2COGNITIVE to commence my career as a

2COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THEORY Caring for the Human Heart The question asked from time to time especially when facing difficulties in life, is how as future counselors, we find inspiration, remaining intensely courteous about the human heart? The inner lives of clients can be challenging narratives but as trained professional counselors who provide life enhancing therapeutic approaches. We have taken on the enormous mission of giving rise to the insight of the human condition. As future counselors, conveying appropriate interventions, assisting clients through therapy, strengthening their capacity to embrace their lives in its entirety unleashing their inherent power to ultimately take on their life challenges and win! Historical Content The influences I have had on understanding human behavior and psychological health begins with my own personal life. Since I decided to commence my career as a selfcare professional, examining my own psychological state or life condition is a part of my own human nature self-education. I believe the more struggles or problems we have as helping professional, presents a broader mindset, if you will, when understanding the problems of others. No one can avoid problems, being human almost by definition means we are assailed with challenges. Therapeutic interventions provide tools to take on each hurdle in hopes to overcome it becoming stronger and hopefully wiser in the process. The struggles of life experiences as a counselor involves going through our own analysis. How did you handle yourself in the situation? The 3COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THEORYcombination of my own awareness remaining open to self -care practices, surrounded by good friends and strong support systems has helped me see more clearly ways in which I can become a better human being and avoid tendencies that might interfere with my ability to help clients. Human Nature Psychological health is not a state of perfection. It is a lifelong quest, a journey of discovering who you are, your values. How does your life influence social and personal relationships as well as how you react to your environment? As human being we possess both a positive and negative side to how we conceptualize what is happening around us and what we face daily. Our lives can be often fraught with reactions from moment to moment. We will interface with clients who experience states of despair, impulses to destroy themselves and others, insatiable desires will control some, while others may nurse contempt. As we help clients discover their limitless power potential, finding freedom from their psychological chains, we hope as future counselor’s clients experience compassion, wisdom, and courage to a commitment of positive actions enacted in their environment. On September 30th, 2017, our Counseling Theories 505 class participated in a survey. The score from the survey represented the type of psychological orientation which favored each student’s personality. When I took the survey, the highest theory score was Cognitive Behavioral Theory. Albert Ellis, a pioneer in cognitive behavior therapies, experienced fears of talking to women and speaking in public. As a child he had been hospitalized multiple times. He was a 4COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THEORYdiabetic. Ellis used his struggles as a personal narrative of overcoming his fears thereby developing Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy. Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy is based on the belief that we are responsible for our own problems. REBT further states that based on what we believe to be truths has a great impact on how we view problems and how we solve them. Ellis was humble as he attributes forerunners in the development of REBT. Ellis’s REBT borrows from works contributed by Alfred Alder and Karen Horney. Surprisingly he has pulled from work contributed from the ancient Greeks, and from Eastern philosophies. Key Concepts A key concept of REBT is the idea of emotional disturbance, feeling out of control or balance with daily life. Our sub-conscious mind is powerful. Our thoughts and feelings can control us. Ellis believed in the opportunity to transform debilitating thought loops and create new pathways of responding to irrational beliefs. A second key concept is the ABC Framework, a central practice of REBT. It explains the reason a disturbance has taken place. The letter A is the activating event. The letter B is the person’s belief and the letter C is the psychological effect the event has on the individual. The letter D brings full circle the specific irrational belief that is an illusion in the mind of the client. A third key concept is Emotive Techniques involving imagery and modeling. The understanding is the client has the power to change their behavior about the event by cognitively willing the understanding of what happened during a disturbing event differently. Applying this technique repeatedly creates new and positive responses to a generally accepted negative event. 5COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THEORY Key Techniques Counselors, probably wrestle with deciding what techniques or tools should they use to help clients find closure and balance in their experiences of psychological events. Cognitive homework is a great start! “Clients are encouraged to record and think about how their beliefs contribute to their personal problems and are asked to work hard at uprooting these self- defeating cognitions”. (page 276) The homework is a reminder to our clients that life starts now in this moment and holding on to the past exasperates our feeling of anxiety or depression.  Homework assignments help the therapist to understand the patient’s thoughts when they are not in session and may serve to galvanize the treatment gains achieved during the session (Dattilio, 2002). To assist with this process, clients are often asked to keep a list of their problems that coincide with distressing situations that have occurred. This homework, reviewed each session, so the counselor and client can identify thoughts and challenge them. The homework includes describing distressing situations, describing the emotions and negative automatic thoughts that occur in response to these situations, rating their initial belief in the negative automatic thought, generating alternative rational responses to the situation, rating the extent to which they believe the rational alternatives, and, finally, indicating which emotions they felt in response to this modified belief. Disputing irrational beliefs, a popular cognitive technique, challenges the “must” and absolutist “should”. Clients can say “no” to a held belief freeing themselves to accept new positive definitions of responding. 6COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THEORY Psychoeducational methods a third key technique, introduces the client to expand their knowledge through books and online learning resources. Psychoeducational methods and materials remain popular because of the lasting effects of the intervention. “The aims of these approaches center on achieving the best possible outcomes for the patient through treatment and management, and work to alleviate suffering among family members by promoting collaboration with professionals, families, and patients (McFarlane et al., 2003). PMFGs are semi-structured interventions, in which 5 to 8 families attend a closed group over a period of time ranging from 2 months to 2 years. The approach is characterized by three broad phases of group development: join and collaborate, work to improve patients’ functioning, and expand the intervention into a support network that can continue after the group concludes (McFarlane, 1997)”. Therapeutic ProcessWitnessing our clients improving their lives and becoming happier makes our responsibility as counselors rewarding. Integrating therapeutic interventions will help most of our clients respond positively. We have this unique mission of helping professionals, to encourage each client we encounter to be truly happy and trust that together we will help them live full lives. Rainier Maria Rilke, the German poet states, “Live your questions now, and perhaps without knowing it you will live along some distant day into your answers.” Providing the proof of how the clients behavioral tendencies have created imbalance is the unique role of the helping professionals. We engage the client allowing them to trust the process. We are listening and gathering necessary information. How does the client breathe life into their beliefs? As helping professionals how do we change the clients thinking to reduce the irrational thought process. The forth therapeutic process is developing  7COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THEORYa sound philosophy of life. Numerous strategies to facilitate cognitive restructuring have been developed to help individuals consider alternative explanations and examine the evidence for their beliefs (Beck 1995, Wright et al. 2006). Guided discovery (e.g., skillful questioning that allows individuals to come to their own conclusions regarding the helpfulness or validity of their thoughts and behaviors) is used to maximize the potential benefit of considering alternative viewpoints (Dobson 2009). Social, Cultural and Spiritual Issues Helping professionals who are adapt in cultural competency are effective among clients who are diverse socially, culturally, and spiritually. Counseling from a multicultural perspective provides depth in the therapy process, treatment approaches and therapy goals. Albert Ellis’s REBT provides a behavior therapeutic solution to this jig saw puzzle world. As helping professionals, we are trying to change the psychological future of our clients. The therapeutic interventions provide a blueprint for helping our clients reach their full potential regardless of the deck they were dealt. Everyone deserves the right to be happy. By endeavoring to help clients experience a better life, we grow as counselors. In conclusion, as helping professionals, we use therapeutic intervention as approaches which enables clients to reduce their symptoms of illness. The responsibility is a shared one – resting between client and counselors. These tangible therapeutic outcomes allow most clients to recognize their growth and satisfaction that accompany our efforts to truly help others. 8COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THEORYReference PageCorey, G. (2016). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. (10th Ed.) Pacific Grove, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.Dattilio, F. M. (2001). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of panic complicated by medical illnesses. Psychotherapy, 38(2), 212–218.Deborah J.G. Dobson, Keith S. Dobson, In-Session Structure and Collaborative Empiricism, Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 2013, 20, 4, 410Dobson, J.G. Dobson Keith S. In-Session Structure and Collaborative Empiricism, Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 2013, 20, 4, 410McFarlane WR. In: Family psychoeducation: Basic concepts and innovative applications. Henggeler Scott W, Santos Alberto B., editors. 1997. McFarlane WR. Multifamily Groups in the Treatment of Severe Psychiatric Disorders. New York: The Guilford Press; 2002. 9COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THEORYMcFarlane WR, Dixon L, Lukens E, Lucksted A. Family psychoeducation and schizophrenia: a review of the literature. Journal of Marital & Family Therapy. 2003;29(2):223–245. PubMedMcFarlane WR, Link B, Dushay R, Marchal J, Crilly J. Psychoeducational multiple family groups: four-year relapse outcome in schizophrenia. Family Process. 1995;34(2):127– 144. PubMedWright JH, Basco MR, Thase ME. 2006. Learning Cognitive-Behavior Therapy: An Illustrated Guide. Arlington, VA: Am. Psychiatry. Publ.


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