Topic 6: Automatic Thoughts & Core Beliefs {by 10/8}

[Automatic Thoughts] – Watch MDD-12: Automatic Thoughts – Negative Automatic Thought Record.  Answer the following: (1) How is the client’s response to the outcome (emotionally and cognitively) helpful to understanding his distress? (2) What would be effective Socratic techniques to modify his negative automatic thought?

 

[Core Beliefs] – (1) What are core beliefs?  (2) What are the therapeutic gains that come from modifying core beliefs?

 

Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 10/8.  Have your two replies posted no later than 10/10.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Allie Supernor
    Oct 04, 2020 @ 12:14:01

    Part One-
    A large part of CBT is evaluating and modifying negative automatic thoughts. As we have talked about all semester long, this should be a collaborative process between helper and client. When evaluating the negative automatic thought, it is helpful to rate the emotional intensity and thought believability. Rating emotion intensity helps determine if the automatic thought warrants farther examination. Is this thought worth modifying? Similarly, rating thought believability helps determine likelihood of this thought occurring again. After you have uncovered the ratings and identified if you would modify this negative automatic thought, it may be helpful to evaluate the cognitive distortion. The primary purpose of using cognitive distortion labels I to help clients recognize their own patterns of maladaptive behaviors. For example, Mark knew his pattern of thinking was categorized as “personalization.” This can generate metacognition and self-awareness. A negative automatic thought record is a written exercise to do exactly that! It is a good intervention to do all the steps: identifying, evaluate and modify the negative automatic thought! In addition to facilitating this homework, ss a therapist you have to watch for a client’s response to these exercises. Understanding a client’s emotional and cognitive reaction is critical to understanding their distress. It is also essential that the client can conceptually understand the difference between a thought and emotion when completing a negative automatic though record. If clients still continue to have a difficult time differentiate between thoughts and emotions this would be an indicator that more psychoeducation is needed. The goal of the negative automatic thought record is to simply visually connect their common negative emotions with specific events. It allows the client to have a solid understanding of events that cause negative automatic thoughts and how those thoughts influence their emotions and behaviors (body sensations).
    There are several Socratic techniques used in cognitive-behavioral therapy. Socratic questioning is a common term in CBT that refers to asking clients direct question about their negative automatic thoughts to help them see the truth through their own words. In this course we talk about 6 Socratic techniques, noting that not every technique will work for every negative automatic thought. The first Socratic technique I recommend for Mark’s negative automatic thought would be examining the evidence. Dr. V began this in his MDD-12 video. This should be done first to identify if the negative automatic thought is believable and valid. Additionally, through doing this technique, you have to prove it to the client. Without examining the evidence of why it is valid, modifying the negative automatic thought may not be effective. A second technique I would recommend for Mark would be exploring alternative outcomes. Is there another explanation for why Jeff didn’t want to have lunch with you? Pointing out other possible explanations for the outcome may show him his negative automatic thought is not valid. The last recommendation would be separate self from negative automatic thought. It is hard to be objective when it happens to ourselves. Therefore, posing the scenario with a different individual may be helpful. What would you say if this happened to Melissa? If Mark offers an alternative interpretation that appears to be more adaptive and relevant that ask them to apply it to themselves!

    Part Two-
    For long lasting behavior change, you have to go beyond just negative automatic thoughts. This is done so through exploring their negative core beliefs. Core beliefs are the schemas that provide rules for our information processing. Essentially, core beliefs are all-or-nothing statements that are rigid, global, and overgeneralized views about the selves, others and how the world operates. Aaron Beck categorized all core beliefs into three categories: helplessness, worthlessness and unlovability. However, some clients may have core beliefs that fall into more than one category.
    Core beliefs provide how individuals perceive and take in information from the environment. This determines how they cognitively process information and behaviorally respond to the world around them. Therefore, heling your clients with their negative core beliefs ahs the potential to change the way they view themselves, interact others, and view the whole world! Obviously by doing this you modify negative automatic thoughts and diminish overall distress.

    Reply

    • Madi
      Oct 07, 2020 @ 18:24:50

      Hi Allie,
      I thought your answer to the automatic thought questions was spot on, well explained, and greatly worded. In your discussion about Socratic questioning you stated that it was a “direct question.” I’m not sure if I could phrase it that way. While you are questioning the client, I see it as more open ended, so you are helping them come to their own conclusion, but you are guiding them to the answer. I think the phrase “guided discovery” works in the lens of Socratic questioning. Finally, I thought you did a fantastic job at explaining core beliefs.

      Reply

  2. Selene Anaya
    Oct 07, 2020 @ 15:13:55

    Automatic Thoughts – Negative Automatic Thought Record. 

    (1) Mark’s emotional and cognitive response to the outcome is helpful in understanding his distress because it can reveal information about the negative thoughts he is having. It can also help to uncover some negative thinking patterns and feelings that may be associated with them and those can become the main items to focus on in therapy. Through identifying the emotions and cognitions that he is having during particular situations, he can understand where his distress is coming from and he can identify and challenge those thoughts and see if the severity of his distress changes. Not only can identifying it for the future be helpful but breaking down the thoughts and feelings that Mark has in response to the situation in therapy, he is able to see more clearly that it is possible his strong thoughts of him not being liked are a bit extreme and untrue. In another video, I remember he realized that at the moment he completely forgot that his coworker asked him to go out for lunch another time because he was so upset. In therapy, he remembered that happened and he realized that his feelings in the past took over rational thinking that he is liked even when evidence that he was liked was presented.

    2) A few Socratic techniques can be helpful for Mark to modify his negative automatic thought of being unliked by his coworker. First off, it would be helpful to further examine the evidence for the thought by asking Mark what evidence there is that supports his thought and what evidence there is against his thought. I think it would also be super helpful to use the technique of exploring possible alternative explanations for his thought because it will challenge Mark to look at other possible reasons for why his coworker could not get lunch. Asking, “Is there another explanation for him not being able to go to lunch other than him not liking you?”, allows Mark to think of the possibility that his coworker was maybe busy or did not have time at that moment to get lunch with him. This was done in a previous video and it was clear that Mark did not really believe that he was busy. I think also separating himself from the negative automatic thought and asking him what he would tell his family member or friend if they had a similar thought as he did could be helpful given that Mark did not initially believe there were other reasons why his coworker could not go to lunch with him.

    [Core Beliefs] –

    (1) Core beliefs are all or nothing statements that are overgeneralized views about the self, others, and how the world works for that individual. They are rigid guidelines that govern how people think and interpret situations. For example, if a person has a core belief of being unloveable, almost every situation or human interaction for them will contain thoughts of being rejected, unliked, never cared for, and no matter what happens they will feel like they will always be alone. Core beliefs are said to develop during childhood through significant life events, people, and even biological vulnerability. These beliefs are biased towards information that supports their belief and the individuals will disregard any information that goes against their belief. We see this with Mark when his coworker even told him he was busy he disregarded it, forgot about it, and ended up ruminating about the fact that he was unliked the rest of the day until it was brought up again in therapy. These core beliefs are also reinforced and validated by constant patterns of negative thoughts, emotions, and maladaptive behaviors.

    2) To modify a core belief, it has to be identified, and once the core belief is identified and understood, the more the therapist can understand the negative automatic thoughts that come from it. Understanding the core belief can also allow therapists to create a more personalized case formulation and implement more effective interventions. Through modifying core beliefs, clients will be able to reduce their current and future stressors. This is a therapeutic gain because identifying and modifying the core belief will have a positive impact on the individual’s future and provide them with the skills to get through other life stressors. Also, once the core beliefs are modified, more focus can be put on other presenting problems while also keeping in mind the core belief that was once there and ensure that it has been modified. In modifying core beliefs, we are creating new, positive core beliefs and giving clients the opportunity to change their thinking into more reasonable thoughts. For example, for a client who believes he/she is extremely flawed, modifying this thought would look like changing this thought into, “I do have some flaws like other people, but I also have some great qualities as well”. It is not a complete change of thought, but it is more adaptive and not as extreme as the original core belief.

    Reply

    • Madi
      Oct 07, 2020 @ 18:27:40

      Hi Selene,
      I agree with you completely that it is important to mark to understand and identify his distress. I find that this is a key moment in therapy and gives the client power. Additionally, I thought you explained Socratic techniques very well. Finally, I thought you gave a very clear and synced answer to the questions about core beliefs.

      Reply

    • Alison Kahn
      Oct 07, 2020 @ 19:18:46

      Selene,

      I really like how you spoke not only about modifying negative core beliefs, but also bolstering/creating positive core beliefs to replace negative ones. I think it’s just as important to identify and promote positive core beliefs as it is to modify negative ones.

      Reply

  3. Madi
    Oct 07, 2020 @ 18:17:58

    1. Automatic Thoughts
    a. The client’s response to the outcome was helpful to understanding the level of distress he was in. When he vocalized it we are able to get an insight to how he is perceiving the situation. By identifying what he is experiencing emotionally and cognitively it teaches mark how to do so on his own. Even here Dr. V is teaching and showing Mark how to be his own therapist. This approach helps Mark learn to identify his negative thoughts and how to understand their role. By understanding this Mark would then be able to fact check and ground him self in a rational mind.
    b. I feel that Mark would greatly benefit from Socratic questioning. First, Mark would benefit from examining the evidence. If mark were to examine the evidence, he would be able to determine the validity of his negative thoughts. Second, it would be helpful to de-catastrophize the perceived negative outcome. The negative outcome being having to sit alone. If Mark would be able to de0castrophize this outcome, then his negative thoughts would have less power. Third, Mark could explore other explanations for when his co-worker did not want to get lunch with him. It might not have been a personal attack on Mark but something else entirely.
    2. Core Beliefs
    a. Core beliefs are how we perceive the world. They are the template on which we have rules and information is processed by using those rules. Additionally, they are the generalization about the self, others, and the workings of the world.
    b. There are great therapeutic gains to be had from modifying core beliefs. There are three main categories which are helplessness, worthlessness, and unlovability. When working to modify a core belief the therapist is seeking to modify how the client perceives the world. If the core belief is negative, then it is negatively impacting the client. In modification of core beliefs the therapist is trying to have the client see that the core belief they hold is negative and by modifying it the client will be able to shift their perspective to see the self, others, and the world in a better light.

    Reply

    • Alison Kahn
      Oct 07, 2020 @ 19:22:56

      Madi,

      I like how you emphasized teaching Mark to be his own therapist in your discussion post. I totally agree with you about the importance of teaching these skills so that Mark is able to access them outside of therapy. It’s interesting to consider that Mark is able to not only learn about himself and his negative automatic thoughts in the moment, but he is also simultaneously gaining “tools for his toolbox” to use in the future.

      Reply

    • Eileen Kinnane
      Oct 07, 2020 @ 23:29:56

      Hi Madi,

      I really like how you mentioned Mark gaining the skills to become his own therapist. It’s really important that he practices this skills now so in the future, he is able to understand his distress on a cognitive and emotional level and has the skills to center himself in the situation and respond more rationally. I also really like how you pointed out the importance of de-catastrophizing the perceived negative outcome. You made a great point in explaining the importance de-catastrophizing Mark having to sit alone and its correlation with his negative automatic thoughts. Along with this, if Mark works to de-catastrophize sitting alone, he might also be able to prevent the process of ruminating about the event.

      Reply

    • Francesca DePergola
      Oct 10, 2020 @ 15:40:33

      Hi Madi,
      I think it is really important how you mention that Dr. V is helping Mark become his own therapist. This is a very important part of CBT and I feel like to get through to the client it is important not only to identify the level of distress but also to teach Mark to do it on his own. I think the Socratic technique to de-catastrophize the situation because I feel like he was ruminating so much on the idea that Mark does not want to be his friend or do anything with him, it completely distracted him and the fact that his friend ended up coming to him later apologizing and rescheduling.If Mark was more able to focus on the positive and not ruminate on the negative he could cope better when small obstacles come his way.

      Reply

  4. Alison Kahn
    Oct 07, 2020 @ 19:15:12

    Part 1:

    a) Mark’s response to the outcome is helpful in understanding his distress because it allows Dr. V to gain insight into how Mark is experiencing the event. Given that the goal of CBT therapy with Mark is to challenge and modify distorted thinking, it is necessary to understand the thoughts that are preceding Mark’s emotions and actions. That is, it may not be readily understandable to others why Mark displays negative emotions and isolates in response to an outcome. Once mark describes his thoughts regarding the outcome, however, it is much more apparent why he is experiencing distress, which is ultimately helpful for both Mark and Dr. V. Mark’s cognitive and emotional responses (his negative automatic thought that his coworker doesn’t want to spend time with him and his decision/feelings about getting fast food alone) shed light on an overarching tendency to personalize, internalize, and ruminate over events. This insight can be extremely helpful in the treatment process.

    b) Mark would benefit from practicing several Socratic techniques. One such technique is examining the evidence. In several of his sessions with Dr. V, Mark has been able to challenge his negative automatic thoughts by considering whether or not they are valid. He tends to seem less distressed and more self-aware when he does this. Identifying evidence for or against his negative automatic thoughts can help Mark become aware of the inaccuracy of the thought while also validating the emotional response that it elicits. Other techniques that Mark would benefit from are exploring possible alternative explanations and shifting attributional biases. Being that Mark tends to personalize events, it would be helpful for him to engage in a technique in which he is able to consider potential external explanations for events rather than assume that he is responsible or at fault.

    Part 2:

    a) Core beliefs are rigid, overgeneralized views about oneself, others, and the world. Core beliefs serve as templates that inform information processing and may display themselves externally as a pattern of negative automatic thoughts.

    b) Given that core beliefs inform the way individuals perceive themselves, others, and the world, modifying negative core beliefs can be very therapeutically beneficial. Gaining knowledge about a client’s core belief can allow for the formulation of appropriate treatment plans and intervention techniques. Further, modifying negative core beliefs can reduce current distress and prevent future distress.

    Reply

    • Haley Scola
      Oct 08, 2020 @ 11:55:38

      Hi Alison,
      I liked how you incorporated the goals of CBT in your response. We used the same Socratic techniques, but I think your reasoning for exploring possible alternatives was so insightful when you pointed out how he’s shown a pattern of personalizing events. Additionally, I think you did a good job at explaining the therapeutic gains of modifying core beliefs by explaining its helpfulness in treatment plan formulation and current and preventative future distress.

      Reply

    • Allie Supernor
      Oct 08, 2020 @ 15:12:27

      Hey Alison, I liked your detailed explanation on the importance of understanding how a client understands in these sessions. I also liked how you had a caution in your post. You mention that as therapist we may not understand Mark’s negative emotions and why he isolates. However, once mark describes his thoughts regarding the outcome, however, it is much more apparent why he is experiencing distress. This insight and understand leads to the understanding of his negative automatic thoughts and ultimately, core beliefs. Great connection and in depth explanation.

      Reply

    • Selene Anaya
      Oct 09, 2020 @ 13:41:09

      Hey Alison!
      I really like how you worded the first part. As a therapist, being able to gain insight into how our clients are experiencing the event is extremely helpful for understanding the client’s distress. From here we will be able to get a picture of how experiences are perceived and how the clients react. In Mark’s case, it revealed the tendencies that Mark has to personalize and ruminate over events. I like how you tied in his tendency to personalizing events to the Socratic technique of examining the evidence because it will provide mark with other possible explanations for the event.

      Reply

  5. Eileen Kinnane
    Oct 07, 2020 @ 23:24:12

    1a. How a client responds to certain exercises can be critical in therapy and in future treatment planning. It is also beneficial in evaluating the client’s distress levels. Mark’s response to the outcome is helpful to understanding his distress because it is able to provide insight into his negative automatic thoughts. Going through the process of vocalizing and reflecting on his thoughts and feelings, Mark is provided with some practice on how to reflect if a similar situation arrises in the future. If it happens, Mark now has the skills to identify the facts, take the perspective of the other parties involved, and hopefully maintain his thoughts at a more rational level.

    1b. One socratic technique I think Mark would benefit from would be examining the evidence. When Mark goes through this process in session, he seems to become more aware of his irrational though patterns and is able to identify and challenge his negative automatic thoughts. Going through this process, Mark is able to understand that his emotions are valid, but it’s his negative automatic thoughts that may need some modification. With Mark, I also think it would be beneficial to explore alternative outcomes. Spending time reflecting on why his co-worker might not have been available for lunch is helpful for Mark in identifying other potential explantations, but also identifying more of Mark’s negative automatic thoughts and how they may be irrational given the situation.

    2a. Core beliefs are the way in which an individual perceives the world to be. They are a template of rules on how to process information and are usually developed and constructed in childhood and adolescence. They are statements about one’s self, others, and the world that are overgeneralized and rigid.

    2b. Since core beliefs are the way in which individual’s view themselves, others, and the world, it is extremely important to be able to identify what those core beliefs are, and then work to modify that core belief if necessary. If the client’s core belief is negative, identifying and modifying it can be significant in reducing a client’s current distress. Identifying and modifying a negative core beliefs allows for the opportunity for a client to modify the way in which they view themselves, others, and/or the world, especially if the clients belief is centered around helplessness, worthlessness, and/or unlovability.

    Reply

    • Allie Supernor
      Oct 08, 2020 @ 15:09:07

      Hi Eileen, I really enjoyed the way you rationale the importance of understanding the client’s understanding. Particularly when you spoke about going through the process of vocalizing and reflecting on ones thoughts and feelings. I agree that the process allowed Mark tp provide some practice on how to reflect if a similar situation arises in the future. Which is ultimately what cognitive-behavioral therapy is all about!

      Reply

    • Trey Powers
      Oct 10, 2020 @ 19:27:18

      Hi Eileen!

      I would agree with you that examining the evidence would be a good technique to use with Mark. I’d actually go even further, and say that it would seem as though this technique is one of the most useful techniques for anyone, regardless of their situation. People have a tendency to jump to conclusions, especially in emotional situations that can be viewed multiple different ways. Although in the moment we may make an initial appraisal as to the nature of the situation, it is important to encourage ourselves to take a step back, reflect on the situation, identify tangible evidence that would definitively determine whether our assumptions could be true, and adjust how we perceive the situation accordingly. I think Mark would definitely benefit from engaging in this practice, as it would likely help him to avoid unnecessarily feeling negatively about himself or a given situation.

      Reply

    • Brigitte Manseau
      Oct 10, 2020 @ 20:09:02

      Hi Eileen,
      Your explanation of how Mark’s response was helpful to understand his level of distress was clear and thoughtful. I like that you highlighted how Mark’s emotions were validated throughout examining the evidence. It is super important for clients to know that their emotional response is okay and that their thoughts are what need to be changed.

      Reply

  6. Haley Scola
    Oct 08, 2020 @ 11:44:07

    Automatic Thoughts

    1a. Mark’s response to the outcome was helpful in understanding his distress because he provided insight about how he felt such as guilt for going to lunch alone, ruminating on the situation, loneliness, and isolation. Through these feelings the therapist is given further information pertaining to negative automatic thoughts and core beliefs. Additionally, verbalizing these emotions and cognitions can help Mark to create awareness and challenge those thoughts so next time this happens he’ll be more likely to be able to challenge those thoughts and emotions in the moment rather than in therapy. It also helps to break down those thoughts and emotions such that if Mark and Dr. V did not, maybe he would not have even “known” he had feelings of guilt. When taking a step back from the situation and talking the issue aloud, Mark was able to remember that his coworker came back and asked if he could get lunch a different day that week. Sometimes emotions blind us due to the intensity of them that this allowed him to look at the situation more objectively.

    1b. The first Socratic technique I think would be effective would be to examine the evidence behind Marks negative automatic thought “He doesn’t want to spend time with me”. In the video we watched in class Dr. V did do this with the worksheet that had two sides and was “evidence for” and “evidence against”. Through this process and through the next Socratic technique: explore possible alternative explanations, Mark was able to think about how his coworker has gotten lunch with him several times, he’s even asked Mark first, and that later that day his coworker came and asked if they could get together another day that week for lunch. By challenging this evidence Mark was able to recognize the patterns of thoughts and emotions that were intensified and consider the alternative explanations that his coworker could not get lunch with him that day. Lastly, I think assessing the impact of believing that negative thought would be helpful for Mark because someone not liking him is something that can be very common throughout life. We all meet people who we don’t necessarily like which is normal and apart of life. Because of this I think Mark questioning what the outcome looks like and how he let it affect him would be effective in dealing with this similar problem in the future.

    Core Beliefs

    2a. Core beliefs are defined as all or nothing statements that are rigid, global, and overgeneralized views about the self, others, and how the world works, such as “I’m stuck” “I’m worthless” “I’m stupid” etc. The three categories of core beliefs are helplessness (lack of achievement or getting things done), worthlessness (bad, unworthy, or dangerous to other people), and unlovability (defect in character that prevents sustaining love). The first key element of core beliefs are that the usually develop during childhood although it is not limited to this and can develop during adulthood or be a biological predisposition to stressors. Second, they are biased towards information that supports this belief and minimizes or disregard contrary evidence. Third, they are self-perpetuating which means they are reinforced and validated by patterns of negative automatic thoughts, negative emotions, and maladaptive behaviors. The fourth key element is that they can be modified by more accurate/adaptive core beliefs which is where Socratic techniques come in handy. And finally, positive core beliefs tend to be overlooked and overshadowed by negative core beliefs.

    2b. Understanding one’s core belief can allows the therapist to create a more personalized case formulation and decide what the most effective interventions for that individual would be. When modifying core beliefs, the client is able to reduce their current and future stressors through awareness, understanding, and challenging the validity. Therapeutic gains that come from modifying core beliefs are the ability to “keep” some parts of the core belief but in reshaping it you enhance the advantages and minimize the disadvantages. A core belief may serve as protection for someone who has been harmed several times in their life. When modifying it you would keep the protection service but modify the part of it that has negative implications on the individual.

    Reply

    • Trey Powers
      Oct 10, 2020 @ 19:19:58

      Hi Haley!

      I think you bring up a very good point when you talk about Mark verbalizing his emotions providing him with an awareness of what he was feeling in the moment. I find that people can have a tendency to be unaware of the more mundane aspects of daily life, such as how they are feeling in a given situation. A lot of the time it’s only after the event that we begin to notice lingering emotional effects from the event itself. Encouraging someone like Mark, who has a tendency to automatically jump to negative thoughts and feelings, to think back and identify what exactly they were thinking and feeling in the moment is a good way of promoting self-awareness and self-monitoring, which can be helpful in future situations.

      Reply

  7. Francesca DePergola
    Oct 08, 2020 @ 11:44:10

    Automatic Thoughts
    (1) How is the client’s response to the outcome (emotionally and cognitively) helpful to understanding his distress?
    The client’s response to the outcome, emotionally and cognitively, is helpful to understand his distress. It is helpful because the counselor can gather from what Mark is exhibiting and explaining about his negative automatic thoughts, just how distressed he is. Once Mark and the counselor have a clear picture of what kind of negative automatic thoughts he experiences most frequently with the most believability and impact on daily functioning, both are able to help modify these thoughts more adaptively. Mark can especially help himself in the future when these thoughts arise, understanding them and modifying them. Additionally, some core beliefs can be found as Mark continuously explains similar negative automatic thoughts of unlikability, and so on.
    (2) What would be effective Socratic techniques to modify his negative automatic thought?
    I think the most effective Socratic technique to modify Mark’s negative automatic thoughts would be to examine the evidence. In the session in which Mark and Dr. V talk about his coworker not seeming interested in going out to lunch, they examine the evidence. A little bit into the exercise Mark miraculously remembers that his coworker actually came to him at the end of the day asking to reschedule sometime soon. This makes such a difference in the way Mark feels and begins to think about the situation. Also, Mark was able to identify a lot of pieces of evidence against what he originally thought, making it easier for him to believe his thoughts may be irrational.

    Core Beliefs
    (1) What are core beliefs?
    Core beliefs are all-or-nothing statements that are rigid, global, and overgeneralized views about the self, others, and how the world works. Core beliefs are also a template that provides rules for processing. There are three main categories of core beliefs that are helplessness, worthlessness, and unlovability.
    (2) What are the therapeutic gains that come from modifying core beliefs?
    There are many therapeutic gains that come from modifying core beliefs. First, effective modification of negative core beliefs will not only reduce current distress but also act as an “immunization” to resist future stressors. Modifying negative core beliefs will lead to increasingly uncovered and strengthened positive core beliefs. These positive core beliefs can also be used to help modify the negative ones.

    Reply

    • Haley Scola
      Oct 08, 2020 @ 11:50:28

      Hi Francesca,
      I thought your explanation of client’s responses’ importance in understanding their distress was really thorough and great. Specifically, when you pointed out how it creates a clear picture through levels of believability and its impact on daily functioning. I also used the same Socratic techniques as you and thought similar reasoning behind why they would be effective. Your definition of core beliefs was very concise and informative. I thought it was really helpful that you pointed out the three main categories of core beliefs as well.

      Reply

    • Brigitte Manseau
      Oct 10, 2020 @ 20:30:19

      Hi Francesca,
      I, too, thought examining the evidence would be beneficial for Mark. I like that you mentioned how Mark randomly remembered his coworker, Jeff, asking to do something next week. That example supports how important it was in Mark’s case to examine the evidence. Without doing so, Mark may have continued to minimize that interaction with Jeff. You provided a clear and concise explanation of core beliefs. I like that you included how other positive core beliefs can be discovered by modifying negative core beliefs. It is important to pay attention to and strengthen positive core beliefs while modifying negative core beliefs.

      Reply

  8. Brigitte Manseau
    Oct 08, 2020 @ 15:58:59

    1a. The client’s response to the outcome is beneficial in understanding his distress because it provides information relating to his perception of the event. Mark’s response gave insight into what negative automatic thoughts he was experiencing which helped explain his level of distress. By expressing his thoughts and emotions out loud, Mark is able to identify what is troubling him with the help of Dr. V.
    b. There are a couple Socratic techniques that would effectively modify Mark’s negative automatic thought. First, it would be beneficial to examine the evidence of Mark’s thought. This Socratic technique allows Mark to determine whether the thought is valid or not. Second, it would be helpful to explore possible alternative explanations. Through this Socratic technique Mark would explore what other reasons could explain Jeff not getting lunch with him. This would help Mark look at the situation externally and may relieve some stress around Mark personalizing the situation.

    2a. Core beliefs are inflexible statements which are global and overgeneralized views about oneself, other people, and how the world functions. They are guides that provide order to process information. There are several key elements of core beliefs. First, core beliefs usually develop from childhood to adolescence. There are three contributing factors to developing core beliefs: interactions with significant and influential people in the individual’s life, significant events, and genetics and biological vulnerably. Second, there are three categories of negative core beliefs: helplessness, worthlessness, and unloveability. Third, negative core beliefs are self-perpetuating and biased. Fourth, negative core beliefs can be changed and replaced with more adaptive core beliefs. Fifth, positive core beliefs may be used to modify negative core beliefs.
    b. There are several therapeutic gains that may come from modifying core beliefs. Modifying core beliefs will change how the clients view themselves, interact with those around them, and view the world. This allows clients to reduce their overall distress by decreasing the frequency and intensity of their negative automatic thoughts. Additionally, effective modification of negative core beliefs may act as a protective factor in regard to combating future stressors. The clients are more likely to recognize and modify negative automatic thoughts which helps build “immunity” so they are better at handling stressors. As I mentioned previously, clients’ positive core beliefs can be used to help modify negative core beliefs. By using positive core beliefs, clients can reinforce their positive core beliefs which helps decrease distress.

    Reply

    • Francesca DePergola
      Oct 10, 2020 @ 15:33:58

      Hi Brigitte,
      I like how you mention the importance of not only understanding Mark’s distress but the perception of the event as well. I think the Socratic techniques that you mentioned would be beneficial for Mark, especially exploring alternative explanations. I think this could help him better follow alternative actions instead of choosing to eat alone and getting McDonald’s. Once he has explored other alternative explanations he can act in more adaptive ways.

      Reply

    • Eileen Kinnane
      Oct 10, 2020 @ 22:00:03

      Hi Brigitte,

      I really like how you mentioned that effective modification can act as a protective factor for negative core beliefs. Also I thought it was important that you mentioned the positive core beliefs can be used to modify negative core beliefs. Often times, negative core beliefs go unnoticed so it’s important to be able to identify those as well when working on modifying negative core beliefs.

      Reply

  9. Trey Powers
    Oct 08, 2020 @ 16:14:01

    Automatic Thoughts
    1.
    I order to gain an adequate understanding of what a client is experiencing, it is necessary to gather information about how they were feeling in a specific situation in which they encountered distress, as well as what thoughts were going through their mind. For Mark, the experience of apparent rejection by his coworker led to a series of thoughts and emotions, about himself, his relationship with his coworker, and his coworker’s opinion of him. Understanding the specifics surrounding these thoughts and emotions can help the therapeutic process by identifying what is in need of attention, and what possible avenues for change can be pursued. Mark identified a number of negative cognitions following this encounter, which were able to be rated as to their severity through this activity. This sheds light on what the most distressing cognitions are, what their cause is, and what should be the focus of further interventions.
    2.
    Several possible Socratic techniques would be of use in this situation in order to change Mark’s pattern of thinking regarding this specific incident. A few of these have been demonstrated in a previous video with Mark. One such technique is to examine the evidence. Running through the scenario again with Mark, now with hindsight, will allow for a consideration of what evidence exists to support Mark’s perspective. This can serve to poke holes in the broad overall assumptions that Mark is making about both himself and his coworker. It can also show that there is little concrete evidence that he has to support his own beliefs, which may lead him to have less faith that his assumptions are correct. This then leads to a second technique, which is considering alternative explanations. There are a number of potential explanations for why Mark’s coworker responded the way that they did, many of which have absolutely nothing to do with Mark himself. Showing Mark that there are many possible reasons why his coworker declined his offer to go to lunch can allow him to believe that these alternative explanations are perhaps more likely to be true based on the evidence as opposed to his initial assumptions about it being personal.

    Core Beliefs
    1.
    Core beliefs are rigid, deeply internalized beliefs about oneself and the world. These beliefs may be so deeply ingrained, that many people do not even realize that they have them. Instead, it is often the negative thoughts and emotions that result from core beliefs that are the center of focus. CBT, therefore, must use these negative consequences in order to follow them back to the source and identify the core beliefs that are at the center of the problem.
    2.
    Successfully identifying and modifying negative core beliefs can help to alleviate the distress that results from them. In the case of a specific incident, such as Mark’s interaction with his coworker, modifying his core beliefs can reduce the anxiety, sadness, and rumination that results from his previously negative beliefs. This can also allow individuals like Mark to better handle similar situations in the future, as the negative belief at the heart of the matter has been changed to a more accurate or more positive belief.

    Reply

    • Selene Anaya
      Oct 09, 2020 @ 13:47:50

      Hey Trey!
      I like how you included a big part of understanding a client’s distress is identifying patterns. In Mark’s case, this is the series of events regarding his cognitions and emotions that occur whenever a situation can be perceived as though he is being rejected. I also like how you mentioned not only identifying areas that need to be focused on but also rating that distress in severity and having a part of this process be understanding which cognitions need to be focused on first. For the second part, I found it thoughtful that you recognized a main focus of CBT is to identify the source of the cognitions so individuals can function more adaptively in response to future stressors.

      Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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