Topic 6: Automatic Thoughts & Core Beliefs {by 3/10}

[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) How do core beliefs develop?  (2) What is it about core beliefs that can make them a challenge to modify in therapy?  (3) What are the therapeutic gains that come from modifying core beliefs?

 

Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 3/10.  Have your two replies posted no later than 3/12.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

40 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tressa Novack
    Mar 03, 2022 @ 20:07:01

    The client’s response to the outcome is helpful to understanding his distress because we can see how Mark’s thoughts and feelings perpetuate his depression. Mark’s thoughts that no one wants to spend time with him, lead him to feeling badly about himself and as a result withdrawing. By feeling lonely and sitting alone in the park, Mark is creating a cycle in which those feelings of loneliness and thoughts of no one wanting to spend time with him can continue. Effective Socratic techniques that can be used to modify the thought that Jeff did not want to spend time with him are examining the evidence for this thought and exploring possible alternative explanations for the thought. Specifically, Dr. V. could ask if there is any evidence to support the thought that Jess does not want to spend time with Mark. Dr.V. could also ask if there are possible reasons as to why Jeff may have said no to getting lunch with Mark besides not wanting to do so.
    Core beliefs develop early in life, typically in childhood. They are shaped by an influence of genetics, specific life events, and our interactions with those who are significant in our lives. Core beliefs can be more difficult to modify because they can be more difficult to identify since they are held so deeply. Automatic thoughts are easier to pick out because they are what is flashing through a client’s mind in times of distress. Core beliefs can be thought of as the source of automatic thoughts, and they are deeply ingrained, which can make their identification more difficult. Also, core beliefs are very rigid. They make up how a client views themselves, others, and the world, and have likely been in place for as long as the client can remember. Since they are so ingrained they can be more challenging to change. However, modifying core beliefs can have a few benefits. First, clients’ immediate distress can be lessened when new core beliefs are formed and the believability of old beliefs decreases. Secondly, clients will be better equipped to handle future stressors because they have more adaptive views. This can lead clients to coping in more healthy and adaptive ways.

    Reply

    • victoria cestodio
      Mar 08, 2022 @ 11:55:12

      Hi Tressa!

      Great post. We share a lot of similar thoughts and views. I totally agree that Mark is creating a negative cycle for himself. Feeling lonely and then sitting in a park alone probably doesn’t help Mark and breaking that cycle could change a lot for him. Also, great socratic techniques. Asking Mark the possible reasons Jeff said no may help him see the other possibilities and other sides to the situation.
      I totally agree and love your point that modifying core beliefs may have clients handle future stressors a lot better. They will not automatically go right to the worst case or the negative thought they will be much more equipped in their day to day lives and will see a drastic change.

      Victoria

      Reply

    • Vanessa Nichols
      Mar 09, 2022 @ 15:10:40

      Hi Tressa,
      Great post this week!
      I agree with you that examining Marks’ behavior after his rejection is beneficial because it provides insight into how Mark contributes to his depression. By ruminating on these negative emotions and experiences, Mark is almost contributing to a self-fulling prophecy of nobody likes me that why I am eating alone.. etc. I really like how you explain mark’s behaviors and emotions as a cycle because I totally agree. His distress will remain unless Mark does something different to break the cycle and not sit there overthinking interactions.
      I also really like how you explained core beliefs. Your explanation answered some questions and areas of confusion for me. I like how you explain the core beliefs have been there as long as the client can remember, and I feel like that is probably very true. Like clients are probably unaware, but once it is in their awareness, they also remember feeling this way for a long time. I think this connection is important because core beliefs almost become part of the person’s identity. Many past experiences that the clients use as evidence for negative automatic thoughts probably represent those core beliefs.

      Reply

    • Madelyn Haas
      Mar 09, 2022 @ 19:03:44

      Hi Tressa,
      I enjoyed reading your post. I think your point about Mark creating a self-perpetuating cycle is great. Even though he doesn’t intend to, when he feels isolated, he further isolates himself and makes his sadness that much worse. With this information, the practitioner could delve into this issue and help Mark find healthier ways to cope with his sadness. I also think that knowing Mark’s thoughts about the outcome are important because it gives the practitioner insight into his ”unlikeable” core belief.

      I think your definition of core beliefs was good as well. Core beliefs shape how we view ourselves and the world around us. They’re difficult to change because they are so ingrained, and we apply them universally to situations. People even reject or change information that doesn’t fit into their negative core beliefs but accept information that confirms them. This fact makes core beliefs incredibly difficult to change as it’s a constantly influenced by confirmation bias.

      Reply

  2. victoria cestodio
    Mar 08, 2022 @ 11:45:35

    Mark’s response to the outcome is helpful for us to understand his distress because we see how this really affected Mark and shows how his depression is affected by his emotions and thoughts on the outcome. We see Mark saying he felt lonely, isolated, bad, and even guilty. These emotions and thoughts in turn show us that he is very hard on himself and how people treat him ends up playing a huge role in how he sees himself and affects the rest of his day, creating a lot of distress for him. However, Mark sitting alone in the park and eating alone only hurts Mark. Maybe by completing this thought record he will realize that, maybe asking another co worker or going to his favorite sub shop is the better option, because what he ended up doing only made him feel worse about himself. Some socratic techniques Dr. V could use to modify his negative automatic thought is by asking Mark where the evidence is for this thought. Mark thinks Jeff did not want to spend time with him, however how does Mark really know that? He doesn’t. Mark slowly comes to the realization that Jeff may have been having a really rough day and needed to be alone and not around others, or he was really busy with work. The main point we want Mark to see is, the thoughts that are in his head are not factual and are mostly assumptions. Even then asking Mark how those thoughts make him feel. Seeing how these thoughts make Mark feel will speak volumes on how he really is affected by them and what he does to cope with them.

    Core beliefs are a person’s central ideas about themselves, others, and even the world. These are shaped a lot in our childhood and the events that have happened in our childhood or even early adulthood. People in our lives also have a profound impact on our core beliefs, like parents, really close friends, etc. The reason why core beliefs can be challenging to modify in therapy is because they are very deeply embedded in our minds and someone’s core beliefs is something they have always known, therefore it takes a lot to unlearn them. It may be hard for the client to even recognize that something is a core belief which also leads to more difficulty. Core beliefs being modified can lead to many gains, such as not having as many automatic negative thoughts. Core beliefs and automatic thoughts go hand and hand. Identifying your core beliefs will make you realize when something is a negative automatic thought and have you be able to have little reaction to it. The client may feel more positive in an array of areas of their lives, Like we see with Mark he is highly distressed, if we modify Mark’s core beliefs that could ultimately help him have much less distress. Overall, the client will feel much happier and at peace and know themselves a lot more, increasing self awareness which is so important.

    Reply

    • Tressa Novack
      Mar 09, 2022 @ 09:06:51

      Hi Victoria!
      Great post. I like how you also pointed out that by Mark sitting alone and eating in the park, he is probably not doing himself any favors in terms of how he feels. I also talked about using the Socratic technique of asking Mark if there is any evidence to support the idea that Jeff does not want to spend time with him. I have implemented this technique in my own life from past experiences in therapy and I often find that I do not have valid concrete evidence to support my automatic thought. I like how in your discussion of core beliefs you make the point that increasing self-awareness is important and very helpful. I agree with this, and I think identifying core beliefs if definitely increasing self-awareness as we come to know our thought patterns better.

      Tressa

      Reply

    • Vanessa Nichols
      Mar 09, 2022 @ 15:17:31

      Hi Victoria,
      Great post this week!
      I like that you mention asking Mark what evidence he has to support his thoughts for the Socratic techniques. I thought this would be extremely beneficial because maybe the approach needs to be switched to a coping response if there is evidence. If there is no evidence, we can then challenge or address the inaccuracy of the automatic thought.
      I also think you did a great job explaining core beliefs and how are they are developed. I feel like its important to remember that core belief were true or accurate at one time and provided a functional purpose. I feel like because they used to be functional, that contributes to the challenge of changing them. Like anxiety symptoms, some of those symptoms used to be a functional response that is now out of control. It can be harder to recognize that those symptoms are now distress because they used to help the client. However, I really liked how you explained the importance of modifying those core beliefs. No matter the challenge changing core beliefs can significantly decrease distress in your client.

      Reply

  3. Emily Barefield
    Mar 09, 2022 @ 09:55:34

    A key factor in understanding Mark’s high level of distress in response to his coworker declining an invitation to lunch makes sense when the level of believability given to those thoughts by Mark are considered, and these thoughts make sense when Mark shares a core belief. In response to his coworker’s declining his lunch invitation, Mark feels extremely hurt, and, instead of moving on with his day, Mark self-isolates ands lets himself dwell in the negative emotions he is experiencing. The response to dwell in these emotions and ruminate over the experience only increases his distress. Mark typically displays a high degree of personalization. Instead of assuming Jeff was busy, Mark assumed the answer had something directly to do with him. He assumed Jeff simply did not want to spend time with him. It is completely understandable to experience emotional distress if you believe someone you enjoy spending time with does not want to spend time with you. This negative automatic thought makes sense when Mark shares his core belief that he is hard to like. Because Mark believes this to be true about himself, he looks for evidence to confirm this belief, and his interpretations of situations is altered by this belief. Because Mark struggles with personalization, I would suggest a Socratic technique that involves separating the self from the negative automatic thought. I think asking Mark what he would tell his girlfriend in a similar situation could be a good technique to separate himself from the issue and consider other explanations for Jeff declining his invitation.

    Core beliefs are inflexible over-generalizations through which individuals interpret their experiences, themselves, and others. Core beliefs typically develop during early childhood and adolescence as a result of key life events and relationships and as a result of a biological vulnerability. Core beliefs come from the interaction between significant others, significant events, and genetics. As these core beliefs are reinforced or validated, they become more strongly held by the individual. In many cases, the core belief may have been valid or served a purpose at one time in the individual’s life but is no longer valid, although there are cases where the core belief has never been valid. Because core beliefs are so central to an individual’s identity, they are by definition ingrained, pervasive, and global, they are more difficult to modify. It can also be difficult to modify a core belief because the client may not be aware of the belief and its level of impact on their daily thoughts and emotions. Identifying the core belief must be done before it can be modified. By modifying core beliefs, the client’s view of the world is changed to some degree. Instead of viewing the world through a lens which typically increases negative emotions and distress, the client can work to view the world through a more neutral or even a more positive lens. This will significantly decrease the client’s level of distress. Because the client’s view of themselves, the world, and others has been altered, they will be able to interpret future situations in a more adaptive, less distressing manner.

    Reply

    • victoria cestodio
      Mar 09, 2022 @ 13:44:00

      Hi Emily,
      Great post!

      I like how you also mentioned how Mark moving about his day by isolating himself was probably not beneficial for him whatsoever and made the feelings he had more extreme. I mentioned in my post how going to the sub shop he really wanted to go to or even asking another co worker out maybe could have helped, but it’s understandable why he reacted the way he did, as we know Mark’s thinking patterns. The socratic technique you mentioned, that Mark should separate himself from the negative thought and consider the other possible situations on why Jeff declined would end up making Mark feel much more at peace than reverting to those negative automatic thoughts right away.

      Victoria

      Reply

    • Will Roche
      Mar 09, 2022 @ 17:18:25

      Emily,

      I really like how you took notice with the cognitive distortion of personalization in your response. One of Mark’s fatal flaws in his core beliefs and automatic thoughts is personalizing things or situations that are negative. In contrast, it seems like he does not personalize or downplays things that are positive. This is definitely a difficult core belief to modify and is integral in helping Mark change his thoughts, emotions and behaviors. This spiral that Mark finds himself in after a negative situation stems from his over-personalization of negative sequences. If Dr. V is able to modify this core belief of personalizing negative scenarios, this will have dramatic beneficial improvements for Mark. However, this will not be an easy task as these thoughts are so deeply ingrained in Mark’s belief system. I had a similar idea for Mark in having him think about a friend (or in your case his girlfriend) explaining the situation and seeing what he thinks about it. If he downplays the negative thoughts from his girlfriend’s scenario, it will give some insight into how Dr. V would be able to help Mark think this way himself and not just for others. Great post!

      Reply

    • Tressa Novack
      Mar 10, 2022 @ 14:33:26

      Hi Emily! Great post. I love how you point out Mark’s high degree of personalization. Mark does have the tendency to attribute things such as Jeff not going to lunch with him to himself. I think the suggestion of separating the self from the negative automatic thought is good one. This could help Mark to see that he shouldn’t attribute Jeff’s actions to himself, because if this situation happened to someone else he could easily see that it had nothing to do with that other person. I love your in depth explanation of core beliefs. I agree that core beliefs can be hard to modify because people might not be aware of them, because they are so deeply engrained. However, identifying and modifying these beliefs is essential to reducing client distress.

      Tressa

      Reply

  4. Vanessa Nichols
    Mar 09, 2022 @ 15:00:22

    It helps to understand Mark’s response to the outcome (not going to lunch with him) because it provides insight into the client’s ability to move on or their rumination. This ability or inability to move on after a negative event contributes to the client’s distress, negative thoughts, and core beliefs.
    Mark was extremely upset about his lunch rejection. In response to those negative emotions and automatic thoughts due to the rejection, Mark chose to eat lunch alone at a worse lunch place and continue to think about getting rejected. During this time, Mark will expand this singular rejection to a more generalized statement contributing to his negative core beliefs.
    At this point with Mark, I think it would be beneficial to use these Socratic techniques to lead mark into deeper thinking about where these automatic thoughts stem from and their believability. I think leading Mark to core beliefs would be beneficial at this point in therapy because we are starting to see repeating automatic negative thoughts about unlikeability. I think maybe asking him questions about other times he has felt like this and been correct and then asking questions about other times he felt like this and been wrong could provide insight. Helping Mark recognize these patterns can be highly beneficial to therapy moving forward.
    Core beliefs develop during early ages like childhood to adolescence; however, they can develop during adulthood. Core beliefs are based on interaction with significant individuals in your life, important life events, and genetic and biological vulnerabilities. These factors contribute to core beliefs reciprocally. Core beliefs contribute to automatic thoughts, which in turn affect the emotions and behaviors of the individual. Core beliefs can be challenging because they stem from true experiences. When the core belief was developed, it also provided a functional purpose. The difficulty is now helping the client identify the core belief and find contradictory evidence to the core belief. A core belief is more complicated to change than an automatic negative thought because it is ingrained in the person, almost like it is a part of their identity. It can be hard to shake that, especially if it has been around for a long time.
    Core beliefs provide the prototype for how people interpret information from the environment. As well as how they cognitively process that information and respond to the environment. Having negative core beliefs can lead to an inaccurate appraisal of the situation and environment, inaccurate coping mechanisms, and inappropriate behavioral responses. Modifying core beliefs can alleviate significant life distress. Modifying core beliefs will affect the individual’s outlook, behavior, coping mechanism, and automatic thoughts.

    Reply

    • Will Roche
      Mar 09, 2022 @ 17:12:25

      Vanessa,

      I think you make some great points about how the outcome of Mark’s situation has affected his negative automatic thoughts and how this creates rumination and poor habits. I agree that Socratic questioning should be involved in helping treat Mark in counseling. His quick automatic thoughts I believe might negative these Socratic questions that he is not asking himself. Such as, “if a friend explained this exact situation to you, what would you think about it?” I know from personal experience that when my friends explain a negative situation where I’ve experienced similar situations, I tend to give them better and more realistic explanations than I give myself. Therefore I think it’s important that Mark is able to think in this way. Also, you did a great job explaining how and when core beliefs are developed and the outcomes of having such intrinsic beliefs. Great job!

      Reply

    • Lauren Pereira
      Mar 09, 2022 @ 18:04:25

      Vanessa,

      I like how you start off by mentioning that understanding a clients response provides insight on either the client’s ability to move on or their rumination. Being able to identify where their negative thoughts stand in their mind can be very helpful. Mark will continue to feel rejected with all of the tasks that follow his first downfall of the day. Instead of doing things that will cheer him up, he continues to bring himself down. Getting Mark to think deeper is a good technique to consider. It can help Mark realize his actions if he is able to see come to terms with identifying his core beliefs.
      Core beliefs develop within the early stages of childhood, which is where most life events occur. Trying to alter these beliefs can be difficult because it is what the client knows best. Like you have mentioned, core beliefs in ingrained in these individuals minds so it can be a challenge to sway that. Being able to modify this can benefit a client in many ways. It will ultimately affect the individual’s outlook, behavior, coping mechanism, and automatic thoughts throughout life. Great post!

      Lauren

      Reply

  5. Will Roche
    Mar 09, 2022 @ 15:22:46

    Mark’s response to the outcome is helpful to understand his distress because it details and illustrates a step by step of all of his emotions and cognitions about the event that took place. When Dr. V asks him step by step about the conversation with Jeff, it paints an accurate picture of how Mark felt during and after the situation, and the emotions and rationalizations he had because of it. Being able to detail this emotions and cognitions and write then down chronologically fresh after the event occurred helps get to the root of the problem by figuring out exactly what happened and why Mark felt the way he did. I think a few Socratic techniques to help clarify the situation for Mark would be examining the evidence and separating oneself from the negative automatic thought. I would ask Mark what evidence from the situation supports his belief, but then similarly ask him what evidence about the conversation might refute the beliefs that Jeff did not want to spend time with him. I also would like to see what Mark might think if a friend was telling him about that exact situation. Would Mark be more rational when trying to clarify the situation with his friend? If Mark hypothetically tolf his friend it probably is not as big of a deal as he thinks it is, then that could be used effectively on Mark for him to see the situation more clearly.

    Core beliefs typically lay their foundations during childhood or one’s teenage years. These core beliefs become ingrained through genetic, social and environmental factors. Certain environments such as home, school and other typically environments can help form these core beliefs. Core beliefs can be difficult to alter in therapy because they are so ingrained in the psyche of individuals, and they are equally difficult to detect because they are buried deep within a person’s mindset. However, pointing out automatic thoughts can help connect the dots towards these core beliefs that clients have. Being able to modify core beliefs can have significant impacts on a clients’ identity of self and how they perceive the world around them. If Dr. V can help alter Mark’s core belief that any type of rejection means he is not wanted, this could have very positive implications for Mark if this core belief can be positively altered. Overall, while it is difficult to identify these core beliefs and even more difficult to modify them, it can have significant impacts on the client if these negative core beliefs can be alleviated.

    Reply

    • Lauren Pereira
      Mar 09, 2022 @ 17:50:08

      Will,

      You make a lot of great points! I like how you mentioned that having a conversation and taking it step by step helped to paint a better picture on how Mark was really feeling in that situation. Without using any techniques, it would be difficult to shy away from those negative core beliefs Mark has. It is important to ask several questions to get Mark thinking in a more positive outlook and all of the conversation statements you have included can help him in this way.
      Core beliefs develop within the early stages of childhood which make them that much more significant since it is a time where individuals experience and develop things more strongly. You make a great point that pointing out automatic thoughts can help connect the dots towards the core beliefs. Being able to modify these beliefs can help clients to experience a more positive environment and a more positive version of themselves. It can be difficult to accomplish but it will make all the difference in the clients beliefs and thought process afterwards. Great post!

      Lauren

      Reply

    • Madelyn Haas
      Mar 09, 2022 @ 20:25:22

      Hi Will,
      Great post this week! You made a good point about learning about Mark’s thoughts soon after the event. This information can help the practitioner develop a hypothesis about Mark’s problems and write a better treatment plan. I also think Mark’s thoughts and feelings about the outcome point to his core belief about himself. Mark sees himself as being unlikeable, so he feels extra hurt by any level of rejection. Jeff’s rejection “confirmed” Mark’s thoughts about himself and led him to isolate himself in response.

      I think your definition of core beliefs was both accurate and concise. Core beliefs are extremely important but also difficult to change. People apply their core beliefs about themselves to every situation they see fit, and the core beliefs continually get reinforced whenever a piece of information “confirms them.” People often actively ignore or explain away information that goes against their core beliefs. For example, someone with a helpless/incompetent core belief would explain away their successes by saying “Oh, the test/work assignment was easy. It doesn’t mean I’m competent.” For this reason, it is hard to change core beliefs but especially essential because they influence so many aspects of people’s thoughts and lives.

      -Madelyn Haas

      Reply

    • Pilar
      Mar 12, 2022 @ 23:47:19

      Hey Will,
      I like the idea to ask Mark what he would think about the situation with Jeff if a friend was to talk to him about it. I agree by looking into Marks core beliefs about rejection we can help him to work towards more positive thoughts in his future relationships. Because core roots are so rooted in adolescence it will not be easy to notify the negative thoughts Mark has but by continuing to do Socratic techniques such as separating himself from the scenario and looking at the scenario and examining the evidence like Dr. V does in the video. It showed to be very helpful to Mark because he was able to identify for himself why Jeff may have reacted in the way he did and outside factors affecting his response.

      Reply

    • Lexi
      Mar 14, 2022 @ 16:28:43

      Hi Will,

      I thought your discussion of core beliefs was really helpful to my understanding! thank you! Core beliefs are so important to how we act and what kind of internal or external attributions a person makes in response to stressful situations and it is fascinating to me that they are formed so early and can for some be so difficult to change.

      Reply

  6. Lauren Pereira
    Mar 09, 2022 @ 17:27:39

    It it helpful to indicate Mark’s response to his outcome because it gives the therapist more insight on where the clients feelings and emotions are coming from. This becomes helpful in understanding where his distress comes from in these moments as it becomes more visible to indicate his thought process and how he processes the information given to him. Mark felt rejected when his lunch plans fell through, so he decided to eat alone and choose worse food to eat. This simple act of feeling rejected can ruin Mark’s whole mood for the rest of the day and it shows how this reflects on his negative core beliefs that he has. By continuing on with less enjoyable plans throughout the day, Mark is setting himself up to continue to have a bad day and it becomes a cycle. One interaction that felt negative to him made him choose another negative path by getting McDonalds instead of what he really wanted instead.Using a few Socratic techniques would be effective for Mark to consider because it can help modify his negative automatic thoughts. Instead, it will give Mark the chance to think in a new manner and explore different automatic thought options. It is beneficial to try and lead Mark to identify more core beliefs. Since Mark starts off listing the worst scenarios in his head, I would ask him what some of the better scenarios would be in this case. What could some other reasonings be for Mark’s coworker to not be able to go to lunch with him. I would also consider other times Mark has felt this way and what those types of scenarios were. There may be similarities within each situations that can help us get to find more insight on Marks feelings and emotions.

    Core beliefs tend to develop within the early stages of childhood and continue on throughout adolescence. These are based on the experiences and the environments that individuals are surrounded by throughout their earlier stages of life. Areas of focus that help develop a persons core beliefs can be due to surroundings in schools, at home, and typical environments people may go like church or work or parks. These places are where core beliefs set in because these are familiar areas where people grow. These also factor into the social aspects that children become familiar with which also helps shape them and their beliefs. Core beliefs can be challenging to interpret due to the unique experiences people become effected by. Difficult aspects come from the fact that core beliefs have purpose and core detail to that individual but not to the therapist. This makes it hard when trying to identify the core belief which is the first step in modifying it. The right information needs to be given in order to fully understand and be able to try and change that individuals initial thought process. Having to make changes to a core belief is difficult due to all the experience that belief has and the purpose behind it can be very strong. If this is a way that an individual grew up learning, it can be hard to change their perspective. On the other hand, it can be very beneficial once already modifying a core belief. One of the biggest accomplishments in this aspect is that it can help change a persons perspective on life for the better. Not only this, but these adjustments can also give individuals a better perspective on themselves and how they view themselves as a person. At the end of the day, those difficult modifications will be worth it when people begin to have a more positive outlook and they encounter more positive automatic thoughts.

    Reply

    • Monika
      Mar 10, 2022 @ 13:21:10

      Hi Lauren,
      I liked how you pointed out that Mark’s responses to the outcomes give the therapist more insight into his feelings which the therapist can help their clients to understand the nature of automatic thoughts and core beliefs. The hidden and automatic nature of our thoughts and beliefs can be challenging to identify negative patterns, so understanding a client’s responses become extremely crucial. I also liked the Socratic technique you suggested, listing the positive better scenarios can help Mark change his perspective for the better. Good job on explaining the nature of core beliefs!
      Monika

      Reply

    • Jeremy
      Mar 10, 2022 @ 14:21:28

      Hey Lauren,

      This was a great discussion post! You laid out the nature of automatic thoughts very well and showed how one negative automatic thought can lead to more negative choices and paths for the rest of the day. Socratic techniques are useful for mark to learn so that he can question his automatic thoughts when it comes up.

      When discussing core beliefs I found it great that yu discussed the client’s view of themselves as one often biggest factors of change, Core beliefs like being unloveable seriously impact what an individual believes they are capable of, modifying these thoughts can lead to a new experience for Mark that may help him learn that he can be loved

      Reply

    • Sandra Karic
      Mar 12, 2022 @ 18:50:57

      Hi Lauren,
      I really liked how you explained the way Mark’s response to the event made him feel even worse. I think asking for alternative explanations and best case scenarios is a great idea! I also agree that looking at other times Mark has felt similarly could give the therapist some useful information. You did a really good job highlighting how different environments and experiences may contribute to the development of a core belief and how that in turn can make core beliefs difficult to change, especially when working with core beliefs that may have initially held some validity or utility. Finally, I fully agree with your points on the therapeutic benefits of modifying a negative core belief.

      Reply

  7. Madelyn Haas
    Mar 09, 2022 @ 18:22:42

    Over the past few videos, we have gotten to see what Mark has been going through and how his perceptions have affected his thoughts and mood. Mark said that the outcome of his negative automatic thought was feeling alone and eating alone at a worse restaurant. In response to this, he felt dejected and thought “No one wants to spend time with me.” These thoughts and feelings are important because it gets at his core belief of being unlikeable. From there, we could address both these automatic thoughts and core beliefs and begin to shape them in a more realistic and adaptive direction. To help Mark, there’s a lot of Socratic techniques that would be useful. A great technique for Mark would be the evidence for and evidence against approach. From what I have seen of him, he seems to respond well to rationalizations and even understands when he was thinking too critically of himself when Dr. V points it out. I think the evidence for/against approach would allow him to work through his thoughts on his own and realize that his coworker probably does not dislike him. Another great technique would be worst case scenario, best case scenario, and most likely scenario. Similar to the evidence for/against approach, I think he would respond well to these rationalizations and could talk through how likely it is that his coworker was just busy (most realistic). He may not feel convinced completely in the beginning, but these techniques would allow him to think for himself and realize that his negative automatic thought probably is both untrue to some degree and extremely maladaptive.

    Core beliefs are one’s beliefs about themselves (and the world) that they hold true universally. Core beliefs are difficult to change because they often develop early in life. Often times, core beliefs are formed during childhood. Significant life events, repeated upsetting events/scenarios, childhood trauma, and more can all shape one’s core beliefs. For example, a child whose brother is constantly praised may feel he is worthless because his parents do not praise him as well. With that being said, core beliefs can change and develop later in life as well. Often times core beliefs can be changed or “activated” when someone is not doing well or when they develop a mental disorder. Someone may feel relatively likeable throughout most their life, but their core belief may change to “I am unlikeable” when they become depressed. Core beliefs are often difficult to change in therapy. The reason they are difficult to change is because they are very universal and inflexible. Once someone “learns” a core belief, it is hard to adjust it. Someone who believes that they are unlovable will have a difficult time accepting that that fact is not 100% true. In fact, people will often ignore evidence that their core belief is false. Any evidence that goes against their core belief will be discarded or adjusted to fit into the belief while any evidence that supports their core belief will just be further proof to its legitimacy in their mind. Although it is difficult to adjust a core belief, there are important therapeutic gains from adjusting them. If the client (with their therapist’s help) adjusts their core belief, they will have a better understanding about themselves and the world. Not only that, they will be able to notice when they are making negative generalizations about themselves and the world. They will also likely have less negative automatic and intermediate thoughts about that core belief. With their new knowledge, the client can cope better in the future and learn techniques to function better.

    Reply

    • Emily Barefield
      Mar 11, 2022 @ 19:56:27

      Hey Madelyn,

      This situation is absolutely a case where Mark’s core belief of being unlikeable is very present. This core belief shape the thoughts Mark has about his situation that you mentioned, which helps explain his level of distress. I like the Socratic techniques you suggested. I agree the Mark would likely respond well to rationalizations. He seems to appreciate this type of approach and acknowledge that he just has some difficulty taking that perspective himself.

      I also think you did a great job of highlighting why core beliefs can be so difficult to change. Attempting to persuade someone of something when they continually dismiss evidence that does not fit their point of view is a seemingly impossible task in almost any situation. I also like that you highlighted how being aware of their own core beliefs can help them catch themselves when they begin to experience negative automatic thoughts, which can improve their ability to cope. Great post!

      Reply

    • Sandra Karic
      Mar 12, 2022 @ 18:43:35

      Hi Madelyn,
      Great job explaining the connection between Mark’s negative automatic thought and negative core belief. I thought the evidence for/against Socratic technique would be extremely helpful for Mark as well. I think the worst case/best case scenario technique would also work really well! Additionally, I really liked how you explained core belief development and I think the example you used illustrated the process very well. Lastly, I think you did an awesome job explaining the therapeutic benefits of changing a negative core belief.

      Reply

  8. Monika
    Mar 10, 2022 @ 13:10:56

    Mark’s responses to the outcome will help him identify his emotions and realize how exactly he felt in the moment and the different types of cognitive distortions he experiences like rumination. His response to his friend saying no to having lunch was to have lunch alone in the park which made him feel bad and sad as he describes. So, Mark choosing to have lunch alone(outcome) made him feel lonely and isolated but he is also ruminating about his friend ‘rejecting’ him. And this rumination in turn made him feel sad and he was having thoughts like it is hard to be liked by other people.
    I think for Mark an effective Socratic technique would be examining the evidence and logical questioning. From the previous videos, we know that Mark’s friend has spent time with him in the past and they have done things together. So, helping Mark think about his past experiences where he had a good time with his friend will help him to question if his negative thoughts about himself might be off base. We can ask Mark questions like, what is the evidence that your friend purposely denied going about to lunch with you or tell me why you thought that? We also ask him logical questions like, based on your past experiences with your friend, do you think it’s possible that your friend might genuinely be busy?

    Core beliefs generally develop in early childhood or adolescence based on how the individual interacts with people close to them like family, friends, and teachers. Experiencing trauma or adverse conditions early in life can also lead to the development of negative core beliefs. Some individuals are genetically vulnerable and can develop core beliefs as well. Even though core beliefs can be positive and negative, negative types of core beliefs generally lead to psychological distress.
    Core beliefs are often deeply ingrained and work at a subconscious level. Many times individuals experiencing them are not even aware that they have these core beliefs which are leading to distress. Also, since thought patterns can’t be easily observed by others it makes it even more challenging to identify them. The automatic nature of negative thoughts and beliefs which become a part of an individual’s nature also makes them challenging to identify.
    Helping clients modify their negative core beliefs has the ability to affect the way they view themselves, relate with others, and perceive the world, in addition to enhancing long-term improvement. Successfully modifying negative core beliefs can also reduce their overall distress. In addition, it can also immune clients from stressors that they may experience in the future as they will be capable to identify their negative thoughts independently.

    Reply

  9. Lexi
    Mar 10, 2022 @ 13:35:59

    Mark is experiencing some emotional distress and negative thoughts about himself after a coworker declines his invitation to go to the sub shop on their lunch break. As we saw in the last video Mark has had a hard time dealing with this rejection from a coworker who he assumed would be a “safe bet” for a lunch out. We can gain insight into why this event is so distressing to Mark by better understanding his emotional and cognitive responses. Mark shares that the negative automatic thought he experiences after this perceived “rejection” was that Jeff must not want to spend time with him / around him. The emotion that Mark reports after this event was “hurt” described at being about an 8 or 9. Looking into these emotional and cognitive responses helps us to quickly understand why Mark is experiencing distress. We may have success in modifying this negative automatic thought by Socratic questioning, or in other words trying to lead Mark to the understanding that there are other equally or perhaps more realistic explanations as to why Jeff refused his invitation to lunch. We may ask mark “do you think Jeff really doesn’t enjoy being around you” “has he ever done anything else to make you feel that way?” “if Jeff truly didn’t like you or want to spend that time, why would he have gone out for lunch with you on so many occasions in the past” “Could there be another reason that Jeff did not want to go to the sub shop that day?” – the point of using the Socratic method is to slowly lead Mark to a more realistic or less damaging explanation for the distressing event. He needs to realize there is not a ton of support in reality for the negative automatic thought of “jeff doesn’t like spending time with me” in this case. Realizing alternative explanations may help Mark to see the automatic thoughts for what it is and to question its validity / usefulness leading to an improved ability to cope with the situation.

    Core beliefs develop over time and are based largely on past experiences, these beliefs can be accurate or inaccurate and they are relatively stable over time / can be difficult to modify. One reason is that they tend to be based on experience and are often reinforced over time. We may have repeated experiences of being rejected etc creating and maintaining a core belief that we are unlikable or unlovable. This may be the case with Mark. Modifying negative or maladaptive core beliefs can be extremely advantageous for obvious reasons. Core beliefs effect our thoughts and behaviors, as well as the attributions and interpretations we make about events. If we hold the core belief that we are “unlikable” – as Mark seems to – then we are more likely to experience distress and attribute bad social experiences to our own “unlikable-ness” as Mark has in this instance. The individual who holds strong negative core beliefs which are inflexible is unable to make adjustments/modifications to their core beliefs over time as they take in new information and experience increased psychological or emotional distress. Of course, this also makes it hard for them to make the necessary cognitive modifications when experiencing a negative automatic thought. If we are able to create more realistic and more positive core beliefs, or increase psychological flexibility surrounding those beliefs, then clients have better ability to cope with distressing situations.

    Reply

    • Jeremy
      Mar 10, 2022 @ 13:51:59

      Hey Lexi,
      Great discussion post, You really detailed the process and flow of their conversation and the written order of events and were greatly helpful in my understanding of how to approach automatic thoughts in therapy. Socratic questioning is especially useful for automatic thoughts because they are often more potential lines of thought than the one that comes up automatically. Taking time to explore other possibilities Is a good way to determine if the thought is valid or not.

      Reply

      • Jeremy
        Mar 10, 2022 @ 13:56:58

        Oops forgot the second half!
        Your point about flexibility of core beliefs was something that i have overlooked. Learning how to adapt core beliefs over time is a great belief to the indiuval, as a majority of our beliefs could always be better informed. learning to let go of core beliefs that no longer serve the indiuval can help them not only with their presenting core belief but adapt furtue ones once they come up outside of therapy.

        Reply

  10. Jeremy
    Mar 10, 2022 @ 13:44:45

    Mark’s response to the outcome of the automatic thought is helpful to identify where the distress comes from. It isn’t the event itself that causes negative emotions, its the responses and coping strategies. Mark for example after being shut down with Jeff he went to McDonald’s and sat down in his car. We can see how these actions after the automatic thought reinforce the negative mood he was in, increased his distress, and reinforced his belief in the automatic thought. Understanding this the therapeutic alliance can work through how his thoughts that Jeff didn’t want to eat, affected his mood wich, in turn, influenced his behaviors to isolate and seek comfort food, creating an environment that maintains and reinforces his negative mood. Using Socratic questions can be useful in the expiration and modification of automatic thoughts in part to examine the evidence for the automatic thought to see if it is based in reality. Having the client explore this themselves through Socratic questioning also teaches clients how to be critical of their automatic thoughts outside of the therapy environment as Socratic questioning does not require a third party, instead learning to identify the thought, and then question it can all be an internal process. If in this case, Mark applied Socratic questioning after his encounter with Jeff, he may have realized that there were other reasons Jeff didn’t eat with him, his mood may have been influenced, (though he may still experience negative feelings) leading to better outcomes.
    Core Beliefs develop as a response to major life events, typically most of these develop early in childhood. They are influenced by the environment, biology, and interactions without peers or mentor figures. Over time these core beliefs are reinforced through a series of interactions with the environment (including other individuals), Often our core beliefs go unrecognized and build in strength over time and influence what automatic thoughts may arise and distress the individual. Core beliefs are difficult to modify because of the amount of time and reinforcement they have had to cement themselves in our person. Because they are at the core of many of an individual’s thought processes they take time to modify. Tequineis used for automatic thoughts is less effective here as we hold onto core beliefs despite contrary evidence. Working through why an individual thinks their core beliefs and slowly modifying them over time can help the client with the distress associated with the core belief as negative core beliefs can warp our view of the world as the core belief seeks to perpetuate itself. Being aware of and actively modifying the core belief when it comes up can lead to an extension of some automatic thoughts and encourage the individual to push their boundaries in areas where this core belief has held them back.

    Reply

    • Emily Barefield
      Mar 11, 2022 @ 20:06:19

      Hey Jeremy,

      You did a good job of pointing out that the responses and copying strategies Mark utilized in this situation were responsible for his distress rather than the event itself. After Jeff did not go to lunch with him. Mark put himself in situations that made himself feel worse and provided him with the opportunity to ruminate over his situation. It could potentially be beneficial for Mark to utilize Socratic techniques for himself, although he would likely need practice with this first.

      I also like how you talked about the many causal factors of core beliefs, and how they can often be unrecognized by the individual. Being able to identify these beliefs and when they are relevant can be very beneficial for the individual. Good post!

      Reply

  11. Sandra Karic
    Mar 10, 2022 @ 14:52:06

    Mark’s response to Jeff rejecting his lunch invitation shows not only how deeply the rebuff affected him, but also how his behavior after the fact led to a longer, more intense feeling of hurt. As noted in the video, Mark is demonstrating personalization by assuming that Jeff’s response is due to Mark being unlikable rather than thinking that Jeff might be busy. He feels hurt and isolated after this interaction; while he still gets lunch, he goes to McDonald’s instead of the place he wanted to go to and spends the whole meal ruminating on the event, which increases his distress. I think his response to the outcome is important because it showcases how it worsens his distress and almost has a punishing element to it. I think some Socratic techniques that could help modify his negative automatic thought are examining the evidence and separating the self. I think that examining the evidence for the thought could give some helpful information on how the core belief of unlikeability operates. In an earlier video when initially describing the event he really emphasizes that Jeff did not look up from his computer, which in my mind would be evidence that Jeff is really busy, not that he doesn’t like Mark. It reminds me of the screen metaphor that Judith Beck uses. I also think separating the self would be a good way for Mark to look at the event more objectively. He seems like a genuinely kind guy and I cannot imagine him being so harsh with someone else, especially not someone he cares about.

    Core beliefs develop early in life, often in childhood or adolescence, though they can develop in adulthood as well. They are usually influenced by significant events, people, relationships and environments. Sometimes a biological vulnerability may play a role in the development of a negative core belief. All of these factors can interact with each other and solidify a certain core belief. At the time of development, negative core beliefs may have served a purpose or held some validity, but have grown invalid and unhelpful over time. However, some negative core beliefs have always been invalid. Many people have both positive and negative core beliefs, though the negative core beliefs may become more prominent during stressful times. Core beliefs are deeply ingrained, biased, and self-perpetuating. Although they may not have always been as active, it is hard to modify beliefs that have been around for what may be the majority of a client’s life. The beliefs are biased in the sense that people recognize and incorporate events or information that confirms them but disregard or distort evidence to the contrary. Lastly, core beliefs are reinforced by automatic thoughts, leading to a pattern that is very difficult to break. It can also be tricky to modify a client’s core belief without invalidating their feelings, which may occur if a therapist tries to modify a negative core belief too early. Since core beliefs strongly affect how we process information and respond to events, the benefits of changing a negative core belief can be huge. It has the potential to change the way clients view themselves, others, and even the world in general. Modifying negative core beliefs can also reduce the frequency of negative automatic thoughts and help clients recognize and challenge future negative automatic thoughts.

    Reply

    • Moises Chauca
      Mar 13, 2022 @ 00:49:57

      Hello Sandra,
      You had a great post! I totally agree with the Socratic technique you choose. I liked how you mentioned that looking at the evidence can give us information about core beliefs. In addition, I liked how you mention the metaphor from Judith beck, it does give it a different perspective. Lastly, I liked how you mentioned that people do have positive and negative beliefs! Because this is really important to point out!

      Reply

  12. Moises Chauca
    Mar 10, 2022 @ 21:49:23

    The client’s response to the outcome is an important piece of information that can help us understand their problems. Their responses to the outcome can tell us the client’s thoughts and emotions about the outcome from their behavior and how it affected their distress. For example, Mark experienced negative thoughts and emotions from the event with his friend Jeff. Mark responded to the experience as a negative event that lead him to feel lonely and sad and think that he is worthless and unlovable. This information can help us understand that Mark has this event as stressful and distressing and what thoughts and core beliefs we can focus on for better outcomes from his behavior. An effective Socratic technique would be evaluating the evidence of these thoughts and finding if they are valid and how we can go about them. Dr. V explained that in Mark’s case, he perceived this event with Jeff as a rejection and internalize that this is all his fault when in reality Jeff was busy and had other things to do. By evaluating the evidence, we can see what supports Mark’s thoughts and what contradicts them and then modify the thought to reflect the evidence.
    Core beliefs are the client’s beliefs of themselves, their environment, and others. The beliefs are shaped by life events, environmental factors, influential people like mom and dad, and these beliefs start to form in childhood tend to be consistent through adulthood. Core beliefs are rigid and deeply rooted rules that influence our automatic thoughts. When working with patients on their core beliefs, they can be resistant and at times not be able to comprehend how their values can affect their thoughts. The therapeutic gains that come from modifying core beliefs are being able to identify automatic thoughts and modify these automatic thoughts to have a more adaptive response to stressful situations. Lastly, the client will be able to experience different events accurately and adapt to new situations.

    Reply

    • Lexi
      Mar 14, 2022 @ 16:19:11

      Hey Moises!

      I thought you did a really good job discussing the various methods that could be used to assist Mark in therapy. As we saw in the videos, examining the evidence for and against his distressing beliefs was fairly effective in helping him feel more confident about the situation with Jeff at work. In the example of Mark he tends to look inward and make some pretty negative attributions when things happen, so methods of evaluating the quality, and realistic-ness of his thoughts is necessary for him to feel better and improve emotional response.

      Reply

    • Monika
      Mar 15, 2022 @ 18:12:14

      Hi Moises,
      I think you did a good job linking Mark’s negative emotions with his responses to Jeff saying no for having lunch together. I like the technique of evaluating evidence you suggested as well, that will really help Mark think about the positive times he has spend time with Jeff and not just focus on the ‘rejection’ part which will help a great deal modify his negative thoughts. Good job explaining the core beliefs, I didn’t think of how values can affect core beliefs as well.

      Reply

  13. Pilar Betts
    Mar 10, 2022 @ 23:56:06

    Mark’s outcome in the situation with his friend Jeff was that he still went to lunch even though Jeff said he couldn’t go because he was busy. Mark expresses feeling embarrassed and ashamed to be eating at the sandwich shop alone. The response to the outcome is important because it helps us to understand how the situation made the client feel overall. If the distressing situation ended in a positive outcome the client will probably be less likely to feel upset but in Mark’s case he felt ashamed and rejected when Jeff said he “didn’t have time” so much so he began to think of all the negative reasons that Jeff said no. His thoughts and feelings were negative he felt rejected, unwanted and that Jeff didn’t want to be around him anymore and this caused him to feel sad at the sandwich shop. Going over the outcome can help to gauge the clients level of distress and how severe it is.

    Some successful Socratic techniques to use with Mark would be examining the evidence, exploring alternate explanations , shifting attribution biases and by separating self for the negative thoughts. These would be helpful because by looking at the evidence we can help Mark to look at the situation in a different way, by finding out how Jeff said no or what Jeff was doing at the time, his body language etc. by encouraging Mark to look at factors that would influence and exploring alternate explanations for Jeff’s response rather than just automatically blaming himself he is more likely to look at the current situation and other situations in a more objective manner. Shifting bias will also encourage Mark to look at things outside of himself that lead to Jeff’s response to having lunch. Lastly it would be helpful for Mark to separate himself from his thoughts, this can be done by asking Mark what reasons would Jeff have to respond in a similar way to another friend, what were the circumstances, putting himself in Jeff’s shoes. All of these would be helpful in redirecting those negative thoughts.

    Core beliefs can be the precipitating event for negative automatic thoughts to occur. When a clients thought patterns are consistent and pervasive it usually is a result of their beliefs having influence on their thought process. Core beliefs can be challenging to modify because they usually are set in stone in adolescence that’s why it is so much harder to change older clients beliefs because these thoughts become a pattern in their lives. These beliefs are usually created based on experiences and upbringing so it takes time to work to modify them if they can be modified at all. Some of these core beliefs can lead to really negative and toxic thought patterns so modifying these beliefs can be really helpful in improving a client’s outlook on life. For example if a person’s core belief is that that will never be good enough they will constantly aim to please others and put themselves last. This can lead them to be vulnerable to abuse, mistreatment and being taken advantage of. This results in them having low self esteem and sense of self worth. Therapy to modify the core beliefs will help the person the heal and begin to create more positive thoughts and beliefs about themself.

    Reply

    • Moises Chauca
      Mar 13, 2022 @ 00:09:45

      Hello Pilar!
      I enjoyed reading your post! I agreed and found many points you made really important. First, your explanation of the importance of the outcome was well described. I liked how you described the positive outcome perspective for the client and applied it to Mark’s experience. Second, I agree with your choice of the Socratic technique because it seems that Mark tends to internalize and not weigh the evidence of the situation. Lastly, you did a great job explaining core beliefs and your example was a nice touch.

      Reply

    • Lexi
      Mar 14, 2022 @ 16:07:51

      Hi Pilar!

      I like what you had to say about how client’s beliefs influence their thought process, it is truly so important to keep this in mind during therapy and especially to be really true to CBT. Maintaining and boosting clients level of self esteem and self worth should always be a priority, and you are so right that if their beliefs are not that they are strong, worthy or lovable people they will be more likely to allow mistreatment in their interpersonal and romantic relationships, as well as other social environments such as the workplace etc. again really enjoyed your post this week!

      Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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