Identify 2 or 3 negative thoughts related to your change area.
Some of the traditional thoughts on behaviorism may appear a bit extreme to us. After all, Skinner wasn’t a believer in free will and felt that all behavior could be conditioned. Many of us would much prefer the idea that not all behavior is pre-determined and that we have a choice in our lifestyle decisions.
Module 6 focuses on the power of our thinking life (cognitions) on making change. A frequent phrase that I use with my patients is: “where the mind goes, so will our feelings and behavior”. How we feel and our behavioral responses are determined by how and what we think about – this is the essence of cognitive influences on the change process. And you will begin to see how examinomg our cognitions is a vital part of the 4-factor model that we discussed in Module 1.
Start your module with watching the lecture.
Just for kicks, watch this brief trailer for a documentary called “Free Solo”, a film about a well-known rock climber: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urRVZ4SW7WU
As you watch the video, pay attention to what you’re thinking. Then notice how what you’re thinking connects to whether or not you would be willing to try climbing El Capitan. What you think about directly impacts your behavior.
—Identify 2 or 3 negative thoughts related to your change area. They don’t have to be extreme but try to identify some common thoughts in which you have a suspicion is getting in the way of making positive change
– —Reread these thoughts for a few minutes and then write down how you feel.
– —Label these thoughts with the most appropriate cognitive distortion (see the slide on Cognitive Distortions).
—- Using Ellis’s model, dispute each thought and determine the ‘new effective philosophy’.
—- Use a thought replacement for each thought. Make it realistic but hopeful.
– Notice how you feel after you’ve disputed it and replaced it with a more realistic thought.
– Reflect upon your observations doing this activity. What did you notice? Were there any differences between how you felt thinking about your negative thoughts versus the “effective new philosophy” you developed? Which cognitive distortions do you feel like you tend to use? What are the consequences of your cognitive distortions?
– Reflect upon how you can use the learning from this activity and this module for your change area. How can you specifically apply any particular concept to making positive change with your area of change?