Topic 1: Social Learning & Cognitive Theories {by 9/7}

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 9/7.  Have your two replies posted no later than 9/9.  *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.


45 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Olivia Grella
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 22:32:30

    Based on the readings, I understood reciprocal determinism as a cycle where a person’s behavior, environment, and personal aspects about themselves all work together and influence each other. Based on the reading, all of these factors came together to determine their psychological functioning or what behaviors where going to be produced. It was also possible that this process could produce both positive and negative results. For example, one of these cycles could be created that is actually detrimental to the individual and produces unfavorable results, but it keeps getting reinforced. This seemed to be one of the major components under Bandura’s concept of social learning theory. Also, included in this theory is the concept of self-efficacy which I always viewed as meaning self-confidence before I read these articles. After reading them, I still believe this to be true. In the reading it was more described as someone’s perceptions on their abilities, such as how well they thought they would be able to perform a certain task based on the skills they had to do so. Both of these concepts are also related to CBT. CBT connects thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in a cycle very similar to reciprocal determinism. Like in reciprocal determinism, all of these factors work together and influence each other to impact how the individual behaves. Same concept with just slightly different theory behind it. As for self-efficacy, these perceptions they have about their abilities also impacts the relationship between their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It just isn’t something that seems to be directly mentioned in CBT, but is still a big influence on how the individual is as a person and maybe how these perceptions influence those negative cognitive triads the individual may form.

    CBT and REBT have both similarities and differences to each other. For one, both CBT and REBT focuses on the influences that emotions, behaviors, and thoughts have on the individual. Both of them emphasis that working on fixing those thoughts or cognition’s to fix the behavior is key. This is the major piece of both theories which makes them pretty identical in foundation. Therefore, therapy should look pretty similar, however there are still differences in how they were developed because Beck and Ellis had very different personalities and ways of interacting with the client. The major difference that I saw between the two is that while CBT really focuses on those negative cognition’s, REBT has more focus on negative emotions than CBT does. While reading, it seemed like Ellis really wanted to find out the emotion behind the thoughts the clients were having. Once he got that emotion, he would very blatantly point out how that was incorrect. Beck, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have as direct of an approach.

    As for internal dialogue, I understood this as the thoughts someone has in their head when encountering a variety of different scenarios. The reading also called this concept internal speech which makes the idea of this being thoughts inside someone’s head more clear. While reading the article, I could also understand how this concept was related to CBT. The main connection I saw was thinking about this in terms of the negative cognitive triad. Those internal dialogues an individual is having is fueling the thoughts they are having and how they are perceiving the situations. Based on these situations, those internal dialogues they are having are impacting the views they have on themselves, the future, and the world.


    • Julie Crantz
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 16:36:46

      Hi Olivia,
      REBT and CBT share many similarities especially regarding underlying principles. I appreciate when you discuss the differences between REBT and CBT and highlight the differences between Beck and Ellis. So often we focus solely on the theories and we don’t take a closer look at the actual people behind the theories we study. It is interesting to examine the individuals who created REBT and CBT, and their own unique personalities and approaches. I wonder what it would have been like for a particularly vulnerable and sensitive individual to be in session with Ellis, and how he or she would react to such a direct approach. Ellis certainly does not hold back. There is a video of him in session with a client, Gloria (same client as in the video with Carl Rogers) and he does not sugarcoat anything. Beck seems more gentle and respectful in his approach with clients.


      • Matthew Collin
        Sep 09, 2017 @ 01:31:10

        Hi Julie,
        I guess I have a different perspective on Ellis. Although he, himself, is harsh in the way he presents his way of therapy, I do believe that he could be highly effective with some individuals. Sometimes I feel that his way of conducting therapy almost inspires some sort of motivation to do something – he himself is also very active in therapy. This is something clients may appreciate. The trouble with Ellis is I don’t think he really had an intuitive sense about what he should and shouldn’t say to clients. I’m sure there are a lot of people practicing REBT that understand that you can’t be nearly as combative as he was in every client-therapist relationship.


      • Shay Young
        Sep 09, 2017 @ 14:10:55

        On reply to Olivia and Julie. I like how you both centered some of discussion of REBT vs CBT, in reference to the differences between Beck end Ellis. While I think both personalities and therapeutic orientations are good in their own regard, I lean in favor towards Beck’s approach more. I definitely believe Ellis is extremely effective in his work and can really accomplish goals with his clients. However I do agree with Julie, and I find that it may take a certain type of client to be receptive to Ellis. He has a very strong personality, and as I wrote in my post, he seems to be more on the abrasive side. I would think some clients may be dissuaded and appalled by this style. Perhaps really shy or meek clients may be discouraged and find him too intimidating. On the opposite end, they clients may appreciate his candidness and find it helpful. I really think it would depend on the client-therapist relationship. I think Beck may be more universally relatable than Ellis, though I do see the appeal in Ellis style. I know we didn’t watch it in class, but the Gloria-Ellis video from 1965 was interesting in comparison to Beck. Beck allowed Gloria to talk much more, while Ellis was more interruptive and seemed to talk at a much higher frequency. Ellis was much more direct. I do like that Ellis really seems to challenge his clients irrational thoughts and catastrophizing. I guess in summation, I think both are very effective, I just believe Ellis may only appeal to a certain type of client. He has a more difficult personality to tolerate.


  2. Liisa Biltcliffe
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 22:50:13

    My understanding of Bandura’s reciprocal determinism is that a person’s behavior affects the environment and the environment affects a person’s behavior. Bandura says that certain environments that are relatively the same can, depending on behavior, be construed differently. For example, people with certain skills could determine an environment to be positive whereas other people without those same skills could determine that same environment as stressful or negative. People are not controlled by their environments and vice versa; they each have impact on the other. This is similar to the transactional model of development wherein transactions are bidirectional in which the environment affects the child and the child affects the environment. There is also the aspect of freedom and how this affects a person’s ability to engage positively within his or her environment. In other words, if a person is constrained by discrimination of any kind, then this determines how much a person can affect his or her environment through behavior. Self-efficacy is a person’s beliefs in how well he or she can accomplish tasks or attain goals. A person who has many skills and the ability to positively affect his or her environment might have a stronger sense of self-efficacy. These constructs are related to CBT in that a person’s cognitions affects his or her behaviors and the same holds true for the opposite (behaviors affect cognitions).

    Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy is similar to CBT in that it utilizes short-term therapy as well as focuses on cognitions as the impetus for change. The idea is also similar in that the therapist’s goal is to help the clients gain skills for eventually becoming independent and able to use those skills on their own (generalize and maintain). In addition, homework is assigned in both therapies. This is to help the clients maintain those skills learned in therapy. Differences are such that the focus in REBT is more on how cognitions affect emotions rather than CBT’s cognitions affecting behaviors. In other words, REBT goes more in-depth into how to manage one’s feelings in relation to cognitions whereas CBT (I think) focuses more on cognitions affecting behaviors and then affect, that managing one’s cognitions will thereby help to manage one’s behaviors.

    Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue is, in my understanding, about how a person’s self-talk affects his or her perceptions of an event. For example, a person with more positive self-talk will manage a stressful situation in a different way than a person with more negative or self-defeating self-talk. In addition, there are certain physiological symptoms/arousals that take place with certain cognitions and that it is not the symptoms themselves that are upsetting, but rather what people tell themselves about these arousals that can be upsetting. Also Meichenbaum states that it is called an “internal dialogue” because it is not only about talking to oneself but also listening to oneself. This is related to CBT in that cognitions affect our behaviors and emotions. CBT is also based on the idea that it is our negative thoughts (that self-talk) that cause distress not the actual situations; how we perceive, and talk to ourselves about stressful situations.


  3. Luke Gustavson
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 23:58:05

    (First: you, the reader, have my apologies. I am quite verbose.)

    Bandura’s principle of reciprocal determinism generally states that just as an individual can influence the environment around them, the environment can regulate the behavior of the individual. These two processes are thus interdependent and constantly at work in an individual’s daily life, one acting upon the other over and over. To take an extreme, broad example of reciprocal determinism, one could examine climate change. Human activity (e.g. farming, manufacturing, automobiles, etc.) has altered the environment: there are cars, factories, power plants, and roads dotting the landscape. What is more, we see the environment changing in general: the polar ice caps are melting, storms are getting worse, and sea levels are rising. This environmental change influences human behavior: renewable energy is becoming more popular, governments are enacting carbon-reducing initiatives, and so on. The intention is that this will alter the environment through reduced carbon dioxide, fewer pollutants in the air and water, and less destruction of the planet through reduced fracking and mountain stripping.
    What I see is that reciprocal determinism points to the cyclical nature of an individual’s interaction with their environment, be this the concrete environment or the social environment. Thus, the environment is constantly changing just as the individual’s behavior is constantly changing. However, these are not changing separately and are woven together in terms of how they are changing. What I find most curious about reciprocal determinism is how it seems to be everywhere in psychology, particularly as I’ve encountered this in cultural psychology (where culture is semiotic mediation). That refers to how meaning is made through a constant back-and-forth construction, but many of the same principles seem to apply. But I digress.
    Generally, self-efficacy is how one perceives their ability to do something. Taking test-taking as an example, low self-efficay means one perceives one’s test-taking ability to be less than adequate while high self-efficacy means one perceives one’s test-taking ability as good; that is, they believe they will succeed. Self-efficacy comes from a number of sources of learning, ranging from our observations of others doing something to our own direct experience of that thing. The source of the self-efficacy seems to relate to how strong that appraisal is: simply seeing someone similar doing something might lead to a less-strong feeling of self-efficacy or a self-statement such as, “if that person can do it, so can I,” (as an aside, this in particular relates to Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue).
    Self-efficacy also pertains to efficacy expectations, or how we expect to perform when we attempt something in the future. A person with low self-efficacy with regard to testing now is less likely to believe they will do well in the future. Similarly, this can lead to certain outcome expectations, or what an individual expects could happen if they did make an attempt. What I believe is most important, however, is that self-efficacy and behavior appear to also be reciprocally determinant. How we expect to perform alters our performance and our expectations of what will happen should we make that attempt. In turn, our behavior can either confirm or deny our self-efficacy: if an individual with low test self-efficacy does well on a test, it could be that they ascribe this to their own behavior (studying, paying attention, etc.). On the other hand, they might also chalk this up to luck and thus negate any potential gains to their self-efficacy.
    Reciprocal determinism relates to CBT through the understanding that affect, behavior, and cognition all determine one another. Our cognitions can affect how we behave, and our behavior can influence how we feel. Thus, a depressed person with vegetative symptoms is likely to feel more depressed, which might cause them to become more sedentary, and so on. Self-efficacy seems to be another way in which affect and cognition can influence behavior. In particular, one imagines that anxiety can be related to self-efficacy: an individual with low self-efficacy may be more likely to experience anxiety with regard to something like testing. Similarly, self-efficacy seems to mediate the relationship between cognition or affect and behavior as well as the consequence of that behavior. If an individual does not feel they will get better, they are less likely to make an attempt to.
    The similarities between Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy are particularly interesting considering they were developed at roughly the same time by individuals who were not necessarily sharing their ideas. REBT and CBT both have a particularly heavy focus on how faulty cognitions can lead us to developing mental problems. This is seen through REBT’s focus on making irrational beliefs rational and CBT’s focus on correcting negative automatic self-thoughts and core beliefs. However, the mechanism by which these are changed is slightly different. REBT particularly focuses on self-statements, or the irrational sentences we tell ourselves that alter our beliefs accordingly. These are similar to the negative automatic thoughts, but REBT seems especially focused on altering the assumed sentences. This could be a minor difference in reality.
    Similarly, while both REBT and CBT see a connection between cognition, feelings, and behavior, these two therapies differ in their acronym. I typically utilize ABC for both REBT and CBT. For REBT, this refers to (A)ctivating event, (B)elief system, and (C)onsequences. In this regard, REBT is focused on the belief and what precedes and succeeds it. On the other hand, ABC for CBT refers to Affect, Behavior, and Cognition, or the cognitive triad. It points to the interrelatedness of these three aspects as opposed to a specific chain of events.
    Perhaps more mundanely, CBT and REBT share a similarity in terms of being cognitive therapies in that between-session work, or homework, is regularly expected of clients. This fits both therapies as they are particularly action-oriented. However, one notable difference between the two is that the manner in which therapy is delivered differs according to, it seems the founder’s style. For instance, traditional CBT in the Beck style appears to be gentler in delivery while REBT follows Ellis’ no-nonsense, direct style. Otherwise, it would seem that both of these therapies are relatively similar in terms of theory and technique.
    Meichenbaum’s concept of internal dialogue seems eerily similar to a few other things discussed thus far in this post. Most notably, I refer to REBT’s concept of “sentences” that one tells oneself and CBT’s automatic thoughts. With regard to the latter, Meichenbaum specifically mentions in the chapter that what he calls “internal dialogue” Beck calls “automatic thoughts.” This self-talk seems to allow an individual to issue instructions to themselves, cope with stress, or regulate their physiology. Thus, Meichenbaum’s idea of an internal dialogue is one that is rather behaviorally-oriented, taking on the form of sentences (however choppy they might be) that are spoken in the mind and answered through, it seems, the consequences of this speech. I believe internal dialogue is a form of self-based reciprocal determinism or a form of self-regulation. The self-speech alters behavior which could again alter the self-speech, for instance.
    With regard to CBT, I believe self-regulation is likely one of the main connections, though there are less theory-based connections in terms of the overlap between automatic thoughts and internal dialogue. With regard to self-regulation, if internal dialogue is used to regulate one’s emotions, behavior, or cognition, it is clearly a more automatic form of dialogue that could turn maladaptive and thus breed cognitive and emotional errors. For instance, anxiety might arise from a combination of low self-efficacy with self-interactions as well as an internal dialogue that runs negative, such as “I’m going to make a fool out of myself.” This statement might heighten anxious feelings and inhibit social behaviors further, only deepening the problem. Intriguingly, this is also a decent example of these factors all reciprocally determining one another within a psychopathological context, and further shows how humans tend to reinforce their own feelings and behaviors through self-regulation.


    • Sarah Hine
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 12:37:10

      A few thoughts on your post: First, your example of the reciprocal relationship between humanity and the environment demonstrates really clearly how behaviors and the environment impact each other. It also brings to mind how destructive some of our behaviors can be to ourselves and to our environment when we are unaware of the consequences or are reluctant to change. However, it also sheds light on how awareness of our behaviors’ impact can lead to change, not only in our own lives but in those around us as well. Second, it was interesting the connection you drew between internal dialogue and reciprocal determinism. I think there are many instances when our thoughts shift in response to our behaviors. For example, if the outcome of a behavior ends poorly, our internal dialogue may adjust and influence future actions. I think exposure therapy is evidence of this connection; a person’s thoughts about a fear (like Bandura’s study with snakes) can be altered through exposure to the object of that fear.


    • Stephanie Welch
      Sep 09, 2017 @ 00:00:28

      I think that the example of human activity and the climate change helped to show the interaction between behavior and environment Sometimes it is difficult to see how a small decision, such as riding a bike instead of driving, can affect the environment. I feel like you were able to demonstrate the big picture of actions having consequences on the environment. In turn, the environment has consequences on actions such as investments in renewable energy. On the smaller scale, I think that a person evaluating how his or her actions influence their environment is important in changing behavior. By examining the consequences of behavior, a person can determine the best course of action and avoid maladaptive behavior.


    • Shay Young
      Sep 09, 2017 @ 14:35:52

      Luke I appreciated the topic of self-regulation that you spoke on. I think you are right and put it nicely when you concluded that humans tend to reinforce their own thoughts and behaviors through self-regulation. I think this relates to the idea of appraisals, and how perception matters. I also think this self-regulation deals with consistently appraising events in a certain light. For example take a male who is may have a very negative self-worth and is also very pessimistic. Anything that happens to him, whether it be good or bad, is appraised as something negative about himself. So for example if a girl asked him out on a date, he’d say she must have pitied me because I’m a loser. If he’s promoted at work, it was due to someone else turning the promotion down. Everything is perceptually framed in a way that confirms and regulates his negative view of himself. I think self-regulation can be a positive or a negative depending on how the person is appraising things. In my personal opinion, I recognize that in most cases, a healthy person would have balance in how they appraise situations. For example take the ideas that things are either within our control or out of our control. It’s important, depending on the situation to view things as one way or the other. If you fail an exam, maybe it is good to appraise this as something being within our fault. You choose to go out with your friends the night before rather than to study. Now, you know for the next test to study better. However if someone rear ends your car, it may be better to realize that somethings are not within our control. I think it is healthy to have a balance, and perhaps in that regard maybe it’s best not to have a highly regulated appraisal system. A person needs a balance. You don’t want to constantly appraise everything as being positive, because sometimes things aren’t okay. If you get a divorce, it may appropriate and healthy to view the situation for what it is. It may be unhealthy to frame everything in a solely positive manner. In summation, I think that being consistent and constantly thinking about things in a certain light may be maladaptive in the long run, especially if the appraisals are all negative.


  4. Luke Dery
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 07:19:06

    Bandura states that reciprocal determinism is social learning view of interaction. Reciprocal determinism suggests a triarchic, continuous interaction between the individual and the environment that produces some sort of effect. In this process, behavior, internal personal factors, and environmental stimuli all interact and affect each other. For example, behavior can affect environment, and environment can also affect behavior. In this manner, these factors engage in a cycle of influence. Bandura also states that cognitive factors are the predominant influence on the system as a whole. These interactions can create and maintain patterns of thought that behavior based on what experiences a person has. Because of the bidirectional nature of reciprocal determinism, this means that a negative influence from any of the three factors can create a cycle of negative interactions that create or strengthen habits and thought processes.

    Self-efficacy is an individual’s beliefs in their abilities to accomplish some sort of required task and the level to which they believe this. For example, a person with high self-efficacy would believe that they are able to perform a certain behavior to produce a certain outcome. Self-efficacy also involves how we expect to response or behave in certain situations. If we expect success in certain situations, we may be more likely to succeed. Self-efficacy levels influence factors such as goal setting, risk taking, motivation, and perseverance. Essentially, if we believe we are able to play an active role in our lives, we are more likely to engage in behaviors that promote these factors.

    Reciprocal determinism is related to CBT in that it is the explanation used to explain the development and maintenance of core beliefs. It’s emphasis on cognitive factors is also similar to CBT’s emphasis on thoughts. Self-efficacy is related to CBT in that it is a necessary component of successful CBT treatment. As noted by Bandura, an important focus is to increase self-efficacy to give individuals motivation and confidence in their ability to cope. Since CBT is based on the idea that changing your thoughts can influence your behavior and your experience with your environment, it is necessary to have self-efficacy to believe that you have the ability to have an impact on your environment. Self-efficacy is important in the challenging of negative beliefs that lead to negative behaviors or emotions in certain situations.

    Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) has features that are both similar and different from CBT. Similar to CBT, REBT operates under the notion that symptoms are the result of irrational beliefs. These irrational beliefs are very similar to CBT’s cognitive distortions, and represent errors in how we think. Both CBT and REBT have the goal of identifying and challenging these irrational beliefs and replacing them with healthier ones. CBT and REBT also use some similar techniques, such as monitoring thoughts and skill training. REBT is different in that is emphasizing rational philosophy as an important goal of treatment. Not only must irrational thoughts be replaced, but a new philosophy has to be adopted.

    Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” is based on three understandings. The first is that we use interpersonal instructions. This mean that we talk to ourselves and engage in internal communication with ourselves. The second is that this internal self-talk can lead to symptoms based on what is being said. Self-talk can be negative or positive, and can blame others or the self. Our self-talk also affects our attention to certain stimuli and our appraisal of consequences. For example, focusing on negative stimuli or blaming the self with negative self-talk can lead to symptoms. The third is that cognitive activity and self-talk can change current symptoms. This concept says that if we can modify our thoughts or engage in cognitive activity, such as mediation, we can minimize or change our symptoms. This concept of internal dialogue is the basis of thought behind CBT’s goal of identifying, challenging, and replacing thoughts with the goal of changing feelings and behavior. Internal dialogue can be used to take automatic thoughts and challenge with cognitive techniques. We can also modify these thoughts in order to change our experience with our environment.


    • Liisa Biltcliffe
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 08:41:54

      I think you did an excellent job of responding and I especially liked your response regarding the difference between REBT and CBT. I did not pick up on the difference being about philosophy and I think that was very astute of you. I kind of grasped at straws and while I noticed that REBT was quite similar to CBT I found it difficult to come up with a difference so my difference was not quite accurate. I saw that you picked up on Meichenbaum’s 3 different aspects of internal dialogue and I am not sure that I quite understood that when I read it. In other words, I learned quite a bit from your post, so that was very helpful.


      • Lindsey
        Sep 09, 2017 @ 19:37:28

        Hi Liisa/Luke, In my opinion, the primary goal of REBT is to uproot emotional disturbance(s) by challenging innate irrational beliefs. I agree that REBT seems to support the idea that a person must commit to a philosophical change as part of the therapeutic process. This is an interesting component for consideration because the philosophy suggests irrational thinking is innate. With that said, one might ask if the REBT philosophy enables learned helplessness? By contrast, CBT tends to suggest an initating condition, followed by accumulated experiences lead to mala/adaptive thinking patterns. Cognitive techniques used by Ellis’ (i.e. debating with the client) are a bit controversial; however, I can see how these techniques might further exploration and facilitate insight so the client can embrace more rational thinking patterns. Afterall, awareness is half the battle.


  5. Matthew Collin
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 08:19:43

    Bandura explains reciprocal determinism as a complex interaction between the social environment, and the being interacting with that force to determine particular behaviors. My understanding of this theory is derived from things such as the transactional model discussed in developmental psychology. There is an almost circular transaction between the being and the environment, their behavior, and the consequences that proceed. For instance, a child (the being) may cry in a store, and the mother or father may react in a particular way (the environment) and in turn, the baby will then respond accordingly to the reaction.
    Bandura’s self-efficacy, as it relates to behavior change (particularly he describes coping skills) is an individual’s expectations of a particular outcome, and their confidence in their ability to achieve that outcome. For instance, someone who may be experiencing severe depression may have self-efficacy related thoughts such as “it won’t work” or “I can’t seem to get myself to do it” and maybe even “I’m worthless – I can’t do this”. This is an example of someone who has low self-efficacy. This is contrast to someone who may think “I’m going to ace that test” or “I’m going to have a good day”. This is an example of someone who has high self-efficacy. An individual’s self-efficacy plays a role in how they go about living their life, completing tasks, accomplishing goals, and his/her ability to problem solve.
    Both Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy and reciprocal determinism have strong correlates to ideas put forth by the cognitive behavioral model. For instance, reciprocal determinism reflects the same idea in CBT that there are bidirectional, and circular transactions between paradigms. In reciprocal determinism, Bandura describes social environments, behaviors, and how the interaction between those two are not unidirectional, but are constantly evolving and changing through bidirectional transactions. On the other hand, the cognitive behavioral model discusses the complex, and bidirectional transactions between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, but the similarity between the two is fairly negligible.
    Self-efficacy, as described by Bandura, is a person’s own thoughts about their ability to complete tasks. In parallel, the cognitive behavioral model describes autonomic thoughts and core beliefs. Both self-efficacy and core beliefs appear to be a mediator between how an individual perceives their world, and how they go about making decisions in their life to solve particular problems.

    Albert Ellis & Robert Harper:
    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) have much in common. For instance, in REBT, clients are expected to do a lot of practice outside of the actual therapy session. This is similar to homework that is presented after almost every CBT session. Both ideologies seem to understand that behavior change cannot happen just inside the therapy session, but it must be practiced in the individual’s environment. Another similarity is psychoeducation. Both REBT and CBT have some way of aiding clients through understanding what they are feeling, why they are feeling it, and rationalizing these feelings and/or thoughts in a more objective manor. One of those most important similarities that are parallel in each orientation is that there is a bidirectional and complex interaction between thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Both ideologies also seem to leverage behavioral models to challenge particular irrational beliefs or thoughts about one’s self.
    One difference I noticed between CBT and REBT, is that Ellis appears to attack the core belief – or as he would put it “irrational thinking” – directly by pointing out how ridiculous some of these beliefs might be. He insists on asking the person experiencing an irrational belief or thought is what the worst could happen if that thought came true, or if that thought was true. For instance, someone who is anxious may have a thought that “If I speak, they’ll think I’m stupid”. Ellis would challenge this belief by simply saying “What if they think you’re stupid? What’s the worst that could happen to you?” I find this approach to be quintessentially different than what a CBT therapist may say or do. A CBT therapist may try to bolster the client’s confidence in his/her ability to speak, and test their irrational beliefs through practice. Ellis appears to want to get rid of a person’s ability to be angry or sad about something, while CBT sees those emotions as being healthy within a rational context. A lot of work pointing out the irrationality of the thoughts or beliefs is also highly dependent on the instruction from the therapist, rather than having a client navigate him/herself through irrational beliefs as CBT tries to do through a variety of different techniques.

    I believe Meichenbaum’s idea of internal monologue is a past echo of modern cognitive behavioral therapies idea of autonomic thoughts and core beliefs. Meichenbaum clearly states that changing internal dialogue is essential for behavior change, and maintenance of that behavior change. Much like in CBT, a therapist tries to restructure, and change someone’s core beliefs and autonomic thoughts in order to facilitate a change in their maladaptive behaviors.
    He also describes how these internal dialogs fit in the cognitive behavioral paradigm. This includes his way of describing the dialogue as eliciting emotions, and how they grasp attentional focus to those emotions whether they are positive or negative ones. This idea is in direct correlation with CBT’s formulation of a bidirectional model between thoughts (internal dialogues) and emotions.
    Another key concept that comes up in the article he wrote was Mckenney’s idea that internal dialogues direct people’s attention to particular stimuli. For instance, someone who is depressed will amplify and attend to the bad, while minimizing and not giving enough attention to the good. This is yet another key concept of how internal dialogues and core beliefs are conceptualized in similar ways.
    Meuchenbaum also describes how certain dialogues can affect how we perceive the environment. I believe he used the example of someone talking in front of a group of people, and those who had higher speech anxiety would perceive people leaving the room were insinuating that he/she was boring, or not performing very well, while those with low speech anxiety perceived it as if those people had to go to the bathroom, or saw it as rude and insensitive. Similarly, CBT also believes this concept to be true with core beliefs. They appear to be a lens in which people use to perceive their world and process information.


    • Luke Gustavson
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 10:29:54

      Hey Matt,

      This is a really good post overall; you made a fair amount of points that seem to have gone over my head. Mainly I want to address Albert Ellis, as we both appear to enjoy his particular “style” of psychotherapy. I completely agree that there is a lot of overlap between REBT and CBT (it’s hard not to). The differences are where I find myself asking the most questions. For instance, it seems as though CBT takes an indirect approach that might allow a client to more readily take ownership of the ideas. REBT, as you noted, is extremely direct in a confrontational manner, sometimes to the point of “so what?”

      Let’s assume that the directness of REBT won’t be a problem that would cause some people to cry, just to get that out of the way. What do you think are the merits of REBT’s direct approach? Similarly, you said that REBT seems to go right for the heart of the core belief, pointing out its irrationality through those “how would that be the worst thing ever?” kinds of questions. This seems to be a pretty big departure from Beck’s indirect approach. In what ways could this be an appropriate approach to intervention?

      Lastly, I want to touch upon how you differentiated REBT and CBT through their approaches to emotion. Notably, you mentioned that CBT, theoretically, seems to view negative emotions as healthy while REBT, perhaps through its rigid attachment to rationality (with an understanding that many emotions are no such thing), is more prone to wanting to rid the individual of the capacity for these emotions. I’m having some trouble seeing where you’re coming from. I can certainly understand how CBT would see certain emotions as healthy or functional in many circumstances. On the other hand, the vibe I get from REBT and Ellis is less that these emotions don’t matter, but that our reactions to these emotions – if irrational – do not matter.

      Let’s say a friend stole from you. Beck would probably say that anger or irritation is justified and normal but that unending rage and ruminating on the matter are probably not. Similarly, I can certainly see Ellis agreeing that anger in such a situation is completely normal but that, like Beck, getting overly worked up about it isn’t doing you any favors. Basically, I can see Ellis taking a “yeah, sometimes people are aaawwwful and will hurt your feelings. But so what? What’s the worst thing that happens to you because of this?” I do not think he would make attempts to outright normalize emotions, perhaps, but considering how vitriolic he sometimes got I can’t imagine he’d try to rid people of them. How did you come to your conclusion on that?


      • Lindsey
        Sep 09, 2017 @ 22:29:58

        I’ve really enjoyed reading the back and forth! Luke, I agree that CBT’s indirect approach allows the client to take more ownership of their thinking patterns. A good CBT therapist gently probes the client about thoughts/feelings and challenges the client by using discrepancies…. more specifically, an evidence based discrepancy. These techniques are helpful to foster awareness; however, humans vary in their learning styles/preferences. Too, I think the therapeutic orientation depends on the client’s symptoms and treatment goals. With REBT, the therapist seemingly dives straight into scientific questioning/challenging/debating — so to answer “What do you think are the merits of REBT’s direct approach?” — to put it simply, we all learn differently. With the ABC model, Ellis proposes A. Something happens, B. A belief about the situation develops, and C. You have an emotional reaction to the belief. When working with a client who has All or Nothing thinking patterns (i.e. anxiety/depression/addiction), simplifying irrational beliefs into black/white bullet points can prove or disprove the client’s perception. REBT’s philosophy supports the notion that self-acceptance and a “nonutopian” outlook on life will lead to reduced emotional disturbance. Since irrational thinking is innate (per REBT), the potential for emotional disturbance will always exist; therefore, treatment goals with REBT revolves around managing/reducing irrational thoughts so a person can lead a more fulfilling life.


    • Noella Teylan-Cashman
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 15:58:04


      I thought your comment about the bidirectionality of internal dialogues and emotions, along with the connection to CBT was very interesting. I too, thought about the bidirectional relation between internal dialogues and CBT concepts such as core beliefs and automatic thoughts. I think that consistent internal dialogues (of a negative or positive manner) can lead to the formation of a core belief, and from there, that core belief can produce automatic thoughts. Reversely, I think that a pre-established core belief can also spark certain automatic thoughts, which in turn lead to internal dialogues of a particular nature.

      Basically, I think there are two possible options:

      1) Internal Dialogue Core Belief Automatic Thought

      2) Core Belief Automatic Thought Internal Dialogue

      I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on this!


      • Noella Teylan-Cashman
        Sep 08, 2017 @ 15:59:50

        Internal Dialogue –> Core Belief –> Automatic Thought

        Core Belief –> Automatic Thought –> Internal Dialogue

        Don’t know why the arrows were taken out of my original post when I copy and pasted it, sorry!


        • Matthew Collin
          Sep 09, 2017 @ 01:40:46

          Hi Noella,
          I also believe this is the case. As Dr. V. said in class Thursday, sometimes tackling core beliefs with clients is a difficult task. He said sometimes it may be easier to start restructuring automatic thoughts to eventually start reconstructing the core belief. This suggests that there is most definitely bidirectional process.
          I do think that internal dialogue presents itself as core beliefs in the CBT paradigm. Just the way Meichembaum puts it, and the things he suggests that internal dialogue influences, brought me to that conclusion. However, since automatic thoughts, and core beliefs are bidirectional in their transactions, it becomes a little hard to decide is internal dialogue is just one or the other.


      • Luke Gustavson
        Sep 08, 2017 @ 17:03:27

        Hello Noella,

        That’s actually quite an interesting take on where those three constructs come from. Normally, I think that Core beliefs lead to the generation of related automatic thoughts which generally influence our internal dialogue. Taking Bandura into account, I can see how the opposite might apply. On the other hand, though, it seems that core beliefs are rather difficult to change, and so I don’t believe that the process that works back to core beliefs is necessarily one of construction. I am, admittedly, caught here, however. The idea that automatic thoughts can influence core beliefs seems to be accepted, but I’m unsure if a new core belief could be created from internal dialogue, for instance.

        Rather, I think the process that works back from Internal dialogue to core beliefs is one of modification or reinforcement. As such, the process works to reinforce (and thus confirm and stabilize) the core belief or to modify (and thus disconfirm and alter) the core belief. Thinking of it this way, there is certainly a process that points back to the core beliefs that functions, it seems, in a therapeutic manner (altering internal dialogue to change automatic thoughts in order to modify core beliefs) that can also account for the reinforcement and strengthening of core beliefs and the promulgation of negative automatic thoughts. This is just my take on the matter, though. I think it’s definitely something to bring up to Dr. Volungis, as I’m now incredibly curious as to how that might function and am wondering if my understanding could be wrong.

        Thank you for giving me something to crunch on!


  6. Shay Young
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 11:21:43

    1). Based on the Bandura readings, I understood that Reciprocal determinism is a process of interaction between personal, behavioral and environmental factors. It is the confluence of both personal and environmental influences that play a role in behavior. In either further synthesis, reciprocity exists in the way that one’s behavior will impact the environment, while the environment is simultaneously influencing their behavior. The idea here is that behavior is a result of the environment we exist in, as well as our own personal preference. The chapter we read gave an idea that helped to clarify the concept. The example involved the movie theatre. The movie we see depends on our social environment. Maybe the theatre in town is only showing a select few movies or perhaps maybe the friend you are attending the movie with is the dominant personality and it is her way or the highway. These environmental components interact with your own personal preference. Perhaps you like scary movies, but the dominant friend only likes romantic comedies. These two ideas and factors coexist and intermingle to decide your behavior. Perhaps you end of seeing the romantic comedy your friend selects, and your behavior is one of annoyance for always having to see what she desires to see. This speaks to the idea of reciprocal influence; how the behavior of one person can invoke or cause someone else to behave in a certain way. For example, maybe there is a coworker at work that is very opinionated and always squashes your ideas. Maybe in turn before she even opens her mouth, this prompts you to take a defensive position. Relatedly, another idea included in Reciprocal determinism is the idea of expectations. People’s expectations influence how they behave and the outcomes of their behavior can change their expectations. This is related to CBT, because it is important to consider the environment one engages with, and coming to understand why they may behave or present in a certain matter based on their interactions with that specific environment.
    Apart from reciprocal determinism, Bandura also speaks to the idea of self-efficacy. I’ve learned from previous psychology classes, that self-efficacy is one’s belief in their ability to do or accomplish something. This reading helped to strengthen that idea for me. Arriving at a self-efficacy is a cognitive process. Efficacy is generated from not only the belief in ability, but also the belief in reinforcement. Reinforcements have to make the behavior worth doing. Beliefs about the schedule of reinforcement can exert greater influence on the behavior than the reinforcement itself. The individual must believe that reinforcement will be consistent, and that it will awarded in future occasions. Essentially self-efficacy deals with not only confidence in capability, but also in the outcome of the behavior and potential benefits. So for example because Bandura is an advocate for social learning and modeling, we can use that as an example. If a young girl who is rather picky watches her mother eat brownies, she might question her ability to successfully eat a brownie, as well as if she’d actually like the taste or not. This is directly related to CBT as we see the cognitions about ability and outcome will influence the decisions and behavior one engages in.

    2). Rational Emotive Therapy (REBT) seems to be more similar to CBT than different. One similarity is that, individuals do considerable work between sessions. There are homework assignments such as risk taking, imaging failing and learning not to upset oneself. CBT is also a therapeutic orientation that supports giving homework for participants to do outside of sessions. Another similarity is the importance of thoughts. In REBT, an important belief is that feelings overlap with thoughts. Changing thoughts can change emoting and behavior. This idea and emphasis on changing thoughts is a significant and core part of CBT. Often in CBT, distorted thoughts and cognitions are thought to be a major source of psychopathology and mental illness. Working to challenge these irrational thoughts seems to be a key component of both therapies. Relatedly, in REBT, affective states are usually mediated by acts of interpretation. These interpretations are comparable to cognitive distortions in CBT. Misinterpretations and inaccurate beliefs can cause psychopathology. The 4 way focus in REBT looks at thinking, perceiving, moving and feeling. Though CBT does not claim these 4 methods, I believe these to be elements that exist in CBT (especially thinking and perceiving). The goal in REBT is to achieve appropriate feelings. These seem to be corresponding to adaptive feelings and behaviors in CBT. Though REBT and CBT are much alike, I noted a few differences between the two as well. One difference I believe is that Ellis’ style was a bit aggressive and more direct than CBT. He was almost spoon feeding his clients answers it seemed. I’m not sure if the more explicit approach is a universal therapeutic approach in REBT, or if it was just based on the examples I happened to read. Anyhow that was the vibe I picked up on. I also think that REBT seemed more emotion focused than CBT. Obviously CBT deals with emotions, but I think that in REBT the emotions are a higher level of concentration than in CBT.
    3) The idea of Meichenbaum’s internal dialogues speaks to the idea that everyone has an internal speech that they engage in. These internal dialogues deal with perception and how one perceives information or events. Individuals often engage in internal self-instructions or self-talks, which can influence their behavior. These internal dialogues reflect differential thinking styles and cognitive appraisals. Internal dialogues are a result of automatic thoughts. An example that text gives is one who has test anxiety. A person may be taking an exam, and watches students finish beforehand. Now one person who doesn’t have test anxiety may see their peers finishing early and may have an internal dialogue such as “well they probably studied well, but so did I. I’ll finish soon enough.” Whereas someone with anxiety may self-talk and believe “I’m a loser. Look I’m so behind.” Internal dialogue directly relates to CBT’s automatic thoughts and core beliefs. Core beliefs may arise from some of these internal dialogues. If someone ruminants on negative self-talk too often, they may come to believe these inadequacies are a part of their core. These inner self talks may become so pervasive and consistent that the individual identity is shaped based off these dialogues. Through CBT these internal dialogues can be shifted to something more adaptive and more positive.


    • Liisa Biltcliffe
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 08:51:47

      In your comment on reciprocal determinism you were able to point out that there are interactions between personal, behavioral, and environmental conditions. This helped me because I had forgotten (or missed) the behavioral aspect of it. I also really liked your examples given and thought that they were quite relevant. You also said that REBT focuses more on emotions and I agree with that and it was a point I made in my post. I think that with all of the examples you gave in each section, that you have a firm grasp of each of these concepts.


    • Alana Kearney
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 11:48:39

      Hi Shay,
      In your comment on internal dialogue I appreciated that you emphasized the fact that these internal speeches have a great impact on one’s core beliefs. Since these internal dialogues happen to everyone for much of their daily time, it can be hard to realize how influential these thoughts can be. These thoughts are repeated and reinforced with external behaviors and eventually become automatic thoughts for the person. It is almost ironic that a treatment for changing these negative automatic thoughts can be such a similar process of repeating positive, opposing thoughts in order to change and reinforce the new, positive behaviors that follow.


    • Noella Teylan-Cashman
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 16:11:59


      I really liked how you mentioned the component of “expectations” in your section on reciprocal determinism. I think it is important to note, because expectations are our preconceived notions of future environments. This illustrates the point that individuals are influenced by environments that are not even in existence yet, but still dictate our behaviors. Should our expectations prove to be incongruent with reality, it may result in individuals engaging in behaviors they otherwise wouldn’t have, and the experience of negative emotions.

      For example, if you are going on a date with someone, and he/she tells you to be ready at 6pm, you may leave work early to go home and get ready so that you are on time. Then, he/she calls to tell you that they got held up at work and won’t be able to make it until 7:30. The expectation was for the date to begin at 6pm, which led you to leave work early to get ready. The reality ended up being that the date did not begin until 7:30, which probably left you annoyed, and rendered your early exit from work unnecessary.


  7. Chiara Nottie
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 12:22:19

    708 Post 1

    It is my understanding that Bandura considers reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy to be related, and both necessary for optimal functioning. Psychological functioning is reciprocal in nature among personal, behavioral, and environmental factors. Reciprocity can occur between external factors such as an individual and their environment, or between internal factors such as inner thoughts and an individual’s behavior (Bandura, 1978). Bandura believes that there is a predictive and adaptive element to reciprocal determinism depending on consequences of actions. An individual can maintain adaptive functioning if consequences of their behavior are responded to favorably. However, harmful types of reciprocal responses can also be mutually sustained when unwanted social behaviors elicit coercive actions, which because are aversive, can create the reinforcement conditions needed to perpetuate the sequence of events in the future. How does self-efficacy tie into these concepts of reciprocal determinism? Self-efficacy seems to be determined by reciprocal influences, particularly from the environment. Self-efficacy involves the organization of cognitive, social, and behavioral skills, to intentionally serve multiple purposes (Bandura, 1982). Personal determination is a part of achieving self-efficacy. Possessing determination to be self-efficacious would indicate a level of awareness of how an individual is effected by their environment and how they can affect their environment in return.
    Reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy relate to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in several ways. For example, CBT is a collaborative process between a counselor and an individual, meaning an individual requires some level of awareness of their feelings, thoughts, socialness, and environment in order to achieve desired changes from therapy. CBT focuses a lot on how our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are all synchronized together in either adaptive or maladaptive ways. In theory if you address maladaptive thinking, emotions, and behaviors you can alter your functioning to be more adaptive. Reciprocal determinism shares the idea of being connected to inner thoughts, and outer responses to the environment. Similar to CBT reciprocal determinism posits that if you alter one thing subsequently another thing will change.
    Rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) created out of rational-emotive therapy (RET) posits that thoughts come before feelings so an individual can manipulate how they emotionally react to future stimuli, or what stimuli can evoke emotions by adapting thoughts. This idea is similar to CBT because it has a focus on altering thoughts with the hope of thought alteration leading to changes in feelings or behavior. For example, if an individual believes people find them boring then an individual will feel nervous in public speaking situations, but if instead an individual believes they are not boring, then their previous nervousness towards acts of public speaking should decrease. REBT is similar to CBT by also acknowledging the power of thoughts and how thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are cyclic in their influential effect. REBT like CBT appreciates self-analysis but recognize its limits. Unlike CBT, REBT believes changing an individual’s personality to some extent is possible with enough intensive therapy, whereas CBT recognizes personality as a more stable feature of an individual. Also unlike REBT, CBT will address ways to change behaviors as well as thoughts whereas REBT mainly or only addresses changing thoughts and believes changes in thoughts will create changes in feelings and behaviors (Ellis & Harper, 1976).
    Internal dialogue otherwise known as inner speech is how the mind rationalizes information, processes information, and strategizes behavior. Internal dialogue affects and is affected by factors such as physiological responses, affective reactions, cognitions, and interpersonal interactions (Meichenbaum, 1977). Meichenbaum believes inner speech has functional value through information provided by the work on interpersonal instructions such as problem solving tasks, research on cognitive factors in stress responses, and research on the effects of instructional sets on physiological reactions (Meichenbaum, 1977). Interpersonal instructions can be thought of as how an individual talks themselves through a current or future situation, in other words how they plan. Cognitions that relate to internal dialogue can be methods of stress management. For example, an anxiety inducing situation can influence how an individual copes, by ascribing positive attributes to themselves or negative attributes to themselves. This attribution of positive or negative qualities relates to how CBT conceptualizes an individual’s patterning of thoughts and feelings. Instructional sets and physiological effects can affect autonomic conditioning in an individual which may be composed of a mediational component (Meichenbaum, 1977). Using inner speech to work through situations in order to change how we react in the face of certain stimuli can eventually alter our physiological responses to the same stimuli resulting in different attitudes towards the stimuli over time. CBT would most likely approve of this approach but would also emphasize active treatment of behaviors.



  8. Venessa Wiafe
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 12:29:36

    1. Reciprocal determinism is a theory that was formulated by Albert Bandura. This theory strongly sets forth that an individual’s behavior is essentially characterized by frequent, reciprocal action that occurs among personal, behavioral, and environmental determinants, which constitute the three factors that have an impact on behavior. These three factors all interact with one another. The personal aspect can include one’s unique beliefs. The behavioral aspect involves how an individual will conduct themselves, such as what actions they may take, which can be supported or rejected depending on what environment an individual is surrounded by, as well as who they are accompanied by. The social environment aspect can involve other individuals in one’s surroundings, which can have an influence on one’s behavior, including how consistent one may engage in a specific behavior. In other words, an individual’s behavior is influenced by the environment surrounding them and their personal components, and also has the power to influence their own elements and their social environment as well. Internal and external forces both play a role in an individual’s behavior. An individual has a sense of authority over their behavior as a result of the way their cognition functions and their social environment also has a sense of control over their behavior due to events that elicits behavior responses. All in all, one’s behavior and personality can be determined by the interrelationship that is formed between one’s behavior , social environment, and personal elements, or how they reciprocate with one another as they are held liable of the way one acts. Albert Bandura also formulated self-efficacy, which is an individual’s personal beliefs in which they can determine how they are able to be successful in certain circumstances, as well as recognizing their ability to achieve tasks. Individuals have the intention to achieve certain results and they must be capable of gaining confidence in themselves. An individual is able to view themselves in a positive light, but also restrict themselves from anything that can exceed what they are capable of doing. If a given situation surpasses an individual’s self-efficacy level, the individual will most likely steer clear of that situation as it will be hard for the individual to deal with. The four sources in which individuals gain their self efficacy beliefs from are past performances, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and psychological states. Past performances involve an individual’s mastery in certain areas , which is able to influence the way one perceives their capabilities. Also, if an individual is unable to accomplish or face a task, he may feel debilitated in regard to their self-efficacy. Vicarious experiences have to do with an individual observing other individuals’ performance of a task and being able to model these individuals when it is their turn to also face those specific tasks or situations. Individuals usually observe individuals that are similar to them, so if the individual they observe succeeds, the one observing can be motivated to believe that he can also be successful. Verbal persuasion is receiving support from others that build up one’s confidence in regard to performing a task. The encouragement one receives for instance, from a parent, helps the individual with believing that he will indeed be able to accomplish the task at hand. Verbal persuasion can also cast away self-doubt an individual may have. Psychological states involve the belief that an individual’s capabilities can be influenced by factors such as mood and levels of stress. If an individual is feeling great and is in a good mood, the individual will most likely feel confident about any task that will come his way because he knows he can face it. Individuals can be able to help themselves by removing negative thoughts and anxiousness so that they can have an optimistic mindset on their self-efficacy. Reciprocal determinism is similar to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT) because the way one behaves can definitely be influenced by factors such as one’s personal beliefs. If an individual perceives their own self in a pessimistic way, they will most likely behave poorly. Even if something positive happens in their life, they will perceive it as occurring due to luck. Since they have a negative and poor outlook on their own self, everything they do will be done in a pessimistic manner. Self efficacy is similar to CBT because, when CBT is being utilized in therapy for individuals for instance, with depression, individuals learn that the negative meanings they place on their thoughts and beliefs is what causes them to feel depressed or even anxious. This form of therapy assists individuals with altering their negative thinking patterns and behavior so that they can feel better about themselves. Self-efficacy involves one’s outlook on their life as well as their level of confidence in regard to how effective they are. If an individual is extremely anxious and thinks negatively about their own self and situations at hand, they will not be effective because they will believe their negative thoughts and it will debilitate their self-efficacy. Having an optimistic mindset and placing positive meanings thoughts in their mind can bolster their self efficacy and help them perform better in tasks they face in life, similar to CBT. CBT and self-efficacy both have the goal of omitting negative thoughts and preventing individuals with spending so much energy and time on what they can’t do and their failures, and instead spending more time and energy on performing well in life so that they can be successful.
    2. Albert Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy(REBT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy(CBT) have some similarities and differences. One similarity between these two forms of therapy include the fact that they both assign homework in between therapy sessions. Even though a lot of work gets done during each therapeutic session, therapists don’t want their clients to lose touch with their improvement or what they are doing when they leave the session. Assigning homework can enable their clients to take a part of therapy home with them, in a sense and practice ways to improve themselves by rewarding themselves when they have utilized a segment of what they are learning in therapy. Another similarity between CBT and REBT is that they both aim to omit negative and inappropriate thoughts and beliefs, so that individuals can have a sense of self-control over their emotions and behaviors. They both believe that they must understand their thoughts. Also, CBT and REBT therapists do their best to assist individuals, but they believe that they can “lead a camel to water, but can’t make them drink it”. They can do all the can and give all the advise they can do their clients, but it is essentially up to their clients to put in work to improve themselves. They must not be dependent on the therapist, but instead be independent and self analyze so that they can get the best results from therapy. A difference between CBT and REBT is that CBT focuses mainly on the fact that individuals place negative meanings on their thoughts. REBT on the other hand, focuses mainly on the fact that their beliefs are irrational and that they make irrational assumptions and those can lead to distress, anxiousness, and depression. Another difference between these two form of therapy are, REBT in a way allows clients to accept who they are as a person, even the elements of them that they aren’t proud of, no matter what. CBT on the other hand, allows clients to think about their negative conditions and then reshape them, instead of fully accepting each and every one of them. While REBT allows their clients to get in touch with their personal factors and allows them to fully acknowledge that they are who they are, CBT does let them come into contact with who they are, but doesn’t make them accept who they are as a person. In a way, CBT allows clients to acknowledge their shortcomings and then assists them with omitting them and changing their thoughts about their own selves and the tasks they face internally as well as the world around them.
    3. Internal dialogue, which was discovered by Meichenbaum, is a type of inner conversation that is transpired within individuals. This internal speech has the ability to alter the way one behaves. An internal conversation occurs within a person before one acts on a certain situation, and this gives the individual a chance to be able to think through before they act upon a situation. If an individual was going to initially act in an inappropriate manner, the internal dialogues prevent that from occurring because they are able to think first about their next move before taking the initiative to make the move. The individual is then able to replace a maladaptive behavior with a much more appropriate behavior. Internal dialogue is closely connected to CBT because CBT treats clients by helping them alter their maladaptive thoughts and behaviors by formulating thoughts and behaviors that are much more adaptive, appropriate, and healthy for one’s well being. Internal dialogue sets the stone for that occurring as individuals have the chance to stop themselves from behavior maladptively and altering their thoughts so that they can behave better. Individuals are able to influence the way they behave when they engage in internal dialogue, which furthermore changes how their cognition is shaped, for the better.


    • Stephanie Welch
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 22:52:52

      I liked how you defined the three factors of reciprocal determinism. I also liked that you pointed out the importance of personal, behavioral, and environmental determinants interacting with each other. I agree that the role of internal and external forces are important in behavior. Control over personal factors and environment factors influence a person’s behavior and can be important when examining behavior. I thought that including the four sources of self-efficacy was brilliant and necessary for understanding self-efficacy. I also liked your example of depression for CBT and self-efficacy because you mentioned that a depressed individual can focus on negative thoughts and previous failures which can lead to the inability to be successful.


  9. Julie Crantz
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 12:39:07

    1) Bandura’s theory of reciprocal determinism explains that psychological functioning is the result of a continued interaction between personal factors such as thoughts and feelings, behavior, and environmental factors. The term reciprocal is employed to describe a shared action or mutual correspondence between events versus an inverse relationship (Bandura, 1977). For example, people’s beliefs and expectations have a direct impact on how they behave and the results of their behavior influence their expectations. A person’s behavior can impact the environment as well as the environment impacts a person’s behavior. There is an interdependence and two-way influence process for environment and behavior (Bandura, 1977).
    Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy refers to the belief in one’s capabilities of successfully achieving a behavior that is required to generate a certain outcome. Commencement and perseverance of coping behavior are both impacted by a person’s expectations of personal mastery (Bandura, 1977). People will expend increased effort when they have a strong perception of self-efficacy. Sources of efficacy expectations include information from performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological states (Bandura, 1977).
    Reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy are related to CBT regarding the emphasis both constructs place on cognitive factors playing an important role in how a person behaves. People’s beliefs and expectations in their abilities have a direct impact on how they behave. Through making changes in cognitions, people can also make changes in their behavior.

    2) Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) shares some similarities to Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). The creator of REBT, Ellis, and the creator of CBT, Beck, both found patients exhibited distorted thinking patterns that resulted in emotional disturbance. One major goal of both therapies is to identify distorted thinking, challenge it, and reframe distorted thoughts to support adaptive functioning (Dobson & Dozois, 2010). Both REBT and CBT share an important premise that changes in clients’ thinking lead to changes in their behavior and emotion. Another similar feature is REBT and CBT are short-term treatments versus having unlimited therapy sessions where little progress is made. Assigning homework to clients in between sessions is another important likeness between the two types of therapy (Dobson & Dozois, 2010). Psychoeducation is another related feature for both REBT and CBT. REBT and CBT are action-oriented therapies where clients are prepared with tools for how to deal with distorted thinking patterns when they occur in the future once therapy sessions have been terminated (Dobson & Dozois, 2010).
    There are some differences between REBT and CBT. One major difference is REBT’s philosophical emphasis and its goals of self-interest, social interest, self-direction, self-tolerance and tolerance of others, being flexible, accepting uncertainty, self-acceptance, commitment to vital interests, scientific thinking, and having a realistic view of life (Dobson & Dozois, 2010). One of the assumptions of REBT is individuals who adopt the philosophy inherent to this approach will endure a minimum of emotional disturbance. Ellis and Beck used different classifications for irrational thoughts. With REBT, Ellis identified 12 irrational beliefs that materialize as unrealistic expectations. With CBT, Beck created a categorization of cognitive distortions to describe systematic errors in thinking patterns which include arbitrary inference, selective abstraction, overgeneralization, magnification, and minimization (Dobson & Dozois, 2010). Another difference is Beck’s theory and cognitive techniques have been the subject of considerable empirical analysis proving them to be a solid alternative to behavioral and pharmacological interventions (Dobson & Dozois, 2010).

    3) Meichenbaum writes about internal dialogue which refers to inner speech or a person’s conscious thoughts. Inner speech impacts a person’s behavior, along with physiological responses, emotional reactions, cognitions, and interpersonal interactions. The functions of inner speech include self-verbalizations or self-instructions, coping with stress, mediating physiological effects, and influencing and altering cognitive structures (Meichenbaum, 1977). The relevance of internal dialogue to modern CBT is Beck, the founder of CBT, used the term “automatic thoughts” to describe internal dialogue. An important aspect of changing behavior is the engagement of inner dialogue and listening to oneself. Producing inner speech and listening to the inner dialogue helps to bring consciousness to maladaptive behavior and helps to lay a foundation for creating new adaptive behavior (Meichenbaum, 1977).


    • Olivia Grella
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 08:25:06

      Julie, I like how when you were discussing internal dialogue and its relation to CBT you mentioned how important it was to changing behavior. In order to change a specific behavior, you need to also understand what thoughts are coming to mind that the person may not be aware are even occurring. I think making that connection between internal dialogue and automatic thoughts in CBT was a really important comparison to make.


    • Sarah Hine
      Sep 09, 2017 @ 10:50:49

      Julie, I think it is important that you bring up the sources of self-efficacy. Not only do these sources (vicarious learning, verbal persuasion, performance accomplishments, and physiological states) indicate how a person has developed their sense of self-efficacy, but it also indicates ways for how self-efficacy can change. I think these sources may be helpful to consider in therapy, and how to use them in order to guide a client in changing cognitions.
      It is also interesting that you bring up Ellis’ philosophical emphasis, and I agree with your point that this is a factor that differentiates REBT from CBT. At first glance, it appears the REBT and CBT are very similar, and it was difficult to come up with ways they differ. But, after reading through Ellis’ work, the reader gets a sense that he is teaching not just methods to change behavior, but rather a guiding philosophy for life, and that if you change your perspective of life to reflect this philosophy, you can reach for some kind of self-fulfillment. Beck’s theory certainly seems to take a more practical approach rather than a philosophical one, and its methods make it more integrative with other therapies.


  10. Alana Kearney
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 12:58:42

    Bandura’s concept of reciprocal determinism states that a person’s behavior, personal factors, and the environment in which the person lives all influence each other when interacting with others. The term itself seems self-explanatory in that each of these factors is done in return for one of the other factors and that these factors also cause the others to occur. Thus, every factor causes another factor, but also is caused by that other factor. In this way, it is difficult to find the chronology of the three co-occurring factors that influence human interactions. However, since part of the term is “reciprocal” it infers that humans do have some level of control over their own behaviors. The actions that we choose to take create environmental conditions, which then leads to certain behaviors, which create experiences that determine future actions and behaviors. Although it is difficult to determine which factor comes first, it is clear that they all work together and cause and affect each other.
    Self-efficacy is a person’s belief that he/she can commit to and perform certain behaviors that are necessary for certain situations. It requires the individual to believe that he/she can execute the behavior and believe that the behavior will lead to a desired outcome. The person must believe that the actions he/she will make will have positive outcomes while simultaneously believing that he/she is truly capable to perform the actions. These concepts are important in CBT because a client must understand that his/her thoughts and behaviors influence and impact each other, and also that he/she has the ability and capacity to change. Self-efficacy is meant to motivate the client to change and reciprocal determinism shows the client why change is necessary and possible.
    Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy seeks to identify and challenge irrational beliefs at their core. This therapy is built off the concept that humans have an innate tendency to think and behave irrationally. Therefore, the therapy seeks to challenge and dispute these core irrational beliefs. Similar to CBT, REBT recognizes that an individual’s distorted thoughts or beliefs that affect his/her behaviors and emotions. Both therapies seek to erase these thoughts in order to improve the person’s behaviors. Although REBT is similar to CBT, REBT has a different focus. It focuses on uprooting absolutistic demands that CBT recognizes as cognitive distortions. These therapists seek to understand why the person has these underlying thoughts that cause emotional disturbances. They work off the belief that people have three basic “musts” that keep them from attaining their goals, so the therapy works to dispute these irrational beliefs.
    Meichenbaum describes the function internal dialogue in terms of how it benefits individuals. He believes that this dialogue acts as interpersonal instructions that give the client verbal control of his/her behavior. It allows the client to create a plan of action that will elicit specific behaviors. This is relevant in CBT because the client recognizes the cognitions of how he thinks he can accomplish a certain task in order to achieve a certain behavior. This allows him to minimize stress because he can plan ways to cope in multiple possible situations, reassure himself, be aware of disturbing thoughts that might be in the way of the desired outcome, and predict which behaviors cue certain actions in order to plan around those. This internal dialogue is meant to show the client how much influence his/her thoughts have over his/her actions. This is especially important in CBT because in order to change distorted thoughts, the client must first be able to recognize them and rationally create a plan of action to change the behaviors.


    • Olivia Grella
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 08:25:55

      Alana, when discussing reciprocal determinism, I agree with you that it can be hard to determine the exact order those interactions between the person, behavior, and environment may actually be happening. I think we all want to at least try and determine which factor could be coming first, but that’s not always easy. In a process like reciprocal determinism where the three factors are always interacting and influencing each other in numerous ways, it can be difficult to figure out what that may be.


    • Chiara Nottie
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 14:41:24

      Ciao Alana,
      Your introduction of reciprocal determinism was well done, especially towards the end when you highlighted the importance of the “reciprocal” aspect of it. The tricky thing about reciprocal determinism is keeping in mind it is not unidirectional. I think as counselors we need to be careful to not only think about how our clients influence their environments but how environments influence them in return. Clients have a lot of control over how their lives go, as you mentioned, but they are not in control of everything. It will be interesting once we are out in the field to learn how to help clients address situations that developed independently from their influence. The idea of reciprocal determinism relates to the concept of self-efficacy, which pairs nicely with Meichenbaum’s concepts of internal dialogues. A client can alter how they “talk to themselves” during situations to improve their sense of accomplishment, and therefore, improving their sense of self-efficacy.


    • Luke Dery
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 17:13:16

      I identified with your point that is seems difficult to point our the main cause or problematic factor of the three given the workings of reciprocal determinism. To me, this equality among the factors puts even more emphasis on understanding the world an individual lives in before putting a plan of change into action. This “chicken or egg” argument makes treatment harder because it’s tough to know what factor to work on first. For example, if someone is in a bad relationship, would it be better to remove themselves from that relationship, or should they work on communication skills? It’s really hard to say.


  11. Stephanie Welch
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 13:00:00

    1) My understanding of Bandura’s thoughts on reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy are that reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy are both concepts to describe behavior. Reciprocal determinism describes the relationship between expectations and behavior, and the consequences of that behavior. Expectations influence behavior, behavior creates an outcome, and the outcome contributes to future expectations. For example, an individual can expect that he or she will always fail, fail get a specific job, and expect to fail at getting a job in the future. Self-efficacy refers to the level of mastery required to perform a behavior in order to get a desired outcome. If an individual has difficulties with social interaction, then he or she would not be able to master the task of talking to other people at a party.
    Reciprocal determinism is related to CBT by the reciprocal way that thoughts influence behavior. An individual can have a thought, act according to the thought, and that behavior will influence future thoughts and behavior. A person can have the thought that he or she always fail, fail a test, and the person will then have the thought that it was pointless to study since he or she failed the test. Self-efficacy is related to CBT by the person becoming aware whether the individual has the ability or deficit in certain areas of behavior. If the person does not study for the future test, he or she will not have the knowledge necessary to pass the test. A person can change his or her behavior of failing if he or she recognizes that he or she needs to study for the test.
    2) Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is similar to CBT by the therapist teaching the client to change his or her thought progress. Instead of an individual becoming angry over his or her child breaking a vase, the individual can rationalize that the vase should not have been placed in reach of the child. The thought process is changed from a highly emotional reaction to a reaction developed by thinking before reacting. It is different from CBT because the therapist is taking a more rational approach to the thought process and trying to avoid intense emotion.
    REBT is also similar to CBT because the client is learning to recognize how feelings influence behavior. A man who is coming home after his wife is asleep may not recognize that he is doing the behavior to avoid arguing with his wife. This is shown in the belief that thinking affects emotions which in turn affects behavior. The man thinks that he should come home late, feels calm, and continues to avoid talking to his wife. It is different because it utilizes a reward and punishment system. Ellis suggests that an individual should be rewarding themselves for good behavior and punishing for bad behavior. The man in the example would internally praise himself for avoiding conflict and punish himself if his wife decides to wait until he comes home to speak with him.
    3) My understanding of Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” is that the “internal dialogue” is the thoughts that an individual has regarding the environment and other factors. Meichenbaum gave the example of an individual giving a speech and people left. The “internal dialogue” could be negative, in which the individual thinks that the audience must be bored. The “internal dialogue” could be positive, in which the individual rationalizes that the people left due to other factors such as a work obligation.
    The relevance to CBT lies in the process of understanding how the “internal dialogue” influences the the individual’s behavior and perception of his or her environment. Maladaptive “internal dialogue” can lead to maladaptive behavior and the individual believing that the environment should be avoided. By examining the “internal dialogue”, an individual can begin to realize the impact that the “internal dialogue” has on his or her life. Then, the individual can take steps to change the “internal dialogue”.


    • Julie Crantz
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 16:38:10

      Hi Stephanie, I think the approach you take to relating the concept of inner dialogue to CBT is very insightful. The process of examining inner dialogue and how this impacts a person’s behavior plus how he or she perceives the surrounding environment is very important. Negative self-talk and maladaptive internal dialogue can certainly lead a person to believe negative things about his or her environment, creating potential maladaptive behavior. With increased self-awareness of the negative internal dialogue, people can learn to recognize how this dialogue influences their environment and behavior. People can learn to take steps to alter the inner dialogue and move toward increased adaptive functioning.


  12. Sarah Hine
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 13:57:26

    1. Bandura’s theory emphasizes the individual’s reactions to the environment and the affects the individual’s thoughts have over feelings and behaviors. He criticizes theories that explain behaviors as automatic impulses. Bandura’s theory stresses the importance of reciprocal determinism, an idea that defines the relationship between a person and the environment as reciprocal and dependent on one another, both interacting with and changing each other. A person’s interactions with and responses to what is going on in the environment are influenced by her thoughts and perceptions of external events. A person’s relationship with the environment is also reciprocal in the sense that her behaviors and thoughts not only shape perception of the environment, but they also influence what happens in the environment and what kind of environment they choose to be in. A person’s influence shapes the environment, and in turn, the environment that is partly of their own making again influences them. An example of this reciprocal relationship can be seen when a person reacts to stressful situations with aggressive behaviors because they feel threatened. When they respond aggressively, the people around them reciprocate this aggression, confirming thoughts and feelings in the person and furthering the aggressive response. Reciprocal determinism is similar to CBT in that it is in part based off of the principle that thoughts have influences over feelings, behaviors, and the environment. CBT sees behaviors and the environment interacting with each other in a reciprocal relationship involving a situation (the environment), thoughts and behaviors, all influencing each other. Both are similar in their views that cognitive appraisals of an environment or event are central to understanding why a person behaves in a certain way. Bandura’s emphasis on learning to make changes to these thoughts also relates to CBT’s emphasis on training a person to change beliefs and schemas in order to make changes to behaviors and function in a more adaptive, healthy manner.

    Self-efficacy is an individual’s understanding of himself and his beliefs about his own abilities. Self-efficacy is related to expectations about abilities and competence, and it affects behavior and interpretations of events. Self-efficacy affects how a person chooses to behave, what kind of behaviors he chooses to engage in, and how long he will choose to behave in such a way based on his beliefs about his abilities. Self-efficacy can be true or misguided, and can motivate a person to engage in behaviors that are either beneficial or harmful. Self-efficacy is learned through several different components, including modeling, personal experience, emotional responses, and “verbal persuasion”, or what others convince an individual he or she is able to do. These learning processes lead to initial beliefs about self-efficacy, and can also contribute to changes in self-efficacy needed for alterations in behaviors. Only when a person’s beliefs in his own abilities are established can he find the motivation to respond with certain behaviors that may benefit him. Self-efficacy also relates to how a person responds to events and distress. If a person faces a stressful situation, he may believe that he is incapable of dealing with the situation or that any attempts they make to deal with it will be futile. Self-efficacy is much like CBT’s emphasis on core beliefs and automatic thoughts. A person’s self-efficacy has much to do with his thoughts and belief systems, and these beliefs and thoughts determine actions and behaviors. In CBT, a person may have a core belief that impacts how he views himself in relation to the environment, and similar to self-efficacy, his beliefs about his own self will lead to whether or not he believes he can or should behave in certain ways. Changing behaviors for both Bandura and CBT begin not with changing the environment, but with changing thoughts about the environment and how the person relates to the environment. Similar to CBT, Bandura’s theory believes that change begins with changes in thought processes.

    2. REBT is similar to CBT in its understanding of thoughts and their relation to behaviors. Much like CBT, REBT states that cognitions are key to understanding why individuals behave in the ways they do, and changes in cognitions can lead to changes in behaviors. REBT involves the process of activating events, which lead to irrational beliefs, which lead to consequences. This is similar to CBT’s view of the progression of thoughts and behaviors, which begin with a situation, which leads to beliefs/thoughts about the situation, and in turn lead to a behavior. Generally, irrational, or unrealistic interpretations of events through belief systems lead to inappropriate and self-defeating behaviors in both CBT and in REBT. Irrational thinking involves misconstrued views of the world with a response of irrational and maladaptive behaviors that create distress for the individual. To solve this dilemma, individuals can alter behaviors through becoming aware of their irrational ways of thinking, which in turn will change their behaviors. For both CBT and REBT, the client must contribute to therapy and the change must occur on the part of the client. The client cannot ensure lasting change if they are not able to change their thoughts to more rational or realistic ones. Homework and practice are essential for both therapies, with the goal of creating meaningful and lasting change through continued work in between sessions so that changes can be sustained past therapy.

    Emotion as a key component to change is a concept in REBT that is both similar to and different from CBT. Emotions come from an evaluation of what is happening around a person, and can be controlled by perception of events as either good or bad. Emotions affect behaviors, which in turn affect the quality of a person’s life in both CBT and REBT. However, REBT’s focus on emotion and the necessity of pleasure differs from CBT’s focus. REBT has more of an emphasis on controlling emotions through the control of thoughts about these emotions, acknowledging them as rational or irrational, self-defeating or self-promoting, in order to bring positive consequences for the individual. While emotions are certainly affected by CBT, the focus is more toward behaviors and their effects on the person. CBT also places more of an emphasis on the reciprocal relationship among the environment, beliefs, and behaviors, and how each component is important for understanding a person and how to create positive change.

    While both CBT and REBT emphasize practice of skills and thought change, Ellis’ teachings and outlook of therapy are guided by his philosophy of rational thinking. Ellis’ outcome of therapy is not just aimed at behavior change and an increase in skills, but at in new, rational way of looking at life, with the goal of increasing pleasure. Through accepting this philosophy of rational thinking, a person will be able to reach an ideal psychological state of mind. CBT differs in its more practical approach, in its grounding in empirical research, and in its goal to raise awareness and teach skills to change behaviors that are helpful in reducing stress for that person, rather than focusing on developing a new philosophy of life. Finally, REBT’s approach to therapy differs from CBT in that it often requires the therapist to use tactics that appear to be blunt and confrontational in order to raise awareness and tackle irrationality. While CBT is also direct and practical, the style of therapy certainly appears to be less aggressive and more cooperative.

    3. Internal dialogue can be understood as the guiding thoughts within a person that shape the way they perform tasks and how they behave in certain situations. These thoughts involve the perceptions a person has of her environment and how she interprets events in relation to her own experience. A person’s behavior is guided by her internal dialogue and can be changed if the internal dialogue is altered. This idea of an “internal dialogue” is very relevant to the modern CBT and relates to the ideas of automatic thoughts and schemas. Internal dialogue is similar to automatic thoughts because they both involve thoughts a person has in response to what is happening around them. TSchemas’ relation to automatic thoughts in CBT are similar to the idea of cognitive structures’ relation to internal dialogues. Both serve the purpose of having an organization or view of interpreting information that affects the way individuals think. A person’s automatic thoughts, or internal dialogue, are influenced by these ways of viewing the world. Internal dialogue is also similar to CBT in that through the change of internal dialogue, or in CBT, beliefs and thoughts, behavior change can occur. When a person becomes aware of her internal thoughts and their relation to perceptions and behaviors, she is able to enact change of these thoughts, and she is able to respond differently to the environment and react to the environment through more appropriate, beneficial thoughts and actions.


    • Venessa Wiafe
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 00:24:58

      Hi Sarah, I really liked how you were able to shed light on the fact that emotions play a role in both CBT and REBT, and the ways in which they differ in terms of how their role is played in each form of therapy. I didn’t exactly realize how emotions work differently in the two forms of therapies until just now. It is salient to be able to acknowledge the difference in how emotion affects one’s behavior because the behavior is what needs to be altered. Since emotions play a big role in these forms of therapy, it is vital to get to the root of what stirs an individual’s emotions negatively and why. Negative behaviors need to be omitted so that positive and much more appropriate, healthier, and adaptive changes can be implemted so that individuals can live a better functuoning life.


    • Luke Dery
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 17:33:27

      I liked your point about how REBT has a more direct or aggressive approach than CBT. It seems like the theoretical ideas behind REBT enforce the statement “You think irrationally.” Negative consequences could arise when a client has irrational thoughts but sees them as logical or true. A client could also feel invalidated if they were told their thoughts are simply irrational. REBT tactics seem similar to being told your have a problem, whereas CBT tactics seem similar to discovery on your on that you have a problem. CBT seems to approach irrational thinking by saying that your thoughts could be irrational, but they also could be true, and it’s your job to make that decision. It feels more empowering to be able to have this conversation rather than being told your thinking is flawed. Sometimes, irrational thinking may not be causing any harm, and CBT seems to accept that not all negative thinking is inherently flawed.


  13. Noella Teylan-Cashman
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 14:52:34

    Reciprocal determinism refers to the continual, bidirectional relationship between individual and environment. This social learning view of interaction specifically addresses the relationship between behavior, thoughts/emotions, and environmental factors. An individual can affect his/her environment, and in turn, the environment can affect the individual. As explained by Bandura, the “potential environment” is the same for everyone, but the “actual environment” experienced by each individual differs, based on his/her behavior and the response it elicits from the environment. Behavior partially determines which of the many prospective environmental influences will become activated and how they will manifest; in turn, environmental influences partially influence which behaviors are developed and initiated. The reciprocal determinism view supposes that individuals have free will (and their behaviors are not simply products of their environment), and that they can produce environmental affects with their own behavior. This concept is important in relation to CBT, because it illustrates the complicated relationship between individual and environment. This is important for a client to understand, so that they become aware of how their behaviors influence the interactions they have with others. For example, a client may be distraught during session because he had gotten in a fight with his girlfriend, and he felt she was being unreasonable and uncompromising. By viewing this situation from the lens of reciprocal determinism, it enables the client to observe how his own behavior may have contributed to the hostile environment with his girlfriend.

    According to Bandura, self-efficacy is an individual’s belief about his/her competence level; self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief that he/she can successfully complete a required task. True self-efficacy occurs when an individual believes he/she can perform the desired behavior properly, and that it will lead to a desired outcome. As levels of self-efficacy increase, the amount of goals set by an individual also increases, along with their perseverance level. If a person is confident in their own abilities and believes the goals he/she has set are attainable, they will continue to work hard until they achieve what they want. In contrast, if a person has low self-efficacy, he/she will be less willing to set goals and will have lower levels of perseverance because he/she thinks that the goals are unreachable. The concept of self-efficacy is extremely relevant in relation to CBT—often times clients will have low levels of self-efficacy, which leaves them feeling “stuck” in adverse situations because they feel that they are powerless and cannot make a change. In therapy, the clinician should work to enhance the clients’ sense of self-efficacy so that they can develop effective coping strategies to face the difficult situations at hand.

    Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) share many of the same theoretical frameworks. For example, both REBT and CBT operate on the assumption that individuals develop distorted thinking patterns and irrational core beliefs that lead to a psychological disturbance. Each therapy aims to restructure these distorted thinking patterns and irrational core beliefs in efforts to produce optimal behavior changes. Another similarity between the two forms of therapy is the implementation of “homework” in between sessions. This allows clients to work on skills outside of therapy sessions, and encourages them to continually apply the skills in their everyday lives. A notable difference between REBT and CBT is the directive approach taken by Ellis in therapy. Ellis seems to challenge clients’ distorted thoughts in a more aggressive manner than proposed by Beck. Ellis aimed to pinpoint the negative emotion that predisposed the distorted thoughts, whereas that does not seem to be a large focus of CBT.

    Meichenbaum’s “internal dialogue” refers to an ongoing conversation that occurs in the mind of the individual, during which the individual both talks and listens to him/herself. This internal dialogue allows individuals to appraise situations at hand, and ultimately affects how they choose to react to the situation, based on their internal appraisal. These internal dialogues tie into the CBT concepts of distorted thoughts and core beliefs. One might say that internal dialogues produce distorted thoughts and core beliefs; if a person engages in negative self-talk and continuously appraises each situation in a negative manner, it can lead to distorted thinking patterns, which can build and solidify negative core beliefs.


    • Alana Kearney
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 11:36:06

      Hi Noella,
      In your response, I really appreciated that you included a real life example in your explanation of reciprocal determinism. It seems like a pretty basic term because its definition is in its actual name; however, as in all of psychology, it is one thing to understand the definition of the term an another to know how to recognize it in a real situation. Often times it is difficult to see how you are personally affecting a situation, but there are clearly so many factors that contribute to social learning. Sometimes it can be hard for the client to believe that his/her own actions could created a hostile environment if that wasn’t his/her intention. By showing the client this new perspective, he/she can gain true insight and understanding in order to be more prepared for future, similar situations.


    • Chiara Nottie
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 14:17:19

      Ciao Noella,
      How you broke down the information for this week’s post was very clear and concise. I especially appreciated how you clarified the differences between reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy. Bandura’s explanation between “actual environment” and “potential environment” was a helpful piece of information to include, that not all of us did. As counselors, we are going to spend a lot of time comparing a client’s “potential environment” and “actual environment” to know how urgent some issues may be to address. Reading your interpretation of self-efficacy stood out to me right away as well. Once again, as beginning counselors, I can easily see how addressing a client’s low perception of self-efficacy could be very challenging. The biggest challenge towards addressing self-efficacy is its subjectivity. Since every client will have their own values they place upon tasks, and ways they measure how successful they are at completing said tasks, it will be difficult to not use our own personal values to compare with theirs. I think it will take practice to remain sensitive towards clients, who have tasks they highly value, that we may not value as strongly. This is potentially problematic because it could affect our beginning abilities to motivate our clients. As we’ve learned so far in our program, motivation and encouragement is extremely important to instill in clients in order for them to return to therapy and complete homework assignments. Further complicating matters is Meichenbaum’s internal dialogue. As counselors, we are unable to read our clients’ minds, therefore we must trust what they confide in us. If our clients are dishonest with how they feel then little progress can be made. This relates back to self-efficacy, because typically we need a source of self-dialogue when we are affronted with a novel task. We most likely have conversations with ourselves when approaching a new tasks to gauge how important it is to us to achieve, or to gauge how successful we are at achieving it. The theories we read this week were all very interesting, and it will be more interesting to develop practical skills towards addressing them.


  14. Lindsey
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 15:03:19

    Reciprocal determinism is the notion that a person’s behavior and environment are reflections of continuous two-way interactions that are reciprocal in nature. In reciprocal determinism, behavior dispositions and the environment influence the activation or operation of the other. Personal determinants do not influence the environment unless activated by the environment, in turn, influencing one of many potential environments to become activated by the behavior. This bidirectional influence affects self-efficacy and self-efficacy affects the bidirectional influence. New behavior patterns and self-efficacy are acquired or retained through cognitive processes such as cognitive appraisal and perceived consequence. For example, cognitive representations of contingencies influence efficacy expectations. These expectations can influence the initiation, frequency, and duration of coping behavior and determine how much effort a person is willing to expend. Overall, the continual sequences of interaction are based on counterinfluences between reciprocal determinants of behavior and the environment. Beck’s cognitive triad addresses the client’s view of oneself, world, and future; it is used as part of CBT to treat negative automatic thoughts. If a client is experiencing negative automatic thoughts, they are more prone to cognitive biases that create misinterpretations or cognitive distortions regarding their interactions and accomplishments. These cognitive biases can negatively influence self-efficacy. In CBT, the client ultimately learns how cognitive activity affects behavior and vice versa. A CBT therapist defers to evidence based treatment practices to overcome clients’ distorted thinking patterns. Since expectations of personal efficacy are based on sources like performance accomplishments and emotional arousal, therapists can use systematic desensitization and exposure techniques that offer opportunities for psychoeducation, constructive feedback, and practice towards gaining personal ‘mastery’ over one’s thoughts and behaviors. According to social learning theory, successive feedback increases self-efficacy, creating positive reinforcement conditions for optimal therapeutic outcomes.

    Aaron Beck (CBT) and Albert Ellis (REBT) share psychodynamic training backgrounds both support the basic tenets of CBT such as cognitive restructuring, self-analysis, and the need to change schemas associated with irrational thinking patterns. Both therapeutic orientations defer to the scientific method to prove or disprove thinking patterns. Like CBT, REBT focuses on internalized beliefs and the effects of internal dialogue. Unlike reciprocal determinism exhibited in CBT, it appears that Ellis’ REBT identifies behavior and the environment as independent entities. Ellis states humans “upset themselves” by having innate irrational beliefs about an activating event or experience that took place in their life. The assumed innate tendency to think and behave irrationally suggests a person’s basic belief system must be continuously assessed. CBT assumes schemas begin with an initiating condition that develops over time based on accumulated experiences that are bidirectionally influenced by a person’s behavior and environment. The primary goal of REBT is to uproot emotional disturbance(s) by challenging innate irrational beliefs through questionable methods that include ‘shame-attacking exercises’, operant conditioning, and rational emotive imagery. Any therapeutic technique that utilizes a stimulus-response model is not considered CBT. Overall, CBT employs more ethical and empirically validated treatment methods to support adaptive cognitive-behavioral change. In contrast to REBT, the actual outcomes of CBT vary person to person. Cognitive, behavioral, emotional, or physiological changes in the client are good indicators of optimal CBT outcomes.

    Meichenbaum proposed covert and overt behaviors can be self-regulated under a person’s own verbal control. The client’s attentional and appraisal processes are influenced by internal dialogue; therefore, the internal dialogue is relevant to change affect, thought, and behavior. Cognitive distortions such as impractical cognitive appraisals can negatively affect feelings and behaviors. The interplay between affect and cognition can lead to negative automatic thoughts and maladaptive functioning. The primary goal of CBT is to replace maladaptive appraisals with more adaptive appraisals. A person’s perception is the equivalent to person’s reality so it is imperative that CBT therapists identify the client’s internal dialogue and distorted thinking patterns in order to produce optimal growth. By cognitively restructuring maladaptive thoughts and self-talk about anxiety/threat/fear-provoking cues, the client is more apt to utilize coping skills learned in CBT to demonstrate a level of competence based on adaptive cognitions.


    • Venessa Wiafe
      Sep 08, 2017 @ 00:02:06

      Hi Lindsey, I really liked how you touched upon the primary goal of CBT, which is being able to have clients replace their maladaptive appraisals with much more adaptive appraisals. It is extremely vital to address how internal dialogue ties in with CBT, because it is these internal dialogues that pave the way for adaptive appraisals to replace maladaptive appraisals. These internal dialogues allow individuals to be able to “think before they act” and prevent maladaptive appraisals from occurring. Internal dialogue is utilized to makes sure optimal growth is achieved within individuals and without internal dialogue, that task can be hard to accomplish. Internal dialogue plays a huge role in altering one’s negative thoughts and behaviors and internal dialogue and CBT definitely go hand in hand to be able to omit the negatively and provide positive changes.


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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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