Topic 7a: Core Beliefs {by 3/19}

Watch MDD-16: Core Beliefs – Evaluating [Identifying 2 in text] – Core Belief Flowchart-Part A.  Answer the following: (1) In what way was the CBF-A effective in understanding how the clients’ core belief developed? (2) What additional historical information could have been obtained to understand the development of the client’s core belief?  Your original post should be posted by 3/19.  Have your two replies posted no later than 3/21.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

39 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jessica Costello
    Mar 14, 2020 @ 21:29:33

    1. Using the core belief flowchart led to the client disclosing more specific events and relationships that could have reinforced his core belief that he’s unlikable. Dr. V was able to draw connections and make patterns between different occasions when Mark felt rejected. They also discussed some of the first few times Mark remembered feeling that way, different people in his life who were involved in these negative situations, how he thought people perceived him, and how Mark dealt with his feelings when he felt rejected.

    As Dr. V asked questions, Mark provided more examples and context of how he’s dealt with his thoughts and feelings in the past. Learning how he tried to fix his feelings after he was hurt, for example withdrawing into his room or office, identified one of his major coping skills and probably also helped Dr. V draw conclusions about Mark’s attempts to feel better that may have actually ended up reinforcing his negative core belief instead.

    2. This session focused mainly on Mark’s more recent experiences with his current friends, his girlfriend, and friendships from college and high school. He couldn’t think of many ways his family members could have contributed to the negative core belief that he was unlikable, but this would have been an interesting area to explore. To gather data that would eventually challenge the core belief, they also could have explored situations that didn’t support Mark’s core belief, or an example of someone who thought he was likable.

    Reply

    • Renee Gaumond
      Mar 16, 2020 @ 15:36:28

      Hi Jessica,
      I like your point that Mark’s coping skills could be reinforcing his core belief. When he would withdraw into his room or office he’d negatively reinforce his belief. He would socially isolate himself in an attempt to feel better. After a while of this behavior being reinforced, it becomes a habit that’s hard to break due to constant reinforcement. Withdrawing from people relieved his anxiety in the moment, but the social isolation became a coping mechanism which lead to strengthening his core belief that he is unlikeable.

      Reply

    • Melanie Sergel
      Mar 17, 2020 @ 12:27:41

      Hi Jess!
      I agree with you that the CBF-A was useful in drawing connections and noticing patterns between different occasions when Mark felt rejected. It is very true that this flowchart is useful to see if events and people reinforce his core beliefs. I also wrote about how I think it is important to explore Mark’s family relationships because they could very much have contributed to the development of his core beliefs, but he just couldn’t think of it at the moment. Like you said, it would be very interesting to explore more of this area.

      Reply

    • Monica K Teeven
      Mar 18, 2020 @ 11:10:21

      Hi Jess! Great job on your blog post this week! In your response to question 1, I liked how you discussed how Dr. V made a conclusion based off of the information Mark provided in the session. Particularly when Mark states how he withdraws from a situation when he thinks he is unlikeable as a coping mechanism may actually feed into this particular negative core belief instead. Another great point you mentioned in your 2nd response is that Mark was unable to think of any member in his family that helped contribute to this particular negative core belief. This discrepancy of only friends and not family members aid in this particular negative core belief, is absolutely something that should be further discussed in a session.

      Reply

    • Taylor O'Rourke
      Mar 21, 2020 @ 10:32:48

      Hi Jess!

      I like how you mentioned that the flowchart forced Mark to think of the more specific events that have happened that may have contributed to his negative core belief of being unlikable. I think it is also important how you noted that reinforcement comes into play with this as well. I think that by determining what is reinforcing Mark’s core belief is extremely important in ultimately getting rid of the core belief altogether, or at least changing it t be more adaptive and realistic.

      Reply

    • Mariah Fraser
      Mar 21, 2020 @ 12:03:16

      Hi, Jess!

      I liked how you brought up exploring situations that didn’t support Mark’s core belief. This would have likely shown Mark that this belief isn’t accurate and believing that he was unlikable serves no utility. Also discussing people in Mark’s life who think he is likable would likely disprove this core belief as well. These would be important steps to consider when moving through the CBF-A.

      Reply

  2. Shelby Piekarczyk
    Mar 16, 2020 @ 11:29:21

    1. I think the CBF-A was very effective in understanding Mark’s core beliefs. Mark brings up situations from high school, college and others that have impacted him and have strengthened his core belief of feeling unlikable. When finding this out the therapist uses the CBF-A to circle, underline, and write the important facts on what things have impacted Mark’s core beliefs. Using this tool, it also allows Mark to explore these possible beliefs and situations that have reinforced them, and the maladaptive behaviors that were developed. For example, Mark tends to be distant ad withdraw from situations when he feels upset/ stressed about it. This allows Mark to realize these maladaptive behaviors and allows the therapist to understand these behaviors and make a plan moving forward to challenge these thoughts and change them into adaptive coping skills. Additionally, in the case with Mark, using the CBF-A situations from the past were discussed (e.g. Dave being ‘too cool’ in high school), and then situations that were happening now were discussed (e.g. taking out emotions on his girlfriend). This allows the therapist to see how Marks behaviors have developed and how his maladaptive coping skills have evolved over time.

    2. I believe that understanding Marks family environment could be an important factor in understanding his core beliefs. It was brought up shortly that he always had to prove himself to his parents, not believing he was always good enough. I think understanding this would be beneficial in understanding Marks core belief of feeling a sense of worthlessness. This core belief could have also impacted Marks core belief of feeling unlikable, or not being ‘cool enough’ or ‘good enough’ for his friends. Digging into this historical aspect in Mark’s life could help the therapist understand Mark’s core beliefs more.

    Reply

    • Renee Gaumond
      Mar 16, 2020 @ 17:07:44

      Hi Shelby,
      I agree that the CBF-A allows Mark to recognize the maladaptive coping skills, which allows him to make a plan moving forward on how to address them. Identifying the maladaptive coping skills is a good starting point before improving them. I also liked when you said that exploring the events from the past and present allow the therapist to see the development of the maladaptive coping skills. I think that’s a good point, that using past events to show how they can affect current events is a good way to look at how certain coping skills and core beliefs develop and change.

      Reply

    • Erin Wilbur
      Mar 18, 2020 @ 13:51:57

      Hi Shelby,
      You make a really good point that when discussing Mark’s core beliefs with this flow chart, it’s also giving us a look at how his coping skills and maladaptive behaviors have changed over time. Recognizing these changing skills might be able to help Mark change them in the future.I also definitely agree that looking into Mark’s family history and seeing the kinds of pressure and expectations his parents placed on him may help us understand why Mark feels worthless now, because feeling that he isn’t accomplishing as much as his parents expected can make him feel disappointed in himself.

      Reply

    • Taylor O'Rourke
      Mar 21, 2020 @ 10:48:03

      Hi Shelby!

      I totally agree with you that hearing more about Mark’s experiences with his family could be helpful in understanding the development of his core belief of unlikable. We hear a lot about Mark’s coworkers, girlfriend, and friends from college and high school, but not much is said about his family. He does briefly mention his parents and how maybe they contributed to his feelings of never feeling good enough. I think that knowing what type of relationship (if any) he had throughout childhood with others around his age such as cousins may be telling with how he is able to form relationships/friendships with others. It would also be interesting to know if he only feels unlikable from friends or from family members too.

      Reply

  3. Renee Gaumond
    Mar 16, 2020 @ 14:43:36

    (1) In what way was the CBF-A effective in understanding how the clients’ core belief developed?
    The CBF-A was helpful in understanding how Mark’s core beliefs developed by allowing for the exploration of specific events that might have been involved in the development. Knowing the events that trigger reoccurring negative thoughts about the self allows the therapist to understand the events that reinforce the beliefs. Mark mentioned that he hasn’t had a major life event that could trigger the way he feels and that it’s mostly due to the accumulation of little things over time. Knowing this lets the therapist know that because it’s multiple smaller events that developed his core beliefs. The multiple events create a pattern of the negative thoughts that reinforce Mark’s core belief.

    (2) What additional historical information could have been obtained to understand the development of the client’s core belief?
    Some additional historical information that could have been obtained is more information regarding his parent’s divorce. He mentioned that it didn’t bother him and DR. V acknowledged that everyone is different, though it could be helpful to explore more of his family involvement in his life. Mark was unable to think of ways that his family contributed to his core belief, so this could be a good place to explore ways that he is likeable. If his family hasn’t contributed to the development of the core belief than maybe there is a chance that his family relationships would be able to show ways that people like him and want to be around him.

    Reply

    • Melanie Sergel
      Mar 17, 2020 @ 12:20:13

      Hi Renee,
      I agree with you that the CBF-A was very useful in exploring specific events. Exploring specific events helps the clinician and client understand what events trigger these reoccurring thoughts. I like that you point out that Mark mentions its little events overtime that have accumulated. It is useful to know that because we are able to see a pattern of these small events that cause him to think this way. I also wrote about how I think it would be useful to explore how his parents’ divorce influenced the development of his core beliefs. Although Mark mentioned that it didn’t bother him, I think exploring the time and thoughts that occurred when this happened would be important. I also said that it could be very useful to look further into how family plays a role in the development of his core beliefs because he didn’t speak much about that. I like the point you make about his family relationships would be able to show ways that people like him and want to be around him because that is very important for Mark to see and acknowledge. Great job!

      Reply

  4. Monica K Teeven
    Mar 16, 2020 @ 17:24:41

    1. CBF-A was effective in understanding how the clients’ core belief developed in multiple ways. One reason the document was effective is because it showed when Mark noticed he began to feel unlikeable (10th grade), and how a similar situation occurred again in freshman year of college. Another important element that we learned is that he sees himself as being unlikeable more than other people see him as unlikeable. A third element that we learned is that there was not a single major event that assisted in the development of this negative core belief, rather several smaller events helped to create this core belief. Furthermore, it was discussed that it is easier for him to withdraw or distance himself when experiencing this negative core belief since he lives with only one person. Whereas, in college there were many more people and activities around him so he was not able to withdraw as much and was able to keep himself busy.

    2. He mentioned that his parents’ divorce did not really affect him. However, knowing at what age his parents divorced would be helpful in case it was around the time his core belief of being unlikeable developed. Mark stated that he started to see himself as being unlikeable during adolescence around 10th grade. Discussing his middle school years may have shown some precursors of the development of this negative core belief that Mark did not realize at the time. From the examples Mark has given so far, this negative core belief has only appeared with male friends. Has there been a situation where this negative core belief has appeared with a female friend? I would also ask Mark if he could think of any similarities between his past friends, David and Brian, such as if they acted or said things to him that were similar to each other. I would ask this because it is possible that Mark was not getting signals that his past friends needed space or had personal issues of their own which caused them to distance themselves from him.

    Reply

    • Jessica Costello
      Mar 17, 2020 @ 15:57:47

      Hi Monica! You made a lot of great connections to different circumstances that would’ve reinforced Mark’s negative core belief and why it would’ve been harder for him to withdraw in college than it is now. I agree that Mark’s parents’ divorce would’ve been another good area to explore, even if he wasn’t aware of the effects it could’ve had on him. It’s important to explore things that Mark might not necessarily be aware of because core beliefs are deeply seated and general, below the level of conscious awareness.

      Reply

  5. Melanie Sergel
    Mar 17, 2020 @ 12:09:01

    (1) In what way was the CBF-A effective in understanding how the clients’ core belief developed?

    The CBF-A was effective in understanding how the clients’ core belief developed. I think that it is very effective in understanding how a client’s core belief develops because there is a lot of exploring that occurs when going over the CBF-A with the client. When exploring with the client you are going through the history of when these core beliefs developed, and I think it is very important to know when and why these beliefs started occurring. In the video, we learned a lot about how Mark started having thoughts about him being unlikeable in high school and college. It was also effective because when exploring the past, he was asked to think of specific events and people that these thoughts started emerging around. Knowing these specific events helps the clinician understand what type of events these beliefs stem from. It shows the clinician a pattern of thoughts that then developed into the core belief. Mark has a core belief that he is unlikeable, and we saw that as early as high school he started to think “they do not want me around”. Then in college those thoughts were continuing, which shows that overtime he developed the core belief and we see a pattern because he is also questioning if people even want to be friends with him now.

    (2) What additional historical information could have been obtained to understand the development of the client’s core beliefs?

    One additional historical information that could have been explored more to understand the development of the client’s core beliefs is his parents’ divorce. I think that this is important to explore because many kids who are exposed to divorces can be significantly impacted by it. It impacts their environment and it can play a role in their development of core beliefs. For example, there are many kids who believe that they are the reason that their parents divorced. Although Mark said the divorce did not bother him, it would still be useful to explore. When exploring this, I would want to know how old he was and what was going on in his head at the time. I also think it would be interesting and useful to explore if any of his family members contributed to the development of his core beliefs. He said that he does not think any family members have played a role. The only thing he mentioned was that his parents were hard on him because his parents had high expectations for him. He did point out that this could relate to his feelings at work and with him realizing that, it shows that maybe he could make another connection if it is further explored.

    Reply

    • Erin Wilbur
      Mar 18, 2020 @ 13:44:29

      Hi Mel,
      You make a good point about needing more information about Mark’s parents’ divorce. Even though he claims it hasn’t affected him when talking about this specific core belief, the change in environment and his age when his family structure changed may have impacted him and caused other core beliefs or contributed to some of these emotions he feels when he recalls his childhood.

      Reply

    • Ashley Foster
      Mar 19, 2020 @ 11:01:19

      Hey Melanie!
      I strongly agree with the connection of further information you made with the client’s past history of stress and pressure in the past and his current stressors at work. The divorce of his parents is a major event in his life, knowing the distress that, that event brought on can better help the clinician to better understand where the client’s core beliefs and automatic thoughts are coming from. Looking over this piece of information, the risk of the the client struggling with distress is raised. Having that better understanding, the clinician can tailer treatment plans for the client.
      Great job on the post!

      Reply

  6. Robert Salvucci
    Mar 17, 2020 @ 12:47:20

    1. Mark was given the opportunity to reflect on past relationship, events, and periods of his life in relation to his social life. Mark mentioned not feeling likeable or popular in high school despite having friends that he hung out with. This may point to an underlying assumption or interpretation that Mark has regarding what it means to be “liked”, as he also mentioned his parents having very high expectations. We also learned about one friend whom Mark was close to that became distant over the years, and how that affected his sense of being a likeable person. He also mentioned that he was never bullied or belittled in particular, he just had a general sense of people being apathetic towards him. Mark seemed much more optimistic overall discussing college, which will likely provide some evidence and opportunity to shape more positive core beliefs in future sessions. In more recent months, Mark discussed how his tendency to withdraw has likely damaged his relationships and makes him feel less enjoyable to be around.

    2. I’d be curious to learn more about his family history and any past romantic relationships. We haven’t heard much regarding his upbringing and how this may have played a role in his expectations regarding social interactions or mastery. He mentioned his parent’s divorce, and while a divorce certainly impacts people differently, it’s likely that some signs of marital struggle were present while Mark was still living with his parents, which may be relevant. It may also be helpful to consider mark’s past romantic relationship and see any parallels that may exist between those and his current relationship with Melissa. Mark seems to really look up to her and uses a lot of language suggesting he doesn’t feel he is treating her as well as he’d like to.

    Reply

    • Jessica Costello
      Mar 17, 2020 @ 18:03:21

      Hi Bobby! You made a lot of good points regarding the development of Mark’s internal definition of what it means to be liked. I wonder if his parents’ high expectations for him would be connected to his perceptions of his likability, worth, and his core belief.

      It’s also a good idea to look into Mark’s prior romantic relationships as he may be repeating some of the same parallels from old relationships with Melissa and this may affect the overall quality of their relationship. Good job!

      Reply

    • Ashley Foster
      Mar 19, 2020 @ 11:09:42

      Hey Bobby!
      I thought it was interesting to investigate more into the client’s past romantic relationships. It made me think back to our clinical counseling principles and practices course last semester as this example reminded me Dr. Stoner saying we as clinician choose what path we go down on with the client. I think it is an out of the box idea as we haven’t received much information about this topic from the client, but it makes sense as we are examining social interactions and thoughts of not being likable.
      Great job with the post!

      Reply

    • Madison Armstrong
      Mar 21, 2020 @ 16:44:06

      Hi Bobby,
      I did not think of inquiring to learn more about Mark’s past relationships. I think that this could provide good insight to both Mark and his therapist about the way it may impact his present relationship with Melissa. Learning more about his past, including his family history would be beneficial to the therapeutic process. These are both topics that Mark has not mentioned very frequently, so I agree with you that it may help us see how this impacts his present social interactions.

      Reply

  7. Jenna Nikolopoulos
    Mar 17, 2020 @ 18:36:41

    1. The CBF-A was pretty effective in understanding how Mark’s core belief developed. With this exercise comes a lot of exploring further into the specific core belief to see which events caused this belief to develop. For Mark, he began to talk about an instance that happened with a friend in high school, which lead to a similar instance that happened with his roommate in college. Once he started to explore these two events, he began to notice similar patterns amongst them and with the situation that recently happened at work where his friends went to get lunch without him. This was effective as it allowed Mark to see when he first began to have doubts about whether he was likeable or not and it. This exercise also helps the clinician as it gives insight into the kinds of events that cause these unlikeable thoughts to develop. These similar recurring thoughts from different events can then show a pattern that will help the clinician understand how the belief developed. Another way the CBF-A was effective was that it demonstrated that there were several little events that helped developed Mark’s unlikable core belief as opposed to there being one big event that triggered its development. Lastly, the CBF-A was effective in showing Mark how his coping skills overtime have changed in relation to his core belief. In high school and college, it was easier for Mark to face things and move on from his thoughts, especially in college where there are other things going on that made it harder for him to withdraw. Now, when he feels stressed he tends to withdraw a lot to distance himself from what he’s feeling, but that doesn’t work as well because he feels worse after.

    2. Additional information that could have been obtained to understand the development of his core belief is to explore more into Mark’s family environment growing up. He did mention how his parents had high expectations growing up that he felt he had to meet. I think exploring more into this to understand the extent of the pressure his parents placed on him is important because even today, at work, he wonders whether he’s doing a good enough job, just like he did when he was in school trying to get the grades his parents wanted to see. One’s family environment plays a big part in a child’s development growing up and learning more about Mark’s could give insight into if, and how, it influenced the development of his core belief. Another part of this is how he felt during his parents’ divorce. Even though Mark did mention that it didn’t really bother him that much, I think it could be beneficial to find out what age he was when it had happened, his thoughts pertaining to the divorce, and to explore more into the event itself during that time to see how his parents had been involved in his life before and after the divorce. Kids with parents who get divorced when they are young are usually impacted greatly by this event. Even though everyone is different in the way it influences them, and even though Mark said it didn’t both him that much, I think exploring more into this could be beneficial as a divorce disrupts the family environment and can play a part in creating core beliefs.

    Reply

    • Monica K Teeven
      Mar 18, 2020 @ 11:27:05

      Hi Jenna! Great job on your blog post this week! In your response to question 2, I really liked how you mentioned that getting more information about what his parents expectations were of him when he was growing up is something to be explored. Gaining this information may help Mark and Dr. V see if their is a connection between this and him questioning himself if he is doing a good enough job at work. If his parents said something along the lines of “People will not like you if you do not do a good job with your work”, or “People will only like you when you do good work”, could absolutely contribute to his negative core belief of being unlikeable.

      Reply

    • Robert Salvucci
      Mar 22, 2020 @ 22:14:47

      Hey Jenna!

      It was good to point out Mark seeing pattern of interpretation that occurred in various times during his life, from high school until now. I’m curious as to how distorted his memory of those events might be given his current depressive episode.

      He also experienced a significant shift in coping as you mentioned, which may shed light on past strategies that were effective for him.

      I agree that exploring his family life could be beneficial, as we know very little about the details of his parent’s divorce. Their treatment of him in the past could very well have contributed to core beliefs during interactions that preceded the events he described in high school college

      Reply

  8. Ashley Foster
    Mar 17, 2020 @ 22:17:51

    Hey guys, Happy Social-Isolation week 1!

    Using the CBF-A, the clinician was able to enlighten the client of core belief of being unlikable. The client was able to explore on the lens of he himself was finding that he felt he was unlikable rather than others. He was furthermore was able to link this core belief to his adolescence experience with a past friend that even in session felt the “crumminess” from before. For life events, the client was able to identify little events snowballed into forming this core belief of little events through high school into college that trends into recent stressors. The client utilizes distancing to cope with the hurt and crummy feelings he has with other people declining social interactions with him. He also gave insight on how he used to be malleable and somewhat of a people person but overtime, these skills and beliefs of himself shifted. Furthermore, he realizes in the moment he can identify traits of himself that are positive such as he is present, caring, and determined. For life-events, the client has many stressors surrounding work pressures. Finally, the client mentioned he has had accomplishments and participated in activities in college, but since then he does not experience real satisfaction of accomplishing something other than a paycheck or really get involved with activities. All of this is prevalent in understanding the client’s core beliefs’ root of origin for his automatic thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This information as the clinician mentions, can be used in later work to create these new core beliefs.

    Other additional historical information that could have been obtained to understand the development of the client’s core belief. An examination of factors such as the client’s social economic status growing up and what effects that had on his development of core beliefs. Also, I would want to examine more the client’s family history and if they have suffered from any mental illnesses or have had similar core beliefs that may have influenced his own. I also would want to examine the divorce of the client’s family as many others have mentioned, as this can be very influential on a child through pressure and stress like he experiencing now at work.

    Reply

    • Jenna Nikolopoulos
      Mar 19, 2020 @ 00:00:24

      Hi Ashley! I like how you mentioned how Mark discussed having skills of being malleable and a people person at one time, but then noticed how these skills and beliefs he had of himself shifted. I think this is important because exploring further into when Mark first realized that these skills and beliefs that he had changed to what they are currently could be beneficial in understanding the development of his unlikeable core belief. I also like how you mentioned the positive things Mark was able to say about himself. Sometimes when you’re caught up in your own thoughts it can be hard to push those negative thoughts aside to think positively about yourself. It’s great that Mark was able to recognize these qualities about himself and see that even if he is not feeling so great that day that he can still be present and caring in the moment, like he mentioned when being with Melissa. I think positive qualities are always good to emphasize as they can help in the development of new core beliefs.

      Reply

    • Shelby Piekarczyk
      Mar 19, 2020 @ 09:58:07

      Hi Ashley,

      I agree completely that using the chart it helped Mark understand his core beliefs more, and ultimately develop insight on how these beliefs developed. I also agree that this gives the therapist and opportunity to indulge in these thoughts and really talk about them with the client, understanding what the client’s core beliefs really are (Marks being that he feels he is unlikeable). This can have a lasting impact of future therapy sessions because once the therapist and client understand the core beliefs and have a better understanding of where they stem from, they can work together to make these beliefs more adaptive. I also like how you stated that the chart gives Mark an opportunity to gain insight on positive characteristics that he has. This can really help make the session positive and help Mark to see that he has many positive characteristics that he should not forget about.

      Reply

    • Mariah Fraser
      Mar 21, 2020 @ 12:02:31

      Hi, Ashley!

      I liked how you made the connection between Mark regarding himself as a people person when he was younger, and over time, all of these social situations that have gone wrong have heavily influenced his self-perception — and he now does not consider himself a people person. Understanding how past experiences shape these beliefs and impact previously learned coping skills will help the clinician to identify thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that further reinforce Mark’s negative core beliefs.

      Reply

  9. Erin Wilbur
    Mar 18, 2020 @ 13:27:59

    1. The core belief flowchart was extremely helpful in understanding the development of Mark’s core belief that he is unlikeable because it gave an in-depth view of past events that have reinforced this belief for Mark. By going through this worksheet, we got more information about Mark’s past which makes it easier to understand why he so strongly believes that he is unlikeable. Mark disclosed that this kind of thing had happened to him before, where he was excluded from certain things with people he thought were his friends in high school and how it has continued throughout his life until now. This helps the therapist see how this belief developed, because it has been strengthened by many of these smaller events. Mark discussed how he had a few friendships that “drifted” without much of an explanation and how he didn’t notice that they had affected him more than he thought. These situations where Mark was excluded or drifted apart from people he was close to led to automatic thoughts like “what’s wrong with me that they don’t want to hang out with me”, all fueled by this core belief. This worksheet helped Mark to explore his coping skills and current thoughts and emotions to better explain to the therapist why this belief existed and how it has developed throughout his life until this point.
    2. I think that looking into Mark’s family history could be helpful additional historical information. While his parent’s divorce may not have impacted him in a negative way, Mark does mention this his parents had certain expectations for his academic performance in school and that he obtain a college degree. These expectations may have been tough for Mark to fulfill without sacrificing his social life, which could contribute to why he uses withdrawal as a coping mechanism now, and also why he felt that he had several friendships that “drifted” apart. I’m also interested in his family history generally, like a history of depression or anxiety, and if his parents were supportive of his mental health and not just his academic success.

    Reply

    • Jenna Nikolopoulos
      Mar 18, 2020 @ 23:23:40

      Hi Erin! I totally agree with wanting to know how Mark’s parent’s high expectations contributed to the development of his core belief. I like how you connect these expectations with Mark’s social life and how they could have negatively impacted it, which could have caused Mark to mainly rely on withdrawal for a coping mechanism. I also like how you mention wanting to know about his family history in general. A family history of depression and anxiety could definitely have played a part in Mark’s depressive episode and contributed to his negative thoughts of wondering if people actually like him or want to spend time with him. I too would also like to know if his parents were supportive of his mental health. He mentioned how his first thoughts of being unlikeable were around adolescence. It would be interesting to know if Mark’s parents knew what he was going through at that time and if their expectations changed to fit the situation or if they were supportive but still expected Mark to adhere to their expectations.

      Reply

    • Shelby Piekarczyk
      Mar 19, 2020 @ 09:54:28

      Hi Erin,

      I agree complete where we find out a lot about Mark’s past experiences and how this has shaped him now. Learning about these past experiences gives the therapist a better understanding on how Mark’s core beliefs developed and ultimately how they were strengthened over time. When learning about Mark’s past with his friends and not being included in certain activities it teaches us how Mark’s internalizes this as him being ‘unlikable’ and that individuals do not want to hangout with him. I agree by using the chart to dig deeper into this information it helps the therapist and Mark gain a better understanding of these beliefs he holds so deeply. I also agree that digging deeper into Mark’s home life (with his parents) would give us a better understanding of his core beliefs. Mark stated that he sometimes did not feel good enough for his parents, so gaining insight on why he felt like this would be beneficial for future sessions with Mark.

      Reply

  10. Madison Armstrong
    Mar 19, 2020 @ 12:36:16

    (1) In what way was the CBF-A effective in understanding how the clients’ core belief developed?
    The CBF-A was very effective in understanding how Mark’s core beliefs developed. Focusing on Mark’s core belief of perceiving himself as unlikable, using the CBF-A, Dr. V was able to uncover some insight into what may have led to the development of this belief. Mark was not able to pinpoint a certain event that triggered his core belief, but it was understood that it was a series of events from high school and college that reinforced this. Such events are his thoughts in high school of thinking that no one wants to be around him and then in college when he and his roommate became estranged. He was able to talk through what the situation was, who was involved and what his reaction to certain triggers were, which helped both Mark and Dr. V understand how Mark coped with these thoughts of unlikability.

    (2) What additional historical information could have been obtained to understand the development of the client’s core belief?
    Some additional historical information that could help with understanding Mark’s core belief would be learning more about his family history. Learning some information about what Mark’s childhood was like and his family dynamic would be interesting to see if it had a role in his core belief development. Mark touched on mostly high school to present events so I would be curious to see if there are any events that happened in childhood that he may not want to discuss yet or small events that may have played a role unbeknownst to him. He touched briefly on his parents’ divorce and the fact that they had high expectations of him so it may be beneficial to discuss these topics a bit more.

    Reply

    • Tim Keir
      Mar 21, 2020 @ 21:06:05

      Hey Madison!

      I thought it was interesting that Mark was able to come up with so many examples where he felt purposefully left out by others, it’s a really great way to represent how the person’s own beliefs shade their understanding of an experience to be ultimately negative. These events certainly reinforced Mark’s beliefs, but I get the feeling that the true source of these beliefs come from earlier than Mark was able to get into here. I absolutely agree with you that the briefly-mentioned family history probably has a lot more to do with Mark’s beliefs than the stories he delved into, but hopefully we can tackle the core beliefs in question without necessarily tracking down their source. Great post!

      Reply

  11. Taylor O'Rourke
    Mar 19, 2020 @ 13:04:04

    1. In what ways was the CBF-A effective in understanding how the clients’ core belief developed?

    One of the ways that the CBF-A was effective in understanding how Mark’s core
    beliefs were developed was by looking at the events that may have led up to the formation of the core beliefs. The therapist goes on to say they would look at what reinforcers may have been put in place for these thoughts/emotions, so this flowchart makes it easy to see things like these out on paper. This also makes it helpful to determine what may help reinforce new, more adaptive core beliefs. Looking at some of the people that may have contributed to the core belief of unlikable is important as well with seeing how the development may have occurred and when it started. Mark claims that when he was in high school, he had a good group of friends but it may have been one of the first times where he felt something may have been wrong with him (since his friend Dave no longer wanted to be friends). The therapist also asked Mark if there were any family members that may have contributed to the development of this core belief. Mark explains that maybe his parents contributed to his worthlessness feelings since he never felt anything was good enough, which followed him into adulthood at his job now. Talking about any big events that may have changed Mark’s life is an important piece of the flowchart because he said that there was nothing big, but maybe a combination of all the little things is what contributed to his negative core belief.

    2. What additional historical information could have been obtained to understand the development of the client’s core belief?

    Some additional historical information that could have been obtained to
    understand the development of Mark’s core belief is more of the relationship that he had (and also currently has) with his family members, since he mostly just talks about Melissa and his friends. I think that core beliefs are something that may develop over time, so maybe looking back further than adolescence and his college experience may have been helpful in determining everything that goes into the core beliefs Mark experiences as an adult. In addition, although Mark and the therapist discussed his closest friends from high school in college, I would have liked to hear more about his friendships he had in school beyond just the closer relationships. I think it would be telling if Mark only felt these feelings and thoughts as a result from his friendships with his “best friends” versus any friends he just socialized with on occasion.

    Reply

    • Tim Keir
      Mar 21, 2020 @ 21:25:28

      Hey Taylor!

      I also like how the CBF-A organized the approach to exploring Mark’s core beliefs, with Dr. V adapting it on the fly where necessary. I like how you’re already thinking about the next step in adapting the core belief into something more rational! I agree that delving further into Mark’s past would likely uncover more influential sources of Mark’s core belief, but would knowing that information make changing it any easier? I couldn’t tell ya, and I suppose we’ll learn over time. Great post!

      Reply

  12. Mariah Fraser
    Mar 19, 2020 @ 15:41:15

    1.It was helpful for the therapist to be able to identify a pattern of thoughts, emotions, behaviors, or beliefs with Mark in regards to his interactions with others. Mark has a tendency to feel unlovable and worthless when things don’t go as planned, such as with George and Jeff. Not only did these situations result in an overgeneralization that his friends don’t like him or don’t want to spend time with him, but Mark also personalizes these situations by internalizing his feelings. This reinforces his thinking that he has done something wrong, and that is why his friends don’t want to spend time with him. Mark also has a tendency to withdraw, or distance himself from others when he is feeling down. With George, he stopped helping Melissa make dinner, and with Jeff, he ate McDonald’s in his car by himself. Mark feels sad when these things happen, so identifying the pattern and the reasons why he responds to situations the way he does will make it easier for change. The therapist was also able to determine where these core beliefs originated from and how they are maintained. Mark spoke about his parents having high expectations, which could be why Mark is perfectionistic and is hard on himself when he doesn’t perform the way he thinks he should. Similar situations in high school and college, of friends coming and going, likely reinforced those beliefs. Mark began distancing himself when he was younger as a coping strategy, and because he overuses it, this perpetuates his current distress.

    2.I think it would be worth exploring more of how Mark’s parents have influenced his beliefs and his behavior. Because all of these things are learned, further exploration may provide better insight into Mark feeling as though he needs to be perfect, which could more broadly include why he feels devalued if his friends seem to outgrow him. Thinking that he was not good enough (worthlessness) if he didn’t perform to his parents’ standards likely has a strong relationship with Mark’s belief that he is unlovable as well.

    Reply

    • Madison Armstrong
      Mar 21, 2020 @ 16:50:03

      Hi Mariah,
      I agree with you that it could be beneficial to explore Mark’s relationship with his parents. Since Mark had only briefly touched on the fact that his parent’s had high expectations of him, I could definitely see how that may have contributed to his core belief development of being unlovable if he did not meet those expectations. It makes me curious to see if maybe he felt as though his parents love was conditional to meeting their expectations.

      Reply

  13. Tim Keir
    Mar 19, 2020 @ 21:28:00

    1. In what way was the CBF-A effective in understanding how the clients’ core belief developed?

    The core belief flowchart was largely beneficial in providing a solid framework to help direct Mark’s exploration into the past. Giving Mark a few guided prompts to help him discover both the nature of his core beliefs as well as the important events that helped frame them seemed to help Mark come up with the events more freely.

    It is interesting to note that all of Mark’s important social events involved people who did not actively reject him, but simply drifted away for nebulous reasons. Mark’s insecurities over being unlikable seemed to exacerbate those situations into having him abandon them instead of seeking to fix the relationship or look for answers from the distant friend. His own recognition of his tendency to withdraw helped him to own the idea and accept it easier.

    Dr. V did a great job expanding and adjusting the questions in the old core belief questions rto Mark, spending significant time on the parts that Mark seemed to benefit most from. Parsing through Mark’s current stressors and coping strategies seemed easy for Mark to come up with. Furthermore, pushing Mark to come up with multiple examples of his accomplishments and strengths was great in letting Mark balance his positive aspects with the negative core belief the assignment seeks to combat.

    2. What additional historical information could have been obtained to understand the development of the client’s core belief?

    Mark brought up the fact that his parents were strict and set high expectations; he also mentioned that they were divorced. Mark himself denied that the divorce was important to his current issues, yet his social interactions seem to suggest a heightened sensitivity to being perceived as wanted and valuable from other people, which may potentially have something to do with Mark’s developmental history with his family.

    Reply

    • Robert Salvucci
      Mar 22, 2020 @ 22:03:16

      Hey Tim!

      I like the way you phrased the flowhcart as providing a framework for Mark, we did see the gears start turning more and Mark came up with many events that were linked to his beliefs.

      It was also important to note Mark’s tendency to withdraw from relationships when other people start withdrawing, rather than having a conversation with those peers or reaching out to them.

      I noticed that Mark’s more positive core belief of being loyal may actually manifest in him seeing other people not respecting his loyalty or honoring plans, which may indicate that has a certain expectation of loyalty or consistency from other people that is causing him frustration.

      As you said, it may also be helpful to explore how his family life may have impacted his core beliefs around being unwanted

      Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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