Topic 6: Core Beliefs {by 10/18}

There are multiple readings due for the next two weeks (J. Beck – 2 Chapters; Volungis – 1 Chapter).  For this discussion, share at least two main thoughts: (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 10/18.  Have your two replies posted no later than 10/20.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Becca Green
    Oct 13, 2018 @ 18:51:36

    Simply put core beliefs are the main ideas that a person has about himself or herself. As Judy Beck says these can also be looked at as schemas of the self. These are cognitive and are often unconscious beliefs. These beliefs are often formed at a very young age and are present throughout life. The three main types of core beliefs are helplessness, worthlessness, and unlovabillity, as explained in Chapter 8 of Dr. V’s text. The beliefs can represent in the person in different ways, as we can see in therapy as negative automatic thoughts or maladaptive behaviors. There are positive core beliefs and realistic core beliefs as well, but we mostly focus on the negative ones in order to modify these into more realistic or positive beliefs. Modifying core beliefs typically is done when the core beliefs are negative and causing an individual distress. This distress often comes from negative automatic thoughts that stem from negative core beliefs and maladaptive behaviors associated with coping or avoiding the distress. Typically there are different ways in which these negative core beliefs can be modified, and the approach differs depending on the type of core belief and how it is representing/distressing the individual. There are several steps to get to the stage of modifying the core beliefs, as it is important to focus on the ones that are most distressing and can produce the most beneficial outcomes for the client. Typically evaluating the core belief and coming to the conclusion that the belief is invalid can be the first step in modifying the belief and help continue with the steps that follow. If the therapist and the client are able to modify these core beliefs then a significant amount of distress can be relieved from the client. This helps the client in future stress inducing situations to be able to rationally, or optimistically, move through the situation using healthier coping skills in the process. This would allow the client to generally move through situations without using maladaptive behaviors or having negative automatic thoughts. This may not always be the case, but it could also help the client recognize that they are thinking irrationally and talk themselves through the situation to be more realistic.

    Reply

    • Deanna Tortora
      Oct 14, 2018 @ 14:18:36

      “There are several steps to get to the stage of modifying the core beliefs, as it is important to focus on the ones that are most distressing and can produce the most beneficial outcomes for the client.”
      Becca,
      You bring up a very good point here. The case may be that our clients have multiple negative core beliefs. This can be overwhelming for both client and therapist! Where to start, which core beliefs to modify first, and should we modify all of them, are some things that can come to mind. You make the great point that focusing on the most distressing negative core beliefs is one of the first steps. While this seems obvious at first, is it really?You made me think of the fact that it’s possible that what a client views as the most distressing and what we as therapists may view as the most distressing may differ. If that’s the case, would the best course of action be to first modify what the client views as most distressful and then what we view as most distressful? I think the argument can be made for both or vice versa, but to me it seems like it would be most beneficial to modify what the client views as most distressing. That way they can get comfortable enough to use the skills we teach them and modify their own core beliefs to adaptive ones.

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    • Amanda Russo-Folco
      Oct 15, 2018 @ 15:49:18

      I liked how you summarized core beliefs in a few words by saying it is the main idea. I really enjoyed reading your discussion because it was simply put. I also liked how you said, “Typically evaluating the core belief and coming to the conclusion that the belief is invalid can be the first step in modifying the belief and help continue with the steps that follow”. This is very important for modifying core beliefs because this is key in modifying the core belief and helping the individual decrease their distress. Once the core belief is modified, then the individual can find ways to cope in situations in a healthy way and also can catch themselves when they have these negative automatic thoughts and core beliefs.

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    • Melissa Pope
      Oct 16, 2018 @ 14:49:46

      Becca,

      I enjoyed how you mentioned that there are both positve and negative core beliefs. Because the focus is on modifying the negative we dont pay much attention to the positive. I also like how you brought up that negative core beliefs can represent in different ways and can be modified in different ways. It is important for a therapist to be aware of this and with appropriate insight be able to tailor both the identification and modification of such beliefs to each client

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  2. Deanna Tortora
    Oct 14, 2018 @ 14:07:34

    (1) Core beliefs are statements that are usually global, rigid, and overgeneralized views that are typically believed to be the truth. Meaning that negative core beliefs are untrue statements that are unmoving, universal to the self, others, and the world around the self. Negative core beliefs often form early in life and persist throughout (if left alone). Negative core beliefs are typically the origin from which negative automatic thoughts are produced. Core beliefs can fall in any or all of three categories: helplessness (e.g. “I am a failure”, “I can’t help myself”), worthlessness (e.g. “I am unworthy”, “I don’t deserve to live”), unlovability (e.g. “I am unlovable”, “I will always be rejected”). Negative core beliefs tend to reinforce themselves as the individual ignores contrary information, along with the fact that negative cognitions and emotions, automatic thoughts, and maladaptive behaviors further reinforce the negative core beliefs. It is clear to see how negative core beliefs can be distressing and assist in psychological dysfunction due to their rigidity, globalizing features, inaccuracy, and behavior affecting nature. Core beliefs can be difficult to change due to how ingrained they are in emotions and cognitions. Similar to automatic thoughts, core beliefs can be shaped around previous experiences.

    (2) The therapeutic gains that come from modifying core beliefs reside in reducing client distress and how clients can have adaptive and well-functioning psychological functioning. That is, the main gain that comes from modifying core beliefs is putting a client back on track for adaptive functioning. Modifying core beliefs helps clients realize that their negative core beliefs are not the truth, that they can be tested and changed, that they are strengthened and prolonged by behavior, and that they can change these negative beliefs with strategies that help them to view themselves more realistically. Helping a client to identify and evaluate their negative core beliefs as invalid, is one of the first steps in helping a client see that their negative core beliefs are making them think or see things inaccurately and are causing them distress. Using psychoeducation to make your clients aware of their core beliefs, what they are, what they do to them, and how they can change them, is one of a few steps that can be taken to help a client modify their thinking. Giving the client a “new core belief”, a more accurate core belief, can help them combat the current or old belief, so as to have a more accurate view of themselves. If a client realizes that their negative core beliefs are not truthful or accurate, and they work towards changing them, not only would they have the skills to change their maladaptive thinking into realistic truthful thinking, but they may even experience increased efficacy and esteem. They would understand that their inaccurate core beliefs were holding them back and making them distressed and/or engage in maladaptive thoughts/behaviors. Modifying core beliefs helps a client to understand their negative core beliefs, gives clients the tools and skills to modify present and future negative core beliefs and consequential maladaptive behaviors to realistic and adaptive thoughts and behaviors, and decreases client distress.

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    • Melissa Pope
      Oct 16, 2018 @ 14:28:30

      Deanna,

      I enjoyed your response on what are core beliefs. You brought up some very nice points along with the general text book knowledge on what they are. I completely agree that if you are to leave these core beliefs alone they will continue to persist and because of their cyclical nature it does make it very hard to change especially because of how strongly they are tied to a persons emotions. As it was brought up in class, usually when you ask a person what they are thinking, many times they will give you an emotion instead of a thought, because the two feed off of eachother.

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    • Marissa Martufi
      Oct 17, 2018 @ 22:22:39

      Deanna, I like you included the aspect of psychoeducation in making therapeutic gains. I agree that psychoeducation plays an important role in modifying client’s core beliefs. Without knowledge of what core beliefs are, what they do, and how they can be changed, a client would likely be unable to modify their thoughts. They need to first understand what core beliefs are and then identify their own core beliefs. I also like how you mentioned modification of core beliefs and understanding negative core beliefs as giving clients the tools and skills to modify present and future negative core beliefs. The goal of therapy is not for clients to remain in therapy forever, but instead to obtain the necessary skills to implement them in the present as well as when needed in the future. I think that is one of the most important therapeutic gains.

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  3. Jayson Hidalgo
    Oct 15, 2018 @ 12:22:59

    Core beliefs are basically beliefs that one has about himself or herself that developed because of past experiences with himself or herself, with other people, and experiences revolving the world. Core beliefs may have developed for a person during their childhood, adolescence, or the belief may have developed pretty recently due to a significant event. Due to core beliefs, it affects how an individual cognitively appraises the world and thus will affect how he or she behaves. This occurs because core beliefs are what influences an individual’s automatic thought to be when perceiving an event. To explain core beliefs a little better, I will use a simile, core beliefs are like lens. Whatever an individual’s core belief is and when it is activated due to a situation, the core belief lens will be put on and the individual will only perceive things that will correspond with their core beliefs and due to perceiving things a certain way, it will affect their behaviors because of their core belief lens. Core beliefs are broken down into three categories, helplessness, worthlessness, and unlovability. An individual may have a negative core belief that can fit into more than one of the categories. It is also good to mention, that there can also be positive core beliefs which can be used to help an individual modify their negative core beliefs. Core beliefs are only considered negative core beliefs when the negative core belief causes the individual with distress. From what I understood from the text, negative core beliefs are much harder to change than negative core beliefs. An individual’s core belief may have influenced him or her throughout their entire life which when trying to modify their core beliefs, the individual will only see their core belief as valid because they have had this core belief for so long it just makes sense for them to think this way. Furthermore, it is harder than modifying negative automatic thoughts because core beliefs are hidden behind the automatic thoughts and are deep within an individual.

    I guess the first thing to say is that the benefits of modifying an individual’s negative automatic thought is very similar to the benefits of modifying core beliefs. If you modify an individual’s core beliefs, their automatic thoughts will also be affected as well. The benefits of modifying an individual’s core belief I guess is simply to help an individual have a more realistic perspective in life which can reduce the individual’s psychological distress as well. As I said earlier, changing a core belief will change automatic thoughts and will thus change how the person perceives information from the environment and will affect how the person behaves to the environment. With an effective therapist that can effectively modify an individual’s negative core belief when in psychological distress, the person will ultimately and hopefully be able to live a more adaptive functioning life.

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    • Amanda Russo-Folco
      Oct 15, 2018 @ 15:41:04

      Jayson, I really liked the simile that you used about how core beliefs are like a lens. It was interesting to see how you made the comparison between core beliefs and a lens. It was very clever. But, I do agree with your discussion about how it is very difficult to change a negative core belief because an individual could be fixated with this core belief based on their past experiences. Also, I really like how you said: “simply to help an individual have a more realistic perspective in life”. It is important for clients to think realistically instead of making things up in their minds because the more realistic the core belief and thought, the easier it is to modify it. Also, it is important to keep in mind the therapeutic relationship because the better the therapist knows the client, the easier it is to change their negative automatic thoughts and core beliefs.

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    • Deanna Tortora
      Oct 17, 2018 @ 18:00:53

      “Whatever an individual’s core belief is and when it is activated due to a situation, the core belief lens will be put on and the individual will only perceive things that will correspond with their core beliefs and due to perceiving things a certain way, it will affect their behaviors because of their core belief lens”
      Jayson,
      I know Amanda already commented on this analogy but I must concur at its effectiveness. I really like how you explain how core beliefs impact people’s perceptions. You explained that the core beliefs act as a lens that filters a persons perceptions on a situation, which in turn affects their behaviors. This makes me think of how we constantly need to analyze why a client is thinking or acting the way they are. More often than not they do not engage in maladaptive behaviors or thoughts just because. If a person’s core belief is acting as their lens and filtering what they “see” (perceive), and is impacting their consequential thoughts and behaviors, this gives an explanation for the clients distress. Meaning if we start at the core beliefs (and automatic thoughts) we can seriously change how a client perceives things. This can act as a chain effect where we change one link and all the others follow. I think it is integral to understand where a client is coming from. Core beliefs should not be overlooked when considering client distress, thoughts, and behaviors. If we help change how they filter things then we can change what they perceive and all of the following thoughts and behaviors. It’s like Instagram filters for clients! Let’s call this one the CBT filter where we help people think more accurately. (One might even argue that this “filter” removes the core belief lens and filter. A filter remover if you may!)

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  4. Amanda Russo-Folco
    Oct 15, 2018 @ 15:30:44

    Core beliefs are the templates that provide rules for our information processing. They are all or nothing statements that are typically ridged, global, and overgeneralized views about the self, others and how the world works. Core beliefs are the specific content that derives from schemas. Core beliefs represent the “core” of the cognitive disturbance. Our core beliefs begin in early childhood because they are based on our past experiences. Everyone has their own set of core beliefs that affect their thoughts and behaviors. Core beliefs influence the individual’s perception of the situation because depending on what is important to the individual, it will affect the situation that they are faced with. Core beliefs are categorized into three categories which are helplessness, worthlessness, and unlovability. Some individuals have core beliefs that only fall into one of these categories, but other individuals can fall into multiple categories. It is important to understand individuals core beliefs because once you understand the core beliefs, then you can understand their thinking and behavior patterns contributing to their distress. These core beliefs are expressed either through the self, other people and the world. For most of their lives, most people maintain relatively positive and realistic core beliefs but during psychological distress is when negative core beliefs can come to the surface. This occurs to many of us. It is important to notice that when individuals start to share their automatic thoughts, it is important to dig deeper and find out what the core beliefs are. This could be very challenging. However, once the core belief is changed, then the automatic thought can also be changed. Although, it is a challenge to figure out core beliefs and how to elicit and modify the core beliefs depending on the clients.

    The therapeutic gains from modifying core beliefs are that this helps individuals have different perspectives on how they perceive and take in information from their environment and how they behaviorally respond to their environment. By helping clients with their negative core beliefs, this has the potential to change the way they view themselves, interact with other people, and perceive the world they live in. Once the core beliefs are changed, then their negative automatic thoughts will decrease. Effectively modifying negative core beliefs can diminish overall distress by reducing the frequency and intensity of their negative automatic thoughts. It will help the individual recognize and be aware of their negative core belief and they will have the ability to change their core belief on their own. Even though individuals will have negative core beliefs, they will also have positive/adaptive core beliefs that can contribute to helpful coping. While working on negative core beliefs, at the same time the positive core beliefs can be uncovered and strengthened. The positive core beliefs can also be used to help modify negative core beliefs. This is why it is important to have a therapeutic relationship with the client because the more you know the client, the better chance you have at modifying their negative core beliefs.

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    • Alyce Almeida
      Oct 16, 2018 @ 16:41:47

      Amanda, I liked your focus on positive core beliefs. With what we are discussing, it’s quick to go to identifying just negative aspects of thoughts. However, with modification you can slowly uncover these positive thoughts and use them to help throughout the process. Not only are individuals identifying their own maladaptive tendencies, but also admiring their strengths and positives as well. Goes back to strength based practice. Good job!

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    • Becca Green
      Oct 20, 2018 @ 12:53:30

      Hi Amanda! I liked your point on negative core beliefs and modifying them. More specifically, I liked that you brought to life the point that people can develop negative core beliefs at any point in life. It happens most often early on in life, but you mentioned the client being able to look at these core beliefs in future settings to be able look at and modify them on their own after therapy. I think this is absolutely important to remember. We need to teach our clients the skills to handle these negative core beliefs in the future should new ones arise or old ones start to resurface. Good points!!

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  5. Mikala Korbey
    Oct 15, 2018 @ 19:04:40

    1). Core beliefs are the most fundamental of beliefs and are global, rigid and overgeneralized. They can be very difficult to change and develop from an early age. Automatic thoughts develop from our core beliefs. There are three categories of core beliefs that someone may fall into, helplessness, worthlessness, and unlovability. Individuals may fall into more than one category of belief. Patterns of negative automatic thoughts are strong indicators of their core beliefs. There are six key elements to core beliefs: they generally develop during childhood, negative core beliefs are biased, they are self-perpetuating, they can be modified and replaced, and positive core beliefs are often overlooked during times of distress. Core beliefs can be either positive or negative, however we usually see more of the negative ones in therapy.

    2). There are several therapeutic gains from modifying an individual’s core beliefs. Changing our core beliefs will potentially change the way we view ourselves, how we interact with others, and view the world. Doing so will also decrease an individual’s overall distress, improve adaptive functioning, and reduce the number of negative automatic thoughts they will experience. Working to modify a patient’s core beliefs usually involves either changing an old belief or simply creating a new one. Once a client’s beliefs are changed, they are less likely to process data in a maladaptive way. This means, individuals will experience different automatic thoughts and improved reactions in situations that previously may have caused them significant distress.

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    • Shannon O'Brien
      Oct 20, 2018 @ 09:03:20

      Mikala, I like your emphasis on the link between automatic thoughts and core beliefs here. As we have learned throughout the past few classes and readings, you really can’t talk about modifying one without addressing the other in some form. I also thought your comment on creating an entirely new belief was interesting. I think as we grown, mature, and learn, we will be presented with so many opportunities/experiences where our beliefs and thoughts will be challenged. There may be times where just tweaking one of our core beliefs will be enough in order to function adaptively. However, your comment puts into perspective the variability of change levels clients and therapists will encounter and need to address. Some clients may need to make much larger adjustments to their core beliefs, therefore making them form an entirely new belief.

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    • Nicole Plona
      Oct 20, 2018 @ 20:41:22

      I thought your summary of core beliefs was well thought out and brought up some good points. I enjoyed that you made the connection and focused in on how core beliefs and automatic thoughts relate to each other. It is an individual’s negative automatic thoughts that eventually lead to the development of a negative core belief. I also agree with the statement that changing or modifying a person’s core belief will eventually lead them to having different outlooks on not only themself but also others and the world around them.

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  6. Melissa Pope
    Oct 16, 2018 @ 14:21:12

    Core beliefs are the “rules” in which a person judges themselves, others and the world. They are black and white statements, and from these beliefs stem a person’s automatic thoughts. Core beliefs are biased in nature and generally develop in childhood through experience or by influence of others. People have both positive and negative core beliefs which developmentally continue to grow over time. When core beliefs develop in a particular direction, (negative) they become more biased (distorted) and cloud the reality of situations/events. These beliefs are a negative influence to the individual, and have become so distorted that they no longer consider contrary evidence associated to an event. Negative core beliefs; which at one point may have served a purpose, are no longer valid or in some instances have never been valid, and reinforce a person’s negative thinking pattern, and maladaptive behaviors. The consistent negative cognitive and behavioral actions of ones’-core beliefs fall within three general categories; helplessness, un-lovability, or worthlessness. These beliefs cause distress to an individual and without modification because they are self- perpetuating will continue to do so.

    Once a person’s negative core beliefs have been identified they can start the modification process. Therapeutic modification of core beliefs will reduce an individuals psychological distress, which impacts their physiological and emotional responses to events. Core belief modification can also reduce the intensity of a person’s negative automatic thoughts, and with the increased development of adaptive coping skills and behaviors, will change how a an individual perceives themselves, others and the world.

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    • Alyce Almeida
      Oct 16, 2018 @ 16:38:05

      Melissa, I liked your emphasis on core beliefs being “rules” for individuals. Honestly didn’t even think of rules until I read your posts. They are rules since they facilitate the behaviors to match their core beliefs. I also liked how the core beliefs negatively reinforce themselves to promote more negative thinking patterns. Goes back to the rule – if you aren’t following your own rules, you’ve broken your own code of conduct on how you want to carry yourself.

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    • Sam
      Oct 17, 2018 @ 14:19:58

      Melissa,
      Nice addition in terms of changed physiological responses after core belief modification. I believe I forgot to add that in my response, but I completely agree. And in addition to that, even if the physiological responses do not necessarily change, (i.e., hearts may still race and palms may still sweat) how a person interprets those responses changes. So instead of viewing those symptoms as debilitating, in modifying core beliefs and negative automatic thoughts, a person may learn to interpret those responses as helpful. Nice post!

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    • Nicole Plona
      Oct 20, 2018 @ 20:48:13

      I thought it was interesting that you compared core beliefs to rules that a person follows. I never really thought of a belief as a rule but its a great connection to make. These types of beliefs may not be correct or valid but they are something that an individual fully agrees with and follows without questioning it. If there are rules set in place due to and event or game you would follow them without question. The same seems to go for these types of beliefs especially when they are negative or cause distress in a persons life. A person in that circumstance would feel as though they can’t fight them and that it’s something they have to deal with. Overall, I really enjoyed the points you made and the post as a whole.

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  7. Alyce Almeida
    Oct 16, 2018 @ 16:34:21

    1. Core beliefs are overgeneralized ideas that are believed to be true by the individual. These beliefs are considered cognitive structures within the mind and can be views of themselves as the individual, other individuals, and the world around them. There are three categories of core belief, which include helplessness, worthlessness, and unlovability. These categories can include maladaptive ways of functioning, with negative automatic thoughts and negative core beliefs as results. These can be seen with various negative self statements, and usually develop in the childhood into adolescence period. This negative pattern of thinking, reinforces itself, as the individual proceeds to form more cognitions, and negative thoughts about themselves or the situation they are challenged with. This makes these negative core beliefs very difficult when modifying, as the client themselves need to first address such patterns of negative thinking, and then be willing to start altering such thoughts with the guidance of their therapist. Overall, core beliefs can bring much distress on individuals, completely effecting their way of functioning if not positive.
    2. Modifying core beliefs isn’t as easy as it might seem. Imagine having a way of thinking for quite some time and having someone else observe and point out that such thinking is just not beneficial for you. You would probably not have such a positive reaction or response. For clients, modifying their core beliefs can be difficult, as it already brings a lot of stress onto them, let alone trying to manage such stress to then tackle these beliefs to bring changes. I think the first gain is the client realizing themselves that their thinking is clearly not positive- many may not even realize that these beliefs are effecting them, so I think the realization alone is beneficial for clients. I think a blatant gain is the ease in distress for clients when this modification process starts working. Easing such distress could really make some great changes for clients, and open up the pathway for more achievements and self-confidence. If this is helping them, clients will probably be more open to trying new methods in therapy. I guess a quite serious gain is the change in thinking once this modification has been promoted. Clients will have a different way of thinking about themselves, others, and the world around them. This change could really alter how they carry themselves, their thought process, and overall behaviors. Modification of core beliefs could really alter an individuals perspective for the better.

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    • Mikala Korbey
      Oct 17, 2018 @ 18:38:47

      Alyce, I really like that you mentioned that negative core beliefs reinforce themselves, I did not make this connection. This reinforcement will only make the core belief stronger. It is so true that the more a client believes their core beliefs are true, the harder they are to change. In order for these individuals to feel relief from their distress, they need to change their core beliefs, which will in turn change their automatic thoughts.

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    • Marissa Martufi
      Oct 17, 2018 @ 22:00:47

      Alyce, I like your example and that you mentioned how modifying core beliefs is not as easy as it may seem. I think on paper, or in text, in seems like something pretty straight forward. However, you are totally right! Modifying core beliefs can be difficult for some clients, because as you mentioned, it can be stressful. It can also be a little overwhelming, because they are learning that although their thoughts and beliefs are distressing, their beliefs are also negative. It can be a lot for some clients. I think this is where a strong therapeutic relationship is also important in helping the client to not only modify their beliefs, but also cope. Therapeutic gains, such as the ease in client’s distress following the modification process, like you mentioned, is an important therapeutic gain. These therapeutic gains can also be attributed to the therapeutic relationship and the psychoeducation process. As a therapist, the therapeutic gain is giving clients a new way to think, or transform their thoughts about themselves, others, and their world.

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    • Becca Green
      Oct 20, 2018 @ 12:58:16

      Alyce, I really like how you offered a very sincere perspective that clients may have. It can be easy to think about all of this almost as a puzzle we’re trying to solve, putting the right pieces together to have the perfect picture. But it isn’t that easy and we’re working with complicated humans, as all humans are complicated. Remembering to take everything you do from your own perspective as a clinician and then from the client’s perspective is what will benefit the client the most overall. Luckily CBT is very collaborative, which makes that part easy to integrate, but remembering to look at things from different perspectives is crucial in this field. Great point for everyone to think about.

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  8. Shannon O'Brien
    Oct 17, 2018 @ 10:45:15

    Core beliefs are enduring and global ideas that are instilled during childhood in regards to the self, others, and the world. They are viewed as templates or schemas that present rules for information processing. There are six components of core beliefs: they develop during childhood or adolescence, negative core beliefs are biased, they fall into three categories (helplessness, worthlessness, and unlovability), negative core beliefs are self-perpetuating, negative core beliefs can be modified and replaced by more accurate core beliefs, and positive core beliefs tend to be overlooked due to the resenting distress.

    Changing core beliefs will help people take in and perceive information differently and more adaptively. Additionally, cognitive processes and behavior responses will be improved. The goal is to change negative core beliefs in order to help clients view themselves, other people, and the world differently in order for them to interact with each environment/situation in an appropriate manner. Distress will decrease and well as any perceived distress as modification of core beliefs will also aid in the modification of automatic thoughts. Despite the negative core beliefs clients may hold, therapists should identify and be cognizant of the positive and healthy core beliefs that are also present. Promoting and strengthening the positive core beliefs of clients will provide tools for coping. Finally, explaining to clients the links and relationships between their core beliefs and automatic thoughts will also be beneficial for modification.

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    • Sam
      Oct 17, 2018 @ 14:13:25

      Shannon,
      It was nice that you mentioned the idea that therapists should also focus on positive core beliefs a client holds. This in my opinion is crucial, and it makes me think back to my time as a residential counselor. When creating treatment plans for an adolescent (with them and a bunch of other people) it was always important for us to remind them that they have positive qualities and that not everything they are doing and thinking is wrong. If that was the case, I feel that a lot of people would be greatly discouraged in trying to set goals because they would feel that they have nothing positive to contribute. So, nice addition!

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    • Jayson Hidalgo
      Oct 19, 2018 @ 14:38:11

      I really liked how you mentioned positive core beliefs. In class, we put so much focus on focusing on the negative perspective of things, like for example, whenever we talk about core beliefs, we examine how to modify the negative core beliefs. We rarely talk positive perspectives and we tend to forget there can be positive core beliefs as well. It is good for a professional to consider the positive beliefs so he or she can use the client’s adaptive core beliefs to assist in changing their negative core beliefs.

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    • Mikala Korbey
      Oct 20, 2018 @ 15:54:12

      Shannon, I really like how you mentioned that when working to modify negative core beliefs, it’s important to not forget about the positive ones too. I feel like I got so caught up in reading and thinking about changing the negative beliefs that I failed to consider the positive ones the individual may already have. Acknowledging and praising them for already having those positive beliefs will further reinforce them and will most likely strengthen them, as you mentioned. Maybe the therapist can even use the existing positive beliefs to help change the negative ones into positive.

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  9. Sam
    Oct 17, 2018 @ 14:09:04

    1. From my understanding, pervasive automatic thoughts are often a result of internal core beliefs. Core beliefs are essentially fundamental, inflexible and absolute views individuals hold about themselves, other people, and the environment, yet they often go unnoticed. Still, they have a profound effect on a person’s sense of self and self-efficacy. In other words, a person’s core beliefs basically determine how they interpret and perceive the world. Core beliefs are usually accompanied by strong emotions, and they do not change in the face of contradictory evidence. In this sense, they are very convincing and persuasive. These beliefs often manifest in childhood, but can also arise from cultural influences and innate dispositions. Consequently, these beliefs may be difficult to change. Individuals tend to hold core beliefs that frequently involve interpersonal issues or achievement issues such as: “I’m unlovable” or I’m incompetent”. It is important to analyze validity regarding core beliefs as they essentially form the foundation for a person’s life.

    2. Since core beliefs have a direct impact on how people view the world, it is crucial that negative core beliefs are modified. This is because, negative core beliefs can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life and their self-acceptance. Those who experience pervasive negative beliefs in regards to feeling unlovable, helpless, and worthless, will continue to feel this way, especially when their environment becomes to demanding—resulting in unproductive behaviors. Modifying such core beliefs could be beneficial in promoting growth and development, especially in regards to events that give rise to negative automatic thoughts. Additionally, by modifying an individual’s core beliefs, they may become less likely to engage in negative automatic thoughts. As a result, distress in their life becomes less prominent, and they are able to respond to stressful situations with a better outlook. It should also be noted that in modifying core beliefs, an individual learns adequate coping skills for dealing with unfavorable circumstances. With proper coping skills, a person is less prone to avoid situations that cause distress. Rather, they engage in productive behaviors and thoughts that result in healthier views of themselves, the world, and their environment.

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    • Shannon O'Brien
      Oct 20, 2018 @ 09:27:07

      Sam, there are so many things I really liked about your post! First, I really appreciate the clear and concise information about exactly how core beliefs and automatic thoughts influence coping skills, and vice versa. In my post I mentioned that there was a link, but I failed to really explain why/how, so thank you! Additionally, your comments on strong emotions, self-efficacy and achievement were nice additions. I think the importance of self-efficacy and achievement is crucial when attempting to understand and modify automatic thoughts and core beliefs as so much emotion stems from feelings of adequacy and competence . There are so many concepts related to core beliefs or automatic thoughts, but you did a great job incorporating all of them.

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  10. Marissa Martufi
    Oct 17, 2018 @ 21:23:31

    Core beliefs are defined as the ideas that an individual holds to be true about themselves although they may be untrue. Core beliefs are typically all-or-nothing statements (Volungis, 2018). These beliefs are also described and experienced as overgeneralized views about oneself, others, and the world around them. Similar to automatic thoughts, core beliefs can be negative, therefore impacting the way that an individual perceives or forms beliefs regarding themselves and can also result in distress. An individual’s core beliefs are often developed from early on in life, likely during childhood and carried into adolescence or adulthood. Core beliefs can also be developed in adulthood. Significant life events, experiences, and influences are often the reason, or contributing factor for these developed core beliefs. Core beliefs can be placed into three categories; helplessness, which includes beliefs such as “I am defenseless” or “I can’t do anything right”, worthlessness, or beliefs that “I am full of flaws” or “I have no worth”, and unlovability, which includes beliefs such as “I am unlikeable” or “I will never be loved”. Core beliefs may also be expressed with regard to one’s self, other people, or their environment (Volungis, 2018). It is important to understand that core beliefs do not need to specifically meet one single category. Instead, negative core beliefs may fit into more than one category. As we understand the categories of core beliefs, we can also understand how these firmly held, self-perpetuating beliefs can also impact one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

    Since core beliefs are strongly upheld ideas that a person believes to be true, these beliefs can impact emotion or behaviors, such as distress. When working with clients, it is important to identify these core beliefs. It is important to establish an understanding of the client’s thoughts and behaviors associated with or contributing to their distress (Volungis, 2018). It is important to work with your client to identify and assess the negative core beliefs. Psychoeducation plays an important role in this part of therapy. Clients should be educated about core beliefs, making them aware of what they are and how they may identify these within themselves. Without the client identifying and exploring these core beliefs, it is not likely that they will be able to change these. Together, the client and therapist can work to identify negative automatic thoughts and then work towards modifying these thoughts. Therefore, there are therapeutic gains that come from modifying a person’s core beliefs. As a therapist with a distressed client, it is the goal to reduce the client’s distress and help the client learn to adapt, and cope with distress. Dr. Volungis (2018) explains that helping your client address their negative core beliefs allows for the possibility to transform the way the client views themselves, interacts with others, and perceives their world. In doing so, it is important to understand that although clients may have negative core beliefs, they may also have positive core beliefs that are important to address, as these may be helpful in coping and managing negative core beliefs. Positive core beliefs can be used in modifying a client’s negative core beliefs. Since automatic thoughts and their modification can be related to core beliefs, Socratic techniques may also be used in modifying negative core beliefs. With psychoeducation and the guidance of a therapist, a client will be able to identify their core beliefs and identify that these beliefs may not be valid or accurate, although once firmly believed. By helping the client to replace these inaccurate, negative core beliefs with accurate or adaptive core beliefs, therapeutic gains can be made as the client begins to modify their negative core beliefs. As this process is done and learned in therapy, the client will begin to understand and obtain these skills. This allows the client to have the skills readily available to modify their core beliefs in the future as well, and adapt or manage distress.

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  11. Nicole Plona
    Oct 18, 2018 @ 07:41:15

    1) Core beliefs are the way people judge themselves, others, and the world, but from assumptions that they believe are facts. These types of assumptions are overgeneralized statements that don’t change from situation to situation. A person’s automatic thoughts help develop core beliefs overtime. These types of beliefs can start to develop very early in an individual’s life and can be hard to adjust or change after. Not all core beliefs are negative, however, when an individual begins to develop negative core belief it can lead to a false senses of reality. Negative core beliefs have different types of categories, which include worthlessness, being unlovable, and helplessness. Once an individual develops a core belief in one or more of these categories, their false realities and assumptions become so strong that evidence disproving it is no longer considered anymore. Though it is generally hard to change a core belief especially when it is negative it is important to mention that they can in fact be modified or changed with time.

    2) If a person has developed a negative core belief it is important to help them acknowledge it to be able to replace or modify it. Therapeutic modification can be extremely beneficial for people with intense negative core beliefs. A major gain from this process would be that it goes straight to the root of whatever is distressing in their life and changes it for the better. A change in core beliefs can cause a positive increase in how an individual views themselves and also interacts with their surrounding environments. All of these adjustments can also help a person lead to better coping methods and lower the amount of negative automatic thoughts.

    Reply

    • Jayson Hidalgo
      Oct 19, 2018 @ 14:49:41

      I like how you mention that a negative core belief can become so strong that evidence disproving it is no longer considered anymore. The longer the person has with their negative core belief, it becomes harder to change because throughout time, that negative belief is what he or she is so used to, it probably will be hard for him or her to try to believe in something else. It is a good addition that you added that because it is important to remember that the faster you modify a client’s negative core belief, the less distress he or she will eventually feel.

      Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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