Counseling Psychology Research Paper
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Counseling Psychology Research Paper:
The cognitions, presented in the speech of this woman reflect her hear that her family is falling apart and this means a catastrophe for her. Two core cognitions, presented in her speech are: “My family is falling apart” and “I will never get over it if I can’t pull this family together”.
There are phrases, which are cognitive distortions in client’s speech. They are: “My daughter never comes to visit me”, “I am totally on my own”, “I will never get over it”, I have failed in all aspects”, “Everyone at the streets…”. These phrases have many sings of distortions, such as magnifications (I am totally on my own, I will never get over, Everybody at the streets seems to know that I have failed as a mother, my daughter never comes to me); generalizations (never, totally); all or nothing thinking (I will never get over it if…); emotional reasoning (I feel so out of place, I’m beginning to think they are avoiding me, Don’t you think that a mother deserves more than this?); labeling and jumping to conclusions (my daughter probably think I don’t care); and making an accent on negative.
These cognitive distortions are not based on real facts. They exaggerate negative sides of the problem and speak nothing about the good points. At the same time it is necessary to remember that these distortions make the part of core cognitions of the client and make a part of her picture of the world. She does not realize negative effect of these cognitions and the task of the councilor in this case is to help the women to recognize these ruining cognitions.
In our case we must acquire our client with cognitive distortions, which are presented in her way of thinking. In the most of the cases these distortions are not recognized by the client and we should put effort to make the client to realize them. In order to demonstrate to our client unrealistic character of her beliefs we must name them together with the client. These can be done through the hearing the records with client’s speech, reading her dairies and listening to her descriptions of everyday situation. For the beginning she must recognize basic cognitive concepts, which create her reality and situation around her. As soon as she realizes these cognitive distortions, we can pass to the next step.
During this step we will explain her that these distortions are not always adequate representations of the reality. These distortions become responsible for negative emotions and result in behavior, which causes problems. These emotions also become the source of stress, anxiety and depression. Since all these emotions and negative states are provoked by cognitive concepts of individuals, we can get rid of these negative emotions by changing cognitive concepts. Rational explanations can help the client to realize the fallacy of his cognitive concepts. Simple explanations and examples will help in this situation.
In the beginning the therapist can challenge the wrong concepts and explain the client their fallacy. For this purpose we can take every cognitive distortion and explore it. For this purpose the councilor teaches the client not to use generalizations, avoid negative description of events, labeling and other kinds of cognitive distortions. In our case we take simple examples, such as “My daughter never comes to visit me” or “Everyone at the streets…” and explain the client their fallacy. This will be simple to do since we can easily find some exceptions in generalizations. As soon as we prove the fallacy of the simplest distortions, we can prove our client that her other cognitive concepts also can be wrong and make her think about it. Late the client must gain a habit to do these analyses by himself. We can also use practical actions and home tasks during our work. We give the client home task to take notice of every situation when people care about her and worry about her needs. All these situations taken together will prove our client that she is wrong in her basic ideas about he negative attitude of the members of her family and other people.
After recognizing the fallacy of some cognitive concepts of our client they should be replaced by positive concepts. For this purpose we take each distortion and change it for the positive one. In our case we replace the distortion “My daughter never comes to visit me” to “I spend nice time with my daughter”; distortion “I am totally on my own” we replace by “I enjoy the company of my dear people and we care about each other”; distortion “I will never get over it” we replace by “I can handle any problem. I’m confident that I can resolve it”, and the distortion “I have failed in all aspects” we replace by the concept “I have a right to make mistakes, but this no way means that I am a bad person. There are many areas where I am successful (name these areas). I have many positive qualitative and they do not disappear if I fail.”
Erik shows signs of disruptive behavior. He feels that other people do not appreciate his behavior in a proper way. He is afraid to accomplish tasks and help other people without necessary reward. His behavior can be characterized as demonstrative. He bothers his classmates in order to attract an attention of other people to his personality. This can be explained by the lack of self-confidence. He does not feel that other people appreciate him and treat him like an interesting personality and turns to disruptive behavior in order to get this attention by any means. Lack of motivation is another problem connected with Erik. Motivation is usually defined as an inner move, which helps people to do things.
Motivation can increase productivity level in several times and making people motivated is one of the most important skills of a good learner and developed personality. Lack of motivation may also depend on the lack of self-esteem. If we help boy to develop self-esteem, we will most probably partially resolve his problem with lack of motivation. In his desire to deserve the appreciation of other people he participates in the activities, do not belong to the sphere of his interests. He wants to get recognition from other people but chooses the wrong ways to get it. Since we see problems on both levels – behavioral and cognitive, I believe that in this case cognitive-behavioral therapy would be applicable. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a kind of psychotherapy, which gives effective means to deal with people’s problems. The main concept of CBT is a thought that the thoughts cause person’s emotions, feelings and behavior.
Positive feelings can help to accept and overcome all the difficulties in human life. Rational Emotional therapy is based on didactic approach when changing general way of thinking, some basic philosophical assumptions councilor causes the change in person’s behavior and attitudes. Rational Emotional therapy is based on learning theory. So, councilor must prepare for Erik a treating plan with formed goals and objectives of treatment and methods to achieve them. In this kind of therapy, such methods as relaxation, assertion, behavioral rehearsal, coaching, cognitive restructuring, modeling, desensitization and new social skills development can be used. The role of patient should be active in this therapy, as he should perceive the rules proposed by the councilor and express initiative to self-improvement.
From the behavior description we can set primary goals:
- developing of adequate self-esteem;
- raising of motivation:
- learning to control his behavior.
Strategies developed in order to change this behavior must include the combination of behavioral and cognitive techniques.
We can see that Erik desperately needs attention and recognition of other people. We can work in two directions concerning this problem. First of all we can recognize his negative concepts about his own personality and replace them. On the other hand, we can use behaviorist approach and use positive stimuli, such as compliments, approval, encouragement and affirmations in order to raise his self-esteem and show that other people care about him. In this case the necessity to attract people’s attention by disruptive behavior will vanish. As soon as people who surround Erik realize that his behavior is conditioned by inner fear and distortions and show sympathy to him, his behavioral patterns will change.
Lack of motivation is another problem we have to deal with. In order to increase his motivation, we must find out the sphere of real interests of Erik. There may be some keys which will help us to distinguish true sphere of Erik’s interest. In addition, we must put effort to make motivation an internal one. For this purpose we must explain Erik that the true purpose of all his actions must be an inner drive, not the external stimuli. Discovering true motives of his actions may help in this situation. After some explanations Erik may find inner resources to change his behavior and reasons to accomplish different tasks and take part in social life.
An assessment of Erik’s behavior can be made based on the methods of functional assessment. We may use ABC approach, which consists of studying Antecedents, Behavior and Consequences.
Positive reinforcement would be the most suitable strategy for this case. If we recognize Erik’s disruptive classroom behavior and his lack of motivation as a result of low self-esteem and a desire to attract people’s attention, reinforcement will help to resolve this problem. As mentioned above, positive reinforcement such as compliments, approval, encouragement and affirmations will give positive results.
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