Topic 1: Social Learning & Cognitive Theories {by 9/5}

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 9/5.  Have your two replies posted no later than 9/7.  *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 type/save your response as Word document and then copy and paste it to the blog.

32 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Adam Rene
    Aug 30, 2019 @ 14:03:19

    1. Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism state that there are three factors at play: person, environment, and the behavior. All three of these factors have equal chance to influence the other – they’re continually interacting with one another. This suggests that us as individuals and how we develop isn’t just because things are done “to” us from our environment on from behaviors we’ve experienced, but that we also have an impact on our environment and on other’s behaviors. I can see how this construct is related to CBT through the challenge of thoughts process can constitute a conversation around taking responsibility for your thoughts and actions, assessing how these negative attitudes or beliefs stemmed from behaviors or the environment, etc.

    Self-efficacy refers to one’s belief in their ability to execute behaviors that produce specific outcomes. This involves confidence in the ability to have control over motivation, follow-through, etc. I liked what Bandura had to say about outcome versus efficacy expectations. Outcome expectations refer to one’s estimate that a behavior will lead to a certain outcome whereas an efficacy expectation refers to the conviction that you can successfully execute the behavior needed for that outcome. With this in mind, I can see how this has a connection to CBT – thoughts! Motivation, expectations…all have deep connections to thoughts and beliefs that can be susceptible to negative thinking patterns. For example, Kara and I tried to go rock climbing on vacation once and I did not have strong efficacy expectations around being able to complete this task. I tried a couple times and couldn’t quite hoist myself up and then all the sudden I had a staff member grabbing me saying “Come on, it’s not so bad, just do it. It isn’t hard.” Yes, it is hard and I’ve clearly stumbled with this – it made me quite frustrated and in my mind, reaffirmed that I couldn’t do it. I didn’t end up rock climbing that day but looking back I can see now how I did not have high efficacy expectations that I could climb that rock wall, combined with feeling embarrassed and now on the spot with this dude who clearly does this all the time telling me it’s easy was a recipe for some major ranting afterwards.

    2. REBT and CBT have something core in common – human behavior, emotions, beliefs, ideas, attitudes, and thinking. Both REBT and CBT examine these factors with regard to change. Both REBT and CBT have a focus on the present – what is happening or upsetting to someone right now. Both REBT and CBT address unhealthy and/or maladaptive thought patterns, attitudes, and behaviors. However, there are some ways that REBT and CBT are different. REBT focuses on self-acceptance whereas CBT focuses more on self-esteem. But overall the biggest difference between REBT and CBT lies in their philosophical differences. As previously stated, REBT has a focus on accepting your circumstances, looking at the other side of an issue and seeing the positive – CBT does not go about things in this manner. From my understanding, CBT seeks to identify these negative thoughts/beliefs/attitudes, challenge them, and replace them with healthy and adaptive thinking.

    3. As I read Meichenbaum’s article on Internal Dialogue, especially during the example of high and low anxiety speech-givers and test-takers, I was immediately reminded of the concept of challenging negative thoughts in CBT. I felt that the idea of making “plans” as it was described in the reading was a strong connection to what could be considered “homework” in CBT – tasking the client with creating coping strategy plans when faced with stressors or warning signs outside of the therapy session. Meichenbaum also notes that when it comes to physiological arousal with anxiety it is more about what the client says to themselves rather than the physiological aspect that is distressing which is consistent with my understanding of CBT being heavily focused on negative thought patterns. In my work as a Therapeutic Mentor I came up with an activity that has to do with these kind of ‘self-talk’ statements. I would set up a simple game and after each turn myself and my client would read from a list of negative statements such as “I can’t do this…this is too difficult…,” processed through how that felt and that did the same game again but gave them a reference of positive statements such as “I can always try again…this too shall pass…” I was amazed at how much the negative statements effect had on these clients and I feel that this could be an example of how this internal dialogue could work.


    • Paola Gutierrez
      Sep 02, 2019 @ 21:24:35

      Through each of your comments, I can more clearly see how each of these theories/therapeutic modalities connect to one another. To illustrate, the concept of self-efficacy can be tied to Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue and going further, how they’re both tied to CBT. If you are faced with a difficult task at work and you tell yourself “I can’t do this because it’s too difficult. I’m a failure because I can’t finish this task. And if I can’t finish this task, I’ll get fired from this job, which will then prove that I’m definitely a failure.” From this example, one can clearly see how low self-efficacy and negative internal dialogue can contribute and reinforce/maintain distorted thinking patterns which form the emphasis of treatment in CBT.

      Your personal and professional anecdotes/examples were helpful in making your points clearer and stronger!


    • Zacharie Duvarney
      Sep 03, 2019 @ 10:58:48

      Your personal experiences were helpful in that they provided a context for abstract concepts. Thanks for sharing!

      Regarding your comparison of REBT and CBT, it seems that you and I both took notice of how REBT focuses more on acceptance than CBT. Specifically, it seems that REBT places emphasis on accepting and understanding the behaviors and philosophical positions of others. When I initially wrote my response, I did not know if I was correct in making this comparison. However, after reading your response, it seems we both caught on to this distinction.

      Overall, your responses were clear and concise. I enjoyed the examples you provided from you personal life.


    • Tricia Flores
      Sep 05, 2019 @ 09:24:39

      Adam- I appreciated your interpretation of Meichenbaum’s concept of internal dialogue. Your connection of Meichenbaum’s idea that the physiological arousal with anxiety is more determined by what the client says to himself or herself versus the physiological aspect of the distress. This reminded me of the techniques used in CBT to address anxiety attacks. The technique of eliciting the feelings of the anxiety attack and sitting with them, realizing that they are not life-threatening and can be managed. The self-talk used in this to change automatic thoughts and negative thought patterns will result in the power of the anxiety responses being “taken away,” and maladaptive responses ultimately stopping.


    • Anthony Mastrocola
      Sep 06, 2019 @ 13:30:23

      Hi Adam,

      I overall enjoyed reading your post, and believe you made some great points. I particularly enjoyed your personal anecdote and how it relates to self-efficacy. Reading your anecdote made me think about my own experiences, which ultimately helped aid in my understanding of self-efficacy.


    • Olivia Corfey
      Sep 06, 2019 @ 22:15:23

      Adam, thank you for sharing your personal experiences. These experiences aided in my understanding of conceptualizing these elements in real world scenarios. In regard to Bandura’s reciprocal determinism, I believe we have similar thoughts about responsibility of action as well as the control we do have within our environment. Overall your responses were well written and thorough.


  2. Paola Gutierrez
    Sep 02, 2019 @ 20:08:07

    1. Reciprocal determinism indicates that personal factors (thoughts and emotions), environmental factors, and behaviors are constantly and reciprocally interacting with each other. Furthermore, people have some measure of control over their behaviors (have free will), which in turn influences their environment. Thus, people are not simply victims of the environment but rather play a role in shaping their environments through personal and behavioral determinants. Self-efficacy is the concept that individuals believe that they can successfully complete/master an activity. The greater one’s self-efficacy, the more persistent and determined that person will be at finishing the set task/goal. That individual will also take higher risks and put more effort into obtaining the goal and will likely have higher motivation. Self-efficacy also influences how effectively a person may cope with a difficult situation and how long coping behaviors will extend. CBT relates to reciprocal determinism in the idea that people have control over their thoughts and behaviors and that thoughts influence behavior and likewise. Self-efficacy relates to CBT in the emphasis on coping skills and problem-solving behaviors inherent in the idea of self-efficacy. For example, an individual who does not believe that they can be successful in completing a major project for work may demonstrate poorer problem-solving abilities when faced with project obstacles. Enhancing one’s self-efficacy through coping and problem-solving skills may likely improve overall thought and behavior patterns.

    2. Ellis’s REBT and CBT are most similar in their emphasis on cognitions. Both REBT and CBT hold that unhelpful cognitions can result in emotional distress and/or maladaptive behaviors. Additionally, both CBT and REBT identify that modifying irrational or faulty beliefs is necessary for sustained therapeutic gains and for emotional/behavioral change. Lastly, REBT and CBT emphasize that individuals have control over their thought patterns and can learn to change them.
    REBT and CBT are different in that REBT has a stronger philosophical framework which plays out in treatment sessions in the form of debate. REBT’s principles of rational thinking are rooted in philosophical outlooks on self- and social interest, self-direction, tolerance of self and others, flexibility, acceptance of uncertainty, commitment to vital interests, self-acceptance, scientific thinking, and a non-utopian perspective on life. REBT also appears to focus more on emotions than on behaviors, in contrast to CBT, which places a high emphasis on behavior. Indeed, Ellis’s book makes little mention of behaviors and instead focuses almost entirely on the relationship between thoughts and emotions. Ellis’s REBT also has a more abrasive approach than CBT appears to. For example, Ellis explains that a barrier to rational thinking and emoting is that some people are “too stupid to think straight” and will frequently tell clients that their thoughts/feelings are “stupid.”

    3. Meichenbaum’s concept of internal dialogue is that our “inner speech,” or how we appraise situations and what we give our attention to, influences our behavior. This inner speech comes from “cognitive structures” or the organized thought processes that guide our choice of thoughts. In my opinion, Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” is a somewhat convoluted explanation of CBT concepts of “automatic thoughts” and “core beliefs” and how those drive our behavior. In Meichenbaum’s explanation, “cognitive structures” are akin to belief systems, and internal dialogue is essentially thoughts/cognitive appraisal. Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue is relevant to modern CBT because Meichenbaum emphasizes that what we tell ourselves about a situation or event (cognitive appraisal) influences our behavior.


    • Zacharie Duvarney
      Sep 03, 2019 @ 10:47:25

      I see that both you and I interpreted Meichenbaum’s ideas on internal dialogue as antiquated versions of CBT concepts. I’m glad you affirmed my suspicion that Meichenbaum was basically saying something Beck said but in a more complicated way.

      Concerning your thoughts on REBT, I too noticed that Ellis seemed more aggressive given he was willing to call people’s thoughts “stupid”. He definitely seems more confrontational than a typical CBT therapist. I would be interested in seeing how this works in therapy.

      Overall, I thought your responses were articulate. Reading your response helped reinforce my understanding of the literature.


    • Adam Rene
      Sep 05, 2019 @ 12:31:47


      Thank you for your explanations here. I liked your phrasing of “people are not simply victims of their environment…” I think that even the use of the word ‘victim’ implies accountability or responsibility for actions is limited – you wouldn’t expect the victim of a crime to be held responsible for it. But, what Meichanbaum is getting at here with reciprocal determinism is that the exchange amongst all these factors has equal chance of occurring – they are all influencing each other. I guess we are all ‘victims’ but not at the same time. There’s accountability and responsibility on all parts, especially to understand one’s role in their circumstances.

      I’m glad you included Ellis’ use of the word “stupid” quite generously – gave me a chuckle. I certainly would react to these kind of word usage if I were in therapy but I understand from a theoretical and practical standpoint what he is getting across here.

      Overall, your response is concise and we agreed upon several points in our discussions of these topics. Thank you for elaborating on certain areas that I did not.


      • Adam Rene
        Sep 05, 2019 @ 12:40:01

        Correction – used ‘Meichanbaum’ when I intended to use ‘Bandura’ in my first paragraph. My apologies.


    • Anthony Mastrocola
      Sep 06, 2019 @ 14:01:19

      Hi Paola,

      I really enjoyed reading your blog post. While I think you formulated 3 great responses, your second response especially made me think. When comparing REBT and CBT, I liked how you mentioned that both approaches involve thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, but CBT addresses behaviors far more. You also did a great job noting the confrontation and harsh nature of Ellis’ approach to REBT. Calling clients “stupid”, and especially their thought processes as “stupid” is surely going to rub many clients the wrong way.


  3. Zacharie Duvarney
    Sep 03, 2019 @ 10:39:59


    Bandura’s reciprocal determinism is a multi-faceted conceptualization of behavioral disposition and social learning. Reciprocal determinism asserts that three factors; the environment, overt behavior, and individual factors, influence one-another in a multi-directional manner. Thus, each of these three factors have equal influence over each other and are constantly working in tandem to elicit responses from one another. All three factors have inherent potential for certain consequences, but these potentials are not realized unless the force of one factor acts upon another.
    Bandura illustrates this idea by providing an example of an aggressive child in a hostile environment. In this example, the aggressive tendencies of the child are the individual factor, the overt aggressive behaviors are the behavioral factor, and the hostile environment is the environmental factor. Concerning the environmental factor, it is evident that the child’s environment is not inherently hostile. The environment becomes hostile when the child demonstrates aggressive behavior. Consequently, the primary caregiver may respond in a certain way that reinforces the child’s aggressive tendencies. For example, if the caregiver responds to the child’s aggression by giving in to their demands, then the child may learn that they can get what they want from their parent by performing aggressive behaviors. Thus, we have a child activating the environment’s potential for hostility through overt aggressive behaviors, which elicits a reinforcing response (for aggression) from the caregiver, which perpetuates the hostile environment. Therefore, we can see how each of the three factors influence one another.
    In his essay on reciprocal determinism, Bandura posits his ideas on self-efficacy. Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s beliefs regarding their ability to perform behaviors that result in specific consequences. In general, self-efficacy is whether an individual believes they have agency over their own life.
    Bandura believes that most behaviors are the result of value appraisals. In other words, people perform behaviors because they expect specific behavior to produce specific results. For example, an individual may exercise regularly because they are an athlete, and they suspect their exercise will result in better athletic performance. Thus, most behaviors are driven by consequence.
    Within the cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) framework, Bandura’s ideas on reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy have numerous implications. Regarding reciprocal determinism, CBT conceptualizes behavior in a similar way. CBT believes that behavior is the result of multiple influences, much like reciprocal determinism. Thus, CBT strategies often employ multi-faceted interventions aimed at restructuring cognitions (individual factors), which result in more adaptive behaviors (behavioral factors), consequently leading to improved quality of life (environmental factors).
    Another major tenant of CBT is that clients can recognize their maladaptive cognitions and behaviors, as well as improve them. Therefore, CBT asserts that clients can change themselves for the better and maintain these gains. However, these therapeutic gains aren’t possible unless the client believes they can change. Thus, a client’s self-efficacy is critical to the success of CBT interventions.


    Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) share many core features and are more alike than they are different. REBT and CBT both assume that cognitions, emotions, and behaviors interact significantly and have a reciprocal relationship. Specifically, both modalities assume that our perception of life events create certain cognitive patterns, which result in specific behavior patterns. Both REBT and CBT assert that maladaptive behaviors result from negative and illogical thinking. For CBT, these illogical and negative thoughts are represented in the cognitive triad, which refers to an individual’s negative views about themselves, the world, and the future. In both therapeutic orientations, it is essential that therapists work with clients to dispute and refute their illogical thinking patterns.
    Clients are expected to perform homework and practice adaptive behavior between sessions in both REBT and CBT. Thus, both modalities are action oriented. Consequently, both therapies use strategies such as self-monitoring and behavioral activation.
    I attempted to discern a major difference between CBT and REBT through reading Albert Ellis’ “A New Guide to Rational Living”. It appears that one difference between CBT and REBT exists in how each orientation views the relationship between self and others. REBT posits many ideas on clients being able to accept the emotions and philosophical positions of others, whereas CBT seems more focused on the client and less on their interpersonal relationships. For example, Ellis discusses one of his former clients who was struggling to get along with his wife. Rather than focusing on how his client could improve, Ellis focused on improving the client’s perception of his wife, helping the client to understand why his wife acted a certain way. By better understanding his wife’s behavior, the client was able to improve his relationship with his wife. Thus, REBT seems to be more focused on the acceptance of others as opposed to CBT.


    Meichenbaum’s ideas on internal dialogue appear to be an antiquated version of what CBT conceptualizes as cognitive patterns, core beliefs, and automatic thoughts. Meichenbaum describes inner speech as a series of internal self-statements (often meant to guide individual behavior) which are constructed of cognitive structures. These cognitive structures are described as “that organizing aspect of thinking that seems to monitor and direct the strategy, route, and choice of thoughts”. These cognitive structures also include schemas, which are essentially the mental conceptualization an individual has constructed for any given stimulus. According to Meichenbaum, cognitive structures guide our behavior.
    Obviously, Meichenbaum’s ideas on internal dialogue are similar to CBT’s ideas on cognitive patterns. In fact, in his essay “The Nature of Internal Dialogue-Foundations of a Theory of Behavior Change”, Meichenbaum discusses Beck’s idea of automatic thoughts, stating that automatic thoughts appear to be an important dimension of internal dialogue. Meichenbaum agrees with Beck that in order to change maladaptive behavior, one must first confront their automatic thoughts, which in turn “de-automatizes” the maladaptive behaviors, allowing them to be more easily replaced with adaptive ones.


    • Tricia Flores
      Sep 05, 2019 @ 09:34:55

      Zacharie- the example you gave from Ellis’ work with the man struggling to deal with his wife and your connection to its relation to CBT that focuses less on acceptance of others was helpful in understanding the differences. I read your example and thought of a similar personal example. When driving and dealing with aggressive drivers previously I struggled like the man did in dealing with their behaviors and my responses to them. I then worked on my acceptance of others and understanding of their behaviors. I improved my perception of them by attempting to have empathy for their behavior, that I hypothesize is a result of stress they are having. By feeling compassion for the stress they may be having as opposed to anger as a result of their behaviors, I am better able to remain calm. As a result of changing my cognitions my behavior is not impacted.


    • Kara Rene
      Sep 07, 2019 @ 21:45:48


      I enjoyed your eloquent explanation of Bandura’s reciprocal determinism, and found your example helpful! It it so interesting to examine how an individual’s behavior shapes their environment, and is I think will certainly be an important factor in CBT treatment- when the individual changes their thoughts, and thus their behaviors, their life will be enriched by a more rewarding environment- which will likely be a valuable and re-enforcing result!


  4. Katrina Piangerelli
    Sep 03, 2019 @ 16:14:36

    (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’s article examined the roles of determinism and self-efficacy in influencing a person’s behaviors. In a deterministic view, a person’s behaviors are shaped by his or her environment. Bandura explains that this view is incomplete, however. Responses to environmental factors can vary widely based on a person’s disposition. When presented with a challenging puzzle, for example, children who do not have the aptitude to solve the puzzle may see the environment much less favorably than those who are able to solve the puzzle.
    A person’s prior knowledge can impact his or her perception of the environment. Two people placed in the same room and asked the same question might respond very differently. If one has been well trained to be courteous and polite, while the other has been taught that people are out to get him, the responses to this situation can be vastly different. These responses can then impact future environmental influences, since the first is likely to be greeted warmly in a future encounter, while the second is not.
    Significant accomplishments, such as works by artists and composers, also serve as a reminder that factors other than one’s environment contribute to behavior. Self-generated influences, such as a desire to achieve one’s goals, also play a part in shaping a person’s behavior. For example, individuals such as artists or composers typically persist despite environmental difficulties and discouragement. This behavior can also subsequently impact the environment, as in the case of successful artists, who might create new techniques or influence future artists.
    The reciprocal nature of control gives individuals safeguards against a controlling environment. A parent can attempt to rid a child of a problem behavior by creating an environment in which this behavior is not rewarded, but the child can also influence the parent’s actions through his or her own responses. At a societal level, these safeguards are in place as well. If a business is attempting to exploit its workers, they may choose to go on strike or publicize these issues, attempting to counteract the difficult working environment. By maintaining the choices of the individual, society can ensure that the environment does not become too controlling.
    Bandura’s description of the connection between determinism and self-efficacy has significant implications for CBT. In his view, it is not simply one’s environment that impacts behavior, but the ways in which a person perceives and responds to that environment. CBT focuses on a client’s distorted thinking and automatic thoughts, which may lead the client to respond to environmental factors with ineffective or detrimental strategies. The focus is on challenging the underlying beliefs and assumptions in order to find more effective coping strategies when dealing with the environment.
    In CBT, the client begins by identifying the automatic thoughts and distorted cognitions that impact his or her interactions. By challenging these thoughts and replacing them with more realistic ones, he or she can learn to respond to environmental factors in ways that are more productive. These responses can allow the client to interpret environmental cues differently, changing the way he or she perceives these stimuli. In addition, the responses themselves may serve to modify the environment itself, changing future interactions.
    For example, a person who believes his co-workers hate him might go out of his way to avoid them, or respond in a hostile manner when they approach him. Recognizing that this belief may not be true might allow him to attempt a conversation, or at least avoid being rude to the people in his office. He may no longer see the glance of a coworker as unfriendly, making the environment less threatening. In addition, the client’s lack of hostility may change the ways in which co-workers respond to him. Bandura’s concept of a dual relationship between the environment and the individual guides this strategy. Rather than simply accepting the influence of environmental factors, Bandura suggests that a client can modify the ways in which this environment impacts him or her, and even alter the environment itself. It is these beliefs that lead to the main strategies of 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.)

    Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) assumes that human thinking and emotion are related to one another in a significant way. Any symptoms that a person may experience are due to a person’s own irrational systems of belief. This also includes the idea that these beliefs are related to specific activating experiences or events. The goal of REBT is to identify these thoughts and challenge them at the root of the emotional disturbance. One assumption of REBT is that individuals have innate and acquired tendencies that allow them to think and behave in irrational ways. REBT also assumes that the substitution of unrealistic thoughts with realistic ones will allow for major changes in a person’s emotions and behaviors. REBT utilizes cognitive, emotive, and behavioral techniques. Some other techniques that are utilized are self-monitoring of thoughts, bibliotherapy, role playing, modeling, rational emotive imagery, relaxation, shame-attacking, operant conditioning, and skills training.
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) places an emphasis on distorted thinking and cognitive appraisals that are unrealistic. This then negatively affects a person’s feelings and their behavior. One assumption is that the way a person structures reality will then determine their affective state. The goal of CBT is to replace the clients distorted thoughts of life events with thoughts that are realistic and adaptive. Treatment is collaborative and focuses on monitoring automatic thoughts; the relationship between cognition, affect, and behavior; tests how valid automatic thoughts are; replace distorted cognitions with realistic cognitions; identify and change any underlying beliefs, assumptions, or schemas that may lead to the person engaging in a faulty thinking pattern.
    Both of these therapies include the belief that human thoughts and attitudes are strongly connected to emotions and behaviors. As a result, both REBT and CBT focus on identifying the thoughts that are leading to unwanted or destructive behaviors. Changing these thoughts can lead to changes in behavior and emotion. Both therapies utilize cognitive and behavioral strategies to address these unwanted thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The goal of REBT is to identify irrational thoughts and challenge them at the root of the emotional disturbance, while the goal of CBT is to replace the clients distorted thoughts of life events with thoughts that are realistic and adaptive. These are similar goals, focusing on the client’s distorted ways of thinking and on replacing these thoughts.
    One major difference between REBT and other cognitive behavioral approaches, such as CBT, is the emphasis put on philosophy. REBT addresses the philosophical side of the emotional disturbance as well as the distorted cognitions, while CBT focuses on cognitive distortions. REBT also discusses the disturbance caused by the disturbance itself such as worrying about worry. This is something that is not addressed in CBT. In addition, REBT focuses on the ABC model, which refers to activating events, beliefs, and consequences. CBT does not use this method, and typically focuses on feelings and collaboration between the therapist and the client in order to work through cognitive distortions.

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

    Meichenbaum describes internal dialogue as a dialogue because one of its important aspects is the behavior change process that involves speaking to oneself while also listening to oneself. This dialogue with oneself influences behavior and becomes a self-communication system. The person engages in self-statements that are followed by specific behaviors or emotional states. One example that is offered describes two people giving a speech, one of whom has high anxiety regarding giving a speech, while the other has low anxiety. When some audience members leave during these speeches, the self-statements made by the two people are very different, reflecting the ways in which each person’s anxiety level becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The person with higher anxiety may turn the internal dialogue inward, believing that he or she is boring, while the one with low anxiety may believe that some of the people have to leave due to external circumstances. This shows that the ways in which people respond to stress impact their internal dialogue.
    Internal dialogue is relevant to modern CBT because it validates how a person experiences certain situations and the thoughts that cause the person to react in a stronger way. These thoughts are seen to be automatic and are described by Beck as ones that “just happen.” Something that Meichenbaum describes is that people do not always think before they act, but in order to change a behavior they must learn to think before they act. If the internal dialogue includes distorted thoughts or mistaken beliefs, then it is important to become aware of this dialogue and challenge the statements that are made. By examining this internal dialogue, a person can monitor the automatic thoughts that are present in order to determine which ones are realistic.
    Another part of the reading also refers to elements of CBT, where Meichenbaum mentions that internal dialogue may allow individuals to cope with stress. CBT can encourage the individual to plan coping skills, reassure himself or herself, become aware and fight off any disturbing thoughts, and become aware of which thoughts should become actions. In this way, a person can learn to shift this dialogue toward something that is more productive and accurate allowing him or her to respond to situations in healthier ways. This seems to be similar to modern CBT, as the therapy would focus on becoming aware of these thoughts and challenging them.


    • Tricia Flores
      Sep 05, 2019 @ 09:14:14

      Katrina- your example of a person who believes his co-workers hate him was a good example for me to further conceptualize the idea of reciprocal determinism and its relation to CBT. I was able to see how the three areas- behavior, environment, and internal impact each other multi-dimensionally. It gives a good example of how CBT can be utilized to change automatic thoughts and ultimately behavior. I also appreciate that it can incorporate the idea that one of the factors may have a stronger influence. As an example, perhaps some of the co-workers in fact don’t like the person, but the person’s cognitions, internal factors, and behavior will further impact this making the situation worse. Conversely, changing automatic thoughts and behavior may result in the environment changing and the co-workers beginning to like the person more, resulting in other multi-dimensional changes.


    • Kelsey Finnegan
      Sep 06, 2019 @ 21:12:49

      Katrina, I enjoyed reading your responses. Your example of how two people in the same room may be asked the same question, but respond in vastly different ways is a good example of reciprocal determinism. One person may respond to a simple “hello” in a defensive and hostile manner, which would likely cause others to start avoiding future interactions with them. On the other hand, another person who responds in a warm, friendly manner is likely to continue to be approached by others in the future. This is a good example of how people’s thoughts and behaviors influence their environment. You also thoroughly explained the similarities between REBT and CBT. I see you and I both noted REBT is more philosophical than CBT. You also did a good job of making the connection between Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue and modern CBT.


    • Bianca
      Sep 07, 2019 @ 13:56:32

      Katrina, it is evident that you have a very clear understanding of these topics, like your in-depth explanations of self-generated influences, desires, and even the reciprocal nature of control. I also appreciated your direct ability to articulate how self-efficacy and determinism relate to CBT through your use of examples, like the worker believing his co-worker hates him.
      You also demonstrated very well your understanding of internal dialogue with how descriptive your explanation was! I agree with your statement that internal dialogue validates how a person sees and experiences certain situations, and that it can cause the person to react in specific, possibly stronger ways.


  5. Olivia Corfey
    Sep 04, 2019 @ 14:11:03

    Bandura’s thoughts about reciprocal determinism indicates the presence of
    an interconnection of environmental, personal, and behavioral factors. These determinants are only potentialities when activated by another determinant. Therefore, a continuum effect occurs throughout these factors. Psychoeducation is a key factor within CBT. Educating individuals about reciprocal determinism contributes to the understanding of one’s control within their environment and personal factors through their behavior. Acknowledging one’s control may help clients take responsibility of their behaviors. Self-efficacy is described as an individual’s belief of successfully achieving a behavior. The belief of success fuels one’ motivation to fulfill the behavior. This belief is based upon the perceived outcome. Goals are an essential component to CBT. While creating goals with the client, it is important to keep the client’s self-efficacy in mind. If a client has poor self-efficacy, he/she may be less motivated to achieve the particular goal.

    Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is similar in nature to CBT. The therapeutic orientations focus on behavior, beliefs, thinking patterns and emotions. Change of maladaptive behaviors and thinking patterns are a similar goal within these orientations. REBT and CBT focus on the present moment as well as encourage the clients to be an active participant within therapeutic sessions. The clients have significant control within their own therapeutic progress. However, there are differences between the orientations. These differences are mainly within the philosophical elements. Differences include CBT’s larger emphasis of psychoeducation, as well as testing the validity of automatic thoughts. REBT states that there is an innate tendency to think and behave irrationally. Substituting these irrational thoughts and behaviors with rational thoughts and behaviors will lead to a decrease in emotional disturbance. Rather, CBT tests these maladaptive thoughts and beliefs due to potential rational reasoning. REBT includes debating irrational beliefs with clients in hopes of aiding individual’s to surrender their beliefs. This differs from the styles of CBT, which includes working with the client to come to an adaptive rational belief together. Although these orientations are similar in nature, there are varying differences of education, techniques and philosophical outlooks within irrational or maladaptive thoughts and beliefs.

    Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” describes our self-talk. Interpretations of our environment are intercepted through this internal dialogue. This self-talk is similar to our lens or perception of the environment. Due to this large influence on our perception, it is essential to address the client’s internal dialogue in order to lead towards behavior change. Negative or maladaptive thoughts may be influenced or falsely validated through this lens brought upon by one’s internal dialogue. This self-talk is also similar to automatic thoughts in which influence our behavior and emotions. Modern CBT attempts to identify and change these perceptions and automatic thoughts. This self-talk is influenced by one’s core beliefs. These beliefs may be negative and therefore cause a chain reaction of impacting negative perceptions and automatic thoughts.


    • Adam Rene
      Sep 05, 2019 @ 12:44:06


      Thank you for your explanations here. I see many similarities across our interpretations of the questions presented in this blog post. I feel that you spoke well towards the similarities and differences between REBT and CBT.

      I especially appreciated how you phrased your statement “Negative or maladaptive thoughts may be influenced or falsely validated through this lens brought upon by one’s internal dialogue” – I feel you accurately described here the difficulty when these negative thoughts are present in someone’s internal dialogue. That false validation, I feel, is what can perpetuate these thoughts and keep them ‘alive’ so to speak. When phrased in this way, I can better appreciate and understand the need to work with clients to build up and improve self-talk outside of therapy sessions.


    • Kelsey Finnegan
      Sep 06, 2019 @ 21:47:11

      Olivia, I like the point you make about the importance of educating clients about the influence their personal factors and behavior have over the environment. Your explanations of reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy compliment one another well because you demonstrate how the two concepts interact with each other and how they are important to consider when creating CBT treatment goals. Your description of the similarities and differences between REBT and CBT was strong, and you did a good job of explaining the philosophical differences between the two approaches.


    • Bianca Thomas
      Sep 07, 2019 @ 14:01:34

      Olivia, I liked how you described reciprocal determinism as a continuum of effects occurring, and how it is critical to give the client the psychoeducation in order to be able to fully understand and control their own environment, personal factors and behavior.

      You also showed that you have a clear understanding of the relationship between CBT and REBT in your explanation of them both relating to therapeutic orientations focused around behavior, beliefs and emotions. I also agree with the differences you provided about the two in that REBT believes that there is an “innate tendency” to think and behave irrationally.


  6. Anthony Mastrocola
    Sep 05, 2019 @ 10:33:07

    (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’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism involves a three-way interactive process consisting of behaviors, the environment, and personal factors, specifically thoughts and emotions. The concept of reciprocal determinism is rooted in the belief that all three of these factors are determinant of one another, all equally vulnerable to the effects caused by each variable. The implications of this theory fall in line with some key concepts in CBT. Cognitive behavioral theory functions by changing problematic behaviors through altering problematic thought patterns and thus improving a troubled emotional state. Bandura’s theory of reciprocal determinism involves a similar cycle where thoughts/emotions, behaviors, and the environment all affect one another, eliciting certain responses, further continuing the cycle. Bandura’s theory of reciprocal determinism combats beliefs surrounding humans being creatures without free will fulfilling a destiny without control. Reciprocal determinism promotes free will, stating that all responses and consequences can be entirely variable. Similar to CBT, Bandura’s reciprocal determinism also disputes former theories, such as psychoanalysis, which believe that inner unconscious drives govern behavior. Bandura would likely agree with the notion of CBT that people influence the environment, the same way the environment has an effect on people; all of which elicit varying responses.
    Self-efficacy refers to the level of confidence an individual has in their ability to complete a certain behavior or task. Self-efficacy has a direct impact on goals and motivation. Individuals with high self-efficacy are surely confident in their ability to overcome challenges and achieve prospective goals. High self-efficacy typically improves motivation as well, because individuals typically are more eager when success is probable. Individuals with low self-efficacy typically choose less difficult goals and are likely less motivated than those who have higher levels of self-efficacy. Individuals with low self-efficacy choose easier goals, because they do not have much confidence in their own abilities. What would the point be in attempting a goal that you have no confidence in completing? This exact reasoning explains the lack of motivation involved with low self-efficacy. People aren’t motivated to complete tasks when failure is expected. People with low self-efficacy also are more likely than people with higher self-efficacy to experience anxiety, depression, and are more likely to prematurely quit attempting challenges. Self-efficacy is crucial in CBT. Clients need to believe in their own ability to improve their condition. If clients feel helpless, then any hope for positive change is limited. If failure is expected, then the client likely will not exert maximum effort to do things like homework assignments and participate fully during sessions. On the other hand, if clients have high self-efficacy, then it is likely that they will buy into therapy, and will have confidence in their ability to improve their condition. If this is the case, then the chances of success in therapy will improve dramatically.

    (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.) 

    Originating in 1955, Albert Ellis developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy as a therapeutic orientation primarily concerned with cognition. Opposing previous psychological phenomena such as inner drives found in psychoanalysis and strictly overt behaviors found in radical behaviorism, Albert Ellis pioneered a method of altering thoughts in order to change problematic behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy and REBT share certain philosophies about psychotherapy. Albert Ellis advocated for the benefits of periodically measuring client progress. Ellis neglects the notion that mental disorders can be treated with one-size-fits-all type treatments, such as books. Periodic progress measurements are necessary, because clients are unable to accurately self-analyze their own therapeutic gains or regressions. These forms of measurements are also commonly found in CBT. Both therapeutic orientations use periodic measurements as a useful tool in gauging success in therapy, allowing for adaptations where necessary. Ellis’ REBT and CBT both focus on cognition as a means of behavior change and an overall more positive mental state. Ellis confronts the limitations of self-analysis and describes how therapists are not in the position to think for their clients, especially once therapy terminates. Oppositional to former psychoanalytic views that therapists are necessary in interpreting the client’s unconscious drives, REBT and CBT work to change negative thinking, and ultimately achieve regulated thinking. The goal of REBT and CBT is to train clients in understanding and identifying emotions and thoughts. Both REBT and CBT tend to diverge in their approaches to behavior. Rational emotive behavior therapy somewhat disregards behavior as a separate entity. Serving as a response to psychoanalysis and radical behaviorism, REBT primarily concerns itself with thoughts and emotions rather than behaviors. Ellis consistently speaks about feeling better as a result of more regulated thinking. The language used by Ellis is feeling better rather than acting different. Cognitive behavioral therapy acts as a midpoint between radical behavioral therapies and radical cognitive therapies. Cognitive behavioral therapy emphasizes the importance of both cognition and behavior, and how each causes distress. The last difference between REBT and CBT is the concept of irrational thoughts found in REBT. Ellis believed that people naturally will think irrationally if unattended. Irrational thoughts involve cognitive distortions, extreme nonsensical beliefs, and conclusive thoughts. Cognitive behavioral therapy diverges in its own philosophy of irrational thoughts and beliefs. Where REBT adopts an approach of labeling these sorts of cognition as wrong and self-deprecating, CBT teaches acceptance, coping, and adapting. Mainly, CBT avoids labeling the client as wrong for thinking the way they do.

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

    Meichenbaum’s concept of internal dialogue is concerned with the level of influence that self-talk has on behavior, and how events influence self-talk. Internal dialogue is essentially self-instructions based on perceptions specific to the immediate environment. Negative perceptions can lead to troubling internal dialogue that can induce anxiety and depression. If you’re telling someone a story and they begin to ignore you and look at their phone, you may begin telling yourself that you’re boring them, which can elicit negative feelings. Individuals with higher levels of anxiety are more likely to ruminate over thoughts and perceive events more negatively than individuals with lower levels of anxiety. When individuals internalize troubling events, anxiety is typically induced. Anxiety is less likely induced when individuals are able to separate their own role and responsibility from possibly troubling situations. Meichenbaum does not believe that events themselves cause distress, but rather how events are perceived and interpreted. This concept is relevant to CBT, as CBT addresses negative distorted perceptions that cause stress. Internal dialogue can be directed at others in order to elicit a specific response. Internal dialogue can be viewed as planning. Cognitive behavioral therapy regulates distorted negative thinking which ultimately improves perceptions.


    • Olivia Corfey
      Sep 06, 2019 @ 22:39:51


      I really enjoyed reading your responses. In particular I appreciated your in depth comparison of Bandura’s theory of reciprocal determinism and CBT. I especially appreciate your statement “Bandura’s theory of reciprocal determinism combats beliefs surrounding humans being creatures without free will fulfilling a destiny without control.” You described the difficulties of Bandura’s thoughts promoting free will over predetermined destiny with great clarity. Overall your responses were clear and helpful with furthering and solidifying my knowledge about these concepts.


  7. Bianca Thomas
    Sep 05, 2019 @ 12:19:47

    (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?

    From my understanding of Bandura’s thoughts on self-efficacy, I believe that self-efficacy refers to the individual’s belief and appraisal of their capability to successfully produce a specific outcome. The ability to which a person believes they can be successful as a given task significantly influences their cognitions, emotions as well as behaviors, as well as their environmental settings. Efficacy beliefs differ in magnitude (how big, how much), generality (“am I efficient in general?”) and strength (weak efficacy leads to less action, strong efficacy leads to increased action”). I can see how this construct is related to CBT because of the “triad” involved (emotions, thoughts and behaviors), and how they are interconnected with regard to the efficacy beliefs of the individual. If an individual has a functionally adapt sense of efficacy that they are intelligent and therefor will excel on an exam, they will take more time to study (behavior), surround themselves with others who are studying for the exam (environment), they will tell themselves that they are going to succeed because of their perceived efficacy (thoughts/cognitions), and they will probably have positive self-regard and feelings of happiness within themselves (emotions). These behaviors, cognitions and emotions will ultimately lead the individual to be in a better state when taking the exam, and ultimately will most likely lead to positive outcomes.

    Reciprocal Determinism refers to the belief that human functioning revolves around a continuous interaction between personal, behavioral and environmental “determinants” or factors. These three components are consistently and continuously working together in constructing the individual’s life. This theory brings forth the idea that individuals have just as much influence on their life, through their actions (behaviors), their personality and personal factors, and their choice of environment in relation to the other two factors, as their life has influence “over” them. This can be directly related to CBT with the example of depression. From my understanding of depression, the individual has beliefs that their world, their life and their future are unjust in some way, and that they have no influence or control over the outcomes. This theory states that the individual does, in fact, play a role in the events occurring in their life due to their actions, their thoughts, the environments they put themselves in, and their “life” environments due to the interconnectedness of their actions and personal factors.

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

    One example of how REBT is similar to CBT in that both modes believe that human thinking and emotion are significantly interrelated. Both constructs have, at their core, the belief that a person’s belief system and their experiences and behaviors actively control the outcomes of the individual’s life. Another example of the similarities is that both therapies include the goal of identifying present irrational beliefs and cognitions in order to modify maladaptive behaviors and emotions. One difference between the two modes is that REBT emphasizes a highly philosophic approach, in which the focus is on self-interest, social interest, tolerance of self and others, flexibility, scientific thinking and a nonutopian perspective on life. A final difference is that CBT is highly evidence based, whereas REBT has been scrutinized for their lack of objective data surrounding the reliability and validity of their research.
    (3) Share your understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” and its relevance to modern CBT
    From my understanding, internal dialogue is the subjective and specific thoughts and conversations one has with themselves in response to their interpretation of what is occurring around them, and within themselves. Internal dialogue functions are to help with interpersonal instructions like problem solving, to mediate our thought processes in relation to stress, and to mediate our actions in response to our thoughts and emotions. Internal dialogue directly relates to CBT with regard to its role in cognitive structures. What we communicate to ourselves (our cognitions) are brought upon by the way we appraise the situations occurring around us, how we internalize them (emotions) and ultimately what actions we take in response to them (behavior). For example, if an individual is exiting a building, and someone holds the door for them, their inner dialogue may consist of the cognition that that individual is kind and did a nice thing, their emotional response may be positive and joyful, and their behavioral response may be to say “thank you” and smile at the individual holding the door.


    • Kara Rene
      Sep 07, 2019 @ 21:53:26


      I appreciated your explanation of the different factors associated with self-efficacy. I also appreciated your example of an individual’s self-efficacy regarding an exam, and how their level of self-efficacy in turn influences their behavior, environment, cognitions, and emotions! It helped me to draw a link between self-efficacy, reciprocal determinism, and the cognitive triad. I also appreciated how you included the word “subjective” in your definition of internal dialogue. It’s a little thing, but it was a valuable and succinct reminder that our internal dialogues are highly variable from person to person as they are shaped by our core beliefs!


  8. Kara Rene
    Sep 05, 2019 @ 14:48:02

    1. Reciprocal determinism refers to the continuous exchange of influence between an individual and their environment. An individual constantly takes in information about their environment, and constantly reacts based on how they interpret this information. In this way, the environment influences the individual. It should be noted, however, that the nature of the impact depends on the individual’s appraisal of the environment. The way the individual appraises the environment impacts how they react to it, and their behavior in turn influences the environment. This is easily observed in social contexts. If an individual enters a generally socially pleasant interaction, but misinterprets the tone of the interaction, they may react with hostility. This hostility, in turn, will likely influence the other person in the interaction (the environment) to become more cold, which will then continue to impact the individual in a negative way. I think that reciprocal determinism is related to CBT because it highlights the importance of monitoring the way an individual appraises a situation and consequently behaves. If an individual tends to inaccurately appraise situations, they are likely to act in a way that is maladaptive and creates a more threatening environment. If the individual can learn to notice and modify their inappropriate appraisals so that they are more accurate to what the environment is actually presenting, they can act more appropriately and as a result experience a more pleasant environment.
    Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief that they have the ability to act in a certain way as to gain a desired outcome. Self-efficacy has a significant impact on how an individual acts. The stronger the self-efficacy, the more effort a person is likely to put into a task. Self-efficacy can be learned by successfully completing tasks that appeared challenging and can even be generalized from one task to another. While reading about self-efficacy I was reminded of adventure therapy, an interesting modality in which clients participate in tasks like completing a ropes course. In successfully doing so, the client is likely to gain more confidence in their athletic and problem-solving abilities, and their ability to cope with stress and exercise courage to overcome a challenge. In effect, this client has just increased their self-efficacy, not only about their ability to complete a ropes course, but also in the previously mentioned skills. The client may then be able to apply this new self-efficacy in those skills to other, more common challenges. I think that self-efficacy is important not only to CBT, but to any attempt to create behavioral change. CBT practices could be used to help individuals identify areas of low self-efficacy and work to change the thoughts causing low self-efficacy, to help them gain more confidence in their ability to act a certain way.

    2. REBT and CBT seem similar in many ways. Both therapies focus on the way our thoughts impact us on more than just a cognitive level. However, REBT seems to focus more on how thoughts influence emotions and CBT seems to focus more on how thoughts influence behavior. REBT and CBT also both incorporate the necessity for the client to complete homework in between sessions to help them grasp and practice the concepts being worked on in therapy. Both therapies are also of a finite length and are intended to help the client learn generalizable skills to manage maladaptive emotions or behaviors. One last significant difference, however, refers to CBT’s focus on behavior rather than emotion. CBT practitioners believe that while cognition affects behavior, behavior can also affect cognition. REBT, with its focus on emotion, does not have this two-way street, as practitioners of REBT believe that cognition affects emotion and that emotion has its origin in cognition.

    3. Internal dialogue is, essentially, the way we talk to ourselves internally. One’s internal dialogue plays a pivotal role in how one appraises their environment, and the appraisal effects how one feels about the environment and reacts to it. For example, if a person is about to give a speech and thinks, “I am so nervous. It will be terrible if I make a mistake. I won’t be able to live it down,” they will in turn feel even more nervous. If, on the other hand, they think, “I am so nervous. But I’ve practiced this speech many times, and even if I make a mistake it’s not the end of the world,” they will not feel as nervous and in fact will probably feel calmer. In this way, our internal dialogue not only impacts how we feel and act, but can also be a coping mechanism. Internal dialogue is important in CBT because of CBT’s focus on how thoughts influence behavior. Internal dialogue can point to core beliefs that impact how a person acts and how they cope with difficult situations. By working to change internal dialogue, one can become better at coping with threatening situations.


    • Paola Gutierrez
      Sep 06, 2019 @ 16:52:49

      Kara — I appreciated how you incorporated the concept of cognitive appraisal into your response about reciprocal determinism. Even though “personal factors” include thoughts and emotions, the appraisal process is that link between thoughts and emotions and is, therefore, a strong player in how we react to our environment. Your response helped me make connections between Bandura’s reciprocal determinism and Lazarus’s ideas on cognitive appraisal.


    • Katrina Piangerelli
      Sep 07, 2019 @ 18:45:49

      Kara, your explanation in the first question really helped to further my understanding of reciprocal determinism and how it is related to CBT. You explain that inaccurately appraising situations may result in the person becoming maladaptive and creating a more threatening environment for themselves. This is a great connection and really shows that you understand how inaccurately appraising situations may affect someone.
      You also explain the relationship between REBT and CBT in a helpful way as you describe REBT as being more as having more of an influence on emotions and CBT having more of an influence on cognition. Your paragraph regarding the differences and similarities between REBT and CBT helped me to understand the depth of the focus of emotion in REBT.
      The last question is related to internal dialogue. I think you did a great job of summarizing the different points made in the reading and information we got as well as taking it to another level of understanding. I also think it is important that you mentioned the idea that core beliefs impact how someone may cope with difficult situations or how the person may react.


  9. Kelsey Finnegan
    Sep 05, 2019 @ 14:58:46

    Blog Post #1
    1.) Bandura’s reciprocal determinism refers to the idea that environmental influences, behaviors, and personal factors, such as thoughts and emotions, all continuously interact and have a reciprocal effect on each other. For example, behavior is determined by thoughts, feelings, and the situation in which the behavior occurs. Reciprocally, behaviors have an effect on the individual’s thoughts, feelings, and the respective environment. This coincides with the driving principle behind CBT that in order to produce a change in emotions you must work to change the thoughts and behaviors that work together to contribute to those distressing emotions.
    The concept of self-efficacy refers to one’s belief that she or he is capable of successfully performing the behaviors demanded of a particular situation. If you examine the idea of self-efficacy through the lens of CBT, then someone who has the thought that they are not capable of completing a particular task, may be less likely to perform that task successfully, or even attempt it in the first place. This in turn will result in negative, self-defeating emotions. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense that people with low self-efficacy are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.
    2.) CBT and REBT have many similarities, and the underlying ideology of both therapeutic modalities is similar. Ultimately, CBT evolved from REBT, so it makes sense that the two orientations have a considerable amount of similarities. The core principle behind both REBT and CBT is that changes in thought patterns will lead to changes in behaviors and emotions. Both modalities emphasize the important roles of cognition and behavior in relation to emotional distress. In both REBT and CBT, clients are asked to complete concrete homework assignments between therapy sessions, which seems to be unique to cognitive therapies because humanistic and psychodynamic therapies focus more solely on the insight gained during therapy sessions.
    On the other hand, there are several notable differences between CBT and REBT. The guiding principles behind REBT are more philosophical and somewhat vague in comparison to CBT ideology, which has more of a concrete focus on cognitive distortions without examining the meaning behind those distortions. For example, CBT primarily focuses on changing or restructuring these distortions, while REBT also focuses on accepting negative thoughts and interpreting the meaning behind them. Unconditional Self-Acceptance is a key component of REBT, while CBT aims to instead increase the self-esteem of the individual by focusing on strengths and identifying and correcting weaknesses.
    3.) Meichenbaum proposed inner dialogue or self-talk influences the behaviors and cognitive processes of an individual. Internal dialogue is necessary for behavior change, and it involves both speaking and listening to oneself. He emphasizes that our self-talk is a dialogue rather than a monologue because we both listen and respond to our thoughts. These ideas are relevant to modern CBT because both stress the influence of thoughts on behaviors and distressing emotions. If an individual wants to feel or behave differently, then they must monitor and alter their thoughts. Furthermore, Meichenbaum’s concept of internal dialogue can be likened to Beck’s idea of “automatic thoughts.” Both internal dialogue and automatic thoughts refer to thoughts that simply occur without effort. They do not arise from logical reasoning, reflection, or deliberation. This type of thinking is typically repetitive and seems reasonable to the individual experiencing the thoughts, but may sound implausible or ridiculous to someone else.


    • Katrina Piangerelli
      Sep 07, 2019 @ 18:46:19

      Kelsey, your explanation of self-efficacy and the result of low self-efficacy makes a lot of sense. Negative and self-defeating emotions may come from someone who put themselves down and then is less likely to perform well at this task. This sort of demonstrates in a way how someone may have control over how they will perform. If they believe they will perform well then they have a higher chance of performing well and if they believe that they will not perform well then they most likely will not perform well.
      I think you also clearly explain some differences between REBT and CBT. One of these differences is that REBT focuses on unconditional self-acceptance, while CBT focuses on identifying a person’s strengths and weaknesses. This is a great connection and demonstrates your understanding of both REBT and CBT. Lastly, you describe internal dialogue and its relationship to CBT. I like that you connected internal dialogue to automatic thoughts in your explanation because they are both very similar ideas and essentially both refer to your reaction or inner dialogue towards something that happens in the environment.


  10. Tricia Flores
    Sep 19, 2019 @ 21:05:32

    1. Bandura’s concept of reciprocal determinism is based in Social Learning Theory. Behavior is not determined by environment and internal events separately from each other, but the three, behavior, cognitive, and internal events reciprocally impact the each other in a bidirectional fashion. Their actions are interlocking determinants of one another. The three work together in a multidirectional fashion.
    An illustration of this can be made when considering a person in a supermarket. Everyone walks into the same supermarket, but the experience of each person is different. The environment impacts the person- placement of products in the store and sales impact the person’s cognitions of what is good to buy. Buying habits impact what the store carries. Internal events impact behavior and cognitions. If a person enters a store hungry they will experience it differently. The preference of the person is also dependent on the impact of the environment. Each of these factors impacts each other bidirectional, though in differing degrees depending on the situation.
    Bandura’s concept of self-efficacy is that people have beliefs about their ability to perform behaviors resulting in certain consequences. A person has a value appraisal of behaviors they conduct. A person with high self-efficacy in general has the belief based on prior actions that future actions will produce positive consequences. Bandura connects self-efficacy and reciprocal determinism. A person’s efficacy and expectation of outcomes impacts their behavior and the environment is impacted by a person’s self-efficacy. The environment is activated by their efficacy as well. Other factors of the person also activate the environment, which bring into consideration the concept of privilege.
    Both self-efficacy and reciprocal determinism pair well with concepts of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The concept of behavior in reciprocal determinism being impacted in a multidirectional manner is similar to the idea in CBT that behavior is a result of numerous influencers. Beck’s negative triad is a good example of this- the individual as the “loser,” the environment (world) is viewed as demanding and harsh, and the future (cognitive) as hopeless. The self-efficacy of a person in this situation is poor. With CBT the person would monitor automatic thoughts associated with negative self image/efficacy, recognize the relationship between cognition, affect, and behavior, sub out more realistic cognitions, and identify and alter underlying beliefs.

    2. Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) have more similarities than differences. The core of both is the same, that behavior and emotions are mostly formed by beliefs, thinking, attitudes and ideas. They also both state that changing thinking will lead to behavioral and emotional change. Both CBT and REBT use a multidimensional approach that addresses cognitive, emotional, and behavioral techniques. This was a deviation from the prior psychoanalytic framework that both Ellis and Beck, the developer of cognitive therapy, came from.
    They differ in that REBT has a major tool called “logico-empirical method of scientific questioning, challenging, and debating.” This is a forceful way to get people to identify and give up irrational beliefs, of which Ellis identified 12 basic irrational beliefs. This emphasis is another example of a deviation between REBT and CBT. Ellis believed that those who develop the rational philosophy he espoused would have lower emotional disturbance. There has been less objective study into REBT compared to CBT.
    One of the differences in REBT and CBT that I related to my prior work was REBT’s focus on interpersonal relationships. The quote from A New Guide to Rational Living” by Ellis and Harper, “People and things do not upset us. Rather, we upset ourselves by believing that they can upset us,” related strongly to many experiences including working with one young man who had a trauma history ODD among other diagnoses. I attempted to explain this to him in a number of ways, but was unsuccessful. He often lamented that a person would say something to him to put him in a bad mood and that then he knew he would have a terrible day. My initial approach to question his faulty thinking was thwarted by his desire to hold onto them. Instead, I took a different tact and focused on coping strategies to assist him until hopefully in the future he would be able to engage in more introspective dialogue. I was unable to have the young man identify his irrational thoughts and challenge them as the cause of his emotional disturbance.

    3. Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” is his concept of self-talk. He first developed the idea when he was working with schizophrenic patients in a hospital setting. He found those who directed themselves to “talk healthy” were better able to perform tasks. This led to his research into cognitive factors of behavior modification.
    Self-talk is an important tool in changing behaviors and self-efficacy. To explain it with an example, when my son was a toddler and fell down, there was a moment where he would be on the ground that I would determine from witnessing the fall if he was likely hurt, if he wasn’t likely hurt I would often offer a thought that would greatly impact his reaction, if I said “that was an impressive fall! You were trying really hard, go try again!” in an upbeat tone his resulting behavior was to brush himself off, laugh, and try again. I was inserting an external influence on how he viewed the situation. Several times later he would fall and say “good one, try again!” paired with getting up and trying again. It appears that he was using self-talk to frame his interpretation of the event and impact his behavior. In contrast, a parent who takes a different tact and states “oh no, you must be really hurt, come let me help you,” may illicit the child to use self-talk the next time to say “owe, need help!” resulting in crying and seeking attention for the same fall. This relates to Meichenbaum’s idea that people learn to think before they act and look at their internal dialogue.
    Internal dialogue is relevant to CBT in its connection to automatic thoughts. Automatic thoughts were introduced by Beck as what appear to occur without thought. Being able to identify and alter these results in emotional and behavioral change. In the situation I described above the developed automatic thought is “owe, need help!” Identifying this and replacing it with a different thought, especially one that results in higher self-efficacy, will impact future behavior and emotions.
    Another example of how internal dialogue is relevant to CBT is with impulsive children. The study assisted the children to self-regulate their behavior through self-talk. There were several steps to the process including observing others performing the task while talking aloud, the child performing the task while another person spoke the instructions aloud, the child performing the task while giving the instructions aloud him or herself, the child performing the task while whispering the instructions, and finally the child performing the task while thinking the instructions. The child is using cognitive rehearsal.
    Katrina- your example of a person who believes his co-workers hate him was a good example for me to further conceptualize the idea of reciprocal determinism and its relation to CBT. I was able to see how the three areas- behavior, environment, and internal impact each other multi-dimensionally. It gives a good example of how CBT can be utilized to change automatic thoughts and ultimately behavior. I also appreciate that it can incorporate the idea that one of the factors may have a stronger influence. As an example, perhaps some of the co-workers in fact don’t like the person, but the person’s cognitions, internal factors, and behavior will further impact this making the situation worse. Conversely, changing automatic thoughts and behavior may result in the environment changing and the co-workers beginning to like the person more, resulting in other multi-dimensional changes.


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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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