individual has, the more likely it is that that person is going to continue forward after he or she is met with a challenging event. The strength one holds about his or her perceived ability is what is likely to determine persistence. Major determining features of self-efficacy are people’s skills and incentives, as mentioned by Bandura. It is also important to note that self-efficacy is generated from performance accomplishments, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and physiological states (195). Self-efficacy is related to CBT because it seems to be a major factor in determining in psychological change. The idea of self-efficacy really puts an emphasis on the cognitive aspect as it relates to psychological and behavior change, which is key to the theory of CBT.

    3. Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” is how a person reacts internally to certain events happening around them. For Meichenbaum, and the sake of CBT, the most important aspect of inner speech is how that speech is interpreting the behaviors or events surrounding the individual. It is not simply recognizing that behavior or event, but how the individual is responding to that event in their mind which really makes a difference. Meichenbaum provides multiple examples of individuals who have internal dialogue with themselves, but their appraisals of the same external event is very different depending on the cognitive structure that they possess. For example, an individual that has more adaptive internal structures, their thoughts about someone leaving the room during their speech are more positive than that of someone who does not have positive self-speech. Internal dialogue is how one speaks and listens to oneself within their cognitive framework and can influence how individuals cope with stress, respond to social situations (rules/instructions on proper behavior), and how one appraises physiological arousal. Internal dialogue is so important to modern CBT because of the inclusion of automatic thoughts. Automatic thoughts are one of the cornerstones of CBT treatment today and automatic thoughts are what describes the internal dialogue (210). It is through the intentional modification of these automatic thoughts, and therefore the internal dialogue, that an individual can attempt to change his or her behavior, which is a major goal of CBT.

    Reply

    • Louis D'Angelo
      Jan 26, 2018 @ 22:55:19

      Hi Teresa,

      The focus on a person’s appraisals and reactions to the environment was defiantly the key feature in internal dialogues and it is great how you discussed this in your response with the examples. It was the quote we keep seeing in class from various notable people, that it isn’t the stimulus itself, but how we react to it. Internal dialogues do help in keeping track of behavioral cues and physiological affects, but the emphasis on the reactions and appraisals of a situations that in individual makes in response to the situation are so much of what manipulative cognition consist of.

      Reply

    • Abbey Lake
      Jan 27, 2018 @ 18:34:06

      Hi Teresa,

      I enjoyed reading your explanation of reciprocal determination because I think that you did a really nice job of highlighting the key point that personal factors, environmental factors, and behaviors are all interconnected. Your emphasis on how CBT focuses on all aspects that may influence the client’s life in regards to the client’s struggles is also an important point, because this interchangeable relationship of reciprocal determinism shows how personal factors, environmental factors, and behaviors are each significant concepts to consider in therapy due to their potential influence on one another. I also found your explanation of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” to be quite interesting because you mentioned the point that it is essentially how an individual reacts internally and I think a key component of “internal dialogue” is the reaction to arousal rather than just arousal itself. I think that how an individual attends to arousal is what makes an important difference in his/her ability to cope.

      Reply

    • Tori Bryant
      Jan 28, 2018 @ 18:57:37

      Hi Teresa,
      I really enjoyed your response to question #1! You use the term “interconnectedness” when discussing personal freedom, environmental effects, and outcome of behavior, which emphasizes how important it is to have a holistic view of an individual. If clinicians are not looking at all elements of a person, whether that be emotionally, cognitively, or behaviorally, treatment plans are more likely to miss a maladaptive way of thinking, feeling, or functioning that could potentially influence therapeutic outcomes in a negative way. I also found the topic of personal freedom very interesting and you touch upon how positive it is that we have personal freedom and we are not simply subject to the behaviorist’s beliefs about reinforces and consequences being our driving forces for behavior. It is important to acknowledge that at times, having personal freedom can lead to negative outcomes, but with CBT there is the belief that we do have some control over at least our perceptions of these negative events.

      Reply

  9. Cassie McGrath
    Jan 25, 2018 @ 14:16:45

    (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?

    When it comes to reciprocal determinism, Bandura created a theory to explain behaviors and stimuli. It is important to consider that Bandura looked at stimuli on three levels: environmental, personal, and the behavior itself. An important factor in this theory is that it includes both personal and environmental factors, in addition, it does not put more weight on one or the other with the relation to behavior. This theory states that in a way everything works together as a whole, in some ways it is similar to the chicken and the egg argument except this theory is saying that it can be both. Reciprocal determinism is more fluid and states that there is an interaction between personal and environmental factors rather stating that one causes the other. It is a continuous loop of interaction causing the behavior. Reciprocal determinism considers all of the person and makes use of multiple stimuli rather than limiting a behavior to having one cause.

    Self-efficacy, another term developed by Bandura, this discussing the possibility for change in the individual. This term works to describe how if effective an action is based on how much the individual believes that it will work. Self-efficacy has a large impact in how individuals approach situations. it can impact how someone approaches their goals and challenges. It can also work as a predictor of how well someone is going to find success in a specific area. IF someone does not believe that they are able to change or complete something, the chances of success decrease. Self-efficacy is not be confused with motivation, although there is some correlation between believing that you are capable and being able to complete the task. Both of these relate to the process of CBT. It is important to consider the whole person when working with a client as as a clinician understanding the stimuli that is impacting behavior is crucial to working towards behavior change. It is also important that when considering self-efficacy that the clinician needs to understand how the client feels about themselves in order to understand what the starting point is for therapy.

    (2) What are a couple examples of how Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is both similar to CBT and different from CBT?

    Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy was developed by Albert Ellis. There are similarities between REBT and CBT the largest being that both are forms of behavioral therapy. With this, both forms of therapy hope that the individual will take the skills that they have learned and independently practice them. The goal of both forms of therapy is that they are not therapies that will last forever, there is an expectation that the skills that are learned will allow for the client to no longer need the support of the therapist and to apply what they have learned. This also relates to how REBT in many ways a form of CBT with some differences in the therapeutic process and theory. Both CBT and REBT utilize psychoeducation in the therapeutic process, however REBT puts more weight in the utilization of REBT than CBT does. This psychoeducation also aids in the thought that the therapy will not last forever and that with education the application of skills can be better accessed by the client.

    There are a lot of differences between REBT and CBT as well. A major difference being the language that is used in REBT and CBT. REBT is more specified than that of the practices of CBT. REBT narrows the number of characteristics in therapy and has a specific approach whereas in CBT the approach does not limit cause and effect to a singular reason. Another major difference between the two is the way that they address the unwanted behavior. CBT looks at behaviors as being a part of negative cognitions, while in REBT the therapist focuses on the negative emotions and beliefs. Although both approaches have a similar goal the therapeutic approach varies.

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

    Meichenbaum’s theory of internal dialogue relates to the way in which someone processes things internally. Internal dialogue is the internal conversation that happens within the person. It is the way the person processes a situation or challenge. However, there is an additional component to this internal dialogue and that is the individual’s ability to change the direction of this internal dialogue. The internal dialogue can work as a positive push within the individual. However, the other consideration is that if the internal dialogue is eliciting negative thoughts then there has to be an ability for the individual to change the internal dialogue to prevent getting stuck in a negative loop. This ability is referred to as cognitive structure. An internal dialogue has the ability to talk an individual into and out of an action, but if the action is having a negative impact on the individual’s life than there needs to be an ability to change that thought process, or internal dialogue to ensure that it no longer has that negative affect on the individual.

    Reply

    • Stephanie Mourad
      Jan 26, 2018 @ 15:05:02

      Hi Cassie,
      I agree with you when you say that clinicians should consider the client as a whole person and understand the stimuli that is impacting behavior. It’s important to not just pick parts of a person but try and understand the person wholly in order to digest and analyze what the person is going through and what the best treatment and techniques are required to help them. It is also helpful in understanding why a person might be reluctant to therapy or reluctant to wanting to complete tasks.

      Reply

    • Abbey Lake
      Jan 27, 2018 @ 19:42:15

      Hi Cassie,

      I strongly agree that self-efficacy has a large impact in how individuals approach situations. The distinction between motivation and self-efficacy that you mentioned is crucial to understanding this concept, because it is very important to consider values in relation to self-efficacy. How we value something is often time what gives us the incentive or motivation to act upon a task and it will therefore influence our approach to a specific task. It is true that both CBT and REBT utilize psychoeducation in the therapeutic process. I think that you are right in saying that CBT does this in a way that is not as limited as REBT. From my understanding, REBT does this in a more philosophical nature in the sense that the focus is on how thinking patterns may directly impact emotions and therefore feelings are thought to be caused by cognitions that are a direct result of an individual’s perception. Regardless of the differences among the ways in which REBT and CBT utilize psychoeducation, both therapies perceive clients’ emotions to be a primary focus in therapy.

      Reply

  10. Louis D'Angelo
    Jan 25, 2018 @ 14:46:07

    1. Reciprocal determinism is the theoretical idea by Albert Bandura that there is a bidirectional influence linking our personal factors, overt behavior, and environmental influences. At the behaviorism level, this means that our behavior is contingent on the interplay of both our internal influences as well as social and environmental constraints. This exchange has the potential for one influence to affect another interchangeably, how this results in the chosen behavior of the individual is determined by the individual’s expectations and motivations. Interestingly, Bandura proposes an idea of the potential environment vs the actual environment. The potential environment is the constant environmental constraints that are presented to everyone. The actual environment is the experiences we receive as a result of our perspective and behavior changing how we experience that environment. This is seen in the experiment of “learned helplessness” when the dogs subjected to inescapable electric shocks continued to endure the shocks despite the change in potential environment and the possibility of escape. This is how the idea relates to CBT. Personal determinants or cognitions are not able to make any changes in reciprocal determinism unless they are activated by behavioral action. “personal determinants are only potentialities that do not operate as influences unless they are activated” (Bandura, 1977, pp. 195). These personal determinants my change expectancies, but will not result in changed, the core of cognitive behavioral therapy, unless the individual allows these expectancies to change their behavior. This is also true in challenges in belief, another core in CBT. Challenges to long held personal determinants and successful cognitive restructuring, could result in the reciprocal determinants of behavioral change.
    Self-efficacy, another core in baduras work, is the perceived level of strength and ability one believes they have in changing their environment. For example, passing a road test for one’s driving licence. Bandura breaks this down into two phases in which an individual assesses their ability as actions move through the reciprocal determinism model and result in reassessment of our self-efficacy. Efficacy expectations come in between personal determinants and behavioral determinants, it is our perception or how well we think we will preform. In the road test example, this is our perception on how prepared we are before the test. Outcome expectations come directly in between our behavior and the resulting consequences to the environment. It is how well we think we did on the task as compared to the actual outcome. This phase is crucial in changes of self efficacy and cognitive behavioural change in our perceived potential as well as our motivations and expectancies in trying again. Believing we did well and passing the road test boosts self efficacy. Believing we did well and failing, drops self efficacy. This can also include theories of locus of control if one rejects the idea of their own potential making a difference and believes that external environmental determinants are to blame for the unexpected failures that contradict good self efficacy as opposed to attributing poor results to an internal locus of control and reevaluating self efficacy.

    2. The central philosophy of rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) by Ellis is the challenge of irrational beliefs and the teaching of mindfulness of thought patterns and, as Ellis puts it, “straight thinking”. There are many ways in which this theoretical technique relates to cognitive behavioral therapy. One of the most obvious ways is the technique for challenging irrational beliefs and realizing their maladaptivity. Changing beliefs to endorse positive change is the central philosophy in CBT and directly relates to the changing of irrational beliefs in REBT. however, a difference in this approach between the two therapies is that in CBT these challenges are done through finding discrepancies and contradictions between beliefs, values, and behaviors and are often done by guiding the client to come to these realizations on their own. Conversely, the technique for challenging irrational beliefs in REBT is much more direct and abrasive. A common perspective of Ellis’s direct approach, this therapy appears to tell the client directly that these beliefs are maladaptive and irrational and proposes other means of changing perspective. This does not allow the client to make conclusions for themselves and proposes a directly guided form of therapy that may foster the clients dependence and reliance on the therapist.
    Another similarity of these two therapies is the use of homework assignments and the push toward self reliant means of attitude reconstruction or “straight thinking”. It is also similar that these forms of therapy focus on changing issues that are “in the now” as opposed to focusing on past events or a psychodynamic and developmental approach. A difference in these ideologies of maladaptive beliefs is that while REBT attributes maladaptive and irrational beliefs to an emotional response, while CBT attributes maladaptive beliefs to contradictions in cognitions and values and behaviors.

    3. The internal dialogue is a means of internal self-monitoring and self-regulation that can serve several positive outcomes. Meichenbaum proposes four of these fundamental values for maintaining an internal dialogue. “(1) To make “plans” for coping with a number of different contingencies; (2) to attempt to reassure himself; (3) to ward off disturbing thoughts; and (4) to note which of his behaviors should become cues for actions” (meichenbaum, 1977, pp. 206). This self-regulatory technique aids in attentional and appraisal procedures as well as assessing expectancies, behavioral patterns, and awareness of even physical responses to stressful stimuli. In the modern age of CBT mindfulness nearly emulates these ideas but the internal dialogue adds an internal cognition of self-speech. The idea of mindfulness has been increasing in popularity in the CBT field and contains many of the same uses as the internal dialogue technique including self-monitoring and regulation, self-efficacy, planned behavior, and physical and spatial awareness. One could say that mindfulness is a necessary feature of maintaining an internal dialogue. Another commonality between the internal dialogue and cognitive behavioral therapy in the monitoring Beck’s automatic thought theory. These automatic thoughts are discrete, immediate, and often irrational beliefs to a specific situation often interpersonal in nature. An internal dialogue not only monitors these automatic thoughts, but attempts to ward off these negative reactions by maintaining a rational look at reality and the actual environment. The internal dialogue can recognize these moments of maladaptive behavior and correct them by applying appropriate coping strategies or behavioral cues.

    Reply

    • Lexie Ford-Clottey
      Jan 27, 2018 @ 11:20:11

      Hi Louis,
      In describing internal dialogue, I found it particularly interesting how you connected the content of these ideas to the practice of mindfulness. More specifically, I like how you emphasize that inner speech and how individuals may perceive certain situations has much to do with one’s ability to monitor and regulate such events. The more aware or conscious individuals are of their internal thoughts has a direct impact on decisions and actions, and more importantly on interpretations. By focusing on one’s ability towards self-regulation and self-monitoring, fosters the understanding that individuals must think before they act and that being aware of such thoughts matters. I also like your description and example of self-efficacy because it highlights how this concept plays a role in the daily lives of individuals, while also demonstrating how success or failure can impact perceived levels of efficacy.

      Reply

  11. Cassie McGrath
    Jan 27, 2018 @ 15:11:58

    Hey Louis,

    I really like the way in which you discuss REBT. You did a really good job of breaking down the theory of both REBT and CBT to the bare bones of the theories in order to compare and contrast the two. I feel as though the way in which you discuss the basic comparisons of CBT and REBT in relation to how REBT challenges irrational beliefs. I also liked how you discussed that it is not only challenging the irrational beliefs but working to understand the maladaptive function of the irrational belief. This is important because it is not just addressing the thought itself but also taking it to the next step and understanding the thought. I also think that the way in which you discussed the differences in therapeutic approach with REBT and CBT was important. There are similarities with the bare bones of the two therapies but the way in which you discuss the varying approaches, helps to demonstrate that they are in fact separate therapies.

    Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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