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V. Cognitive Behavior ManagementSM Strategies

Includes a collection of techniques and procedures, often incorporating:

  1. eliciting: is the process of asking a person probing questions in order to understand their hidden mental processes and in particular how they perform a particular mental skill.
    1. In order to determine the personal preferences of an individual client, it is important that one seek the fundamental assumptions upon which that person operates.
    2. The Meta Model and the Milton Model are two of the techniques used to dig deeper.
  2. metaperception [temporal, spacial & contextual]: the process of using visualization or imagining] for the purposes of helping people change.
    1. Submodalities – expand the dimensions beyond thoughts to include mental representations of images, smells, tastes, distances, brightness, etc.
      1. Within each representational system, we make fine distinctions.
      2. Each sense can have different qualitative characteristics.
        1. Visual submodalities: shape, color/black-and white, movement, brightness/dimness, distance, location…
        2. Auditory submodalities: volume, tempo, pitch, frequency…
        3. Kinesthetic submodalities: temperature, pressure, texture, moisture, pain, pleasure…
      3. Each emotion uses different submodalities.
      4. The switching of these submodalities has apparent effect upon thinking.
    2. We can perceive ourselves in what are called positions; we can view ourselves in:
      1. The first position as actually the one experiencing the event,
      2. The second position, as the other person in the experience,
      3. The third position, as a bystander watching the event occur from the outside.
    3. The movement to these different positions changes the emotional content of the experience as it modifies the degree of association or dissociation with the experience.
  3. self verbalization: is about improving the human thought stream
    1. through self instruction to alter that constant monologue that goes on mentally as we name events, judge experiences, compare ourselves with others, and comment on just about everything.
    2. Changes in verbalization can lead to self management [instruction, reinforcement].
  4. cognitive restructuring [altering core beliefs about self, others and future prospects
    1. Major core belief structures include thoughts about
      1. Self
      2. Others, including projections about how you believe others’ think about you, and
      3. Future prospects
    2. Automatic thoughts provide clues about core beliefs
    3. One can ladder from automatic thoughts to core beliefs
      1. Laddering is a way of analyzing your internal monologue statements by looking for more and more basic underlying assumptions and predictions until you arrive at statements of core belief.
      2. The technique is called laddering because it proceeds step by step. Laddering has only two rules. Rule number 1 is to question yourself with the following format, and Rule number 2 is don’t answer with a feeling. The format is to ask: ‘What if ________________________? What does it mean to me?’
      3. In the blank space the client writes a self-statement from his/her internal monologue. Then s/he writes the answer to the question. Having done that, have the client use the answer to fill in the blank and ask the question again. After using this sequence a few times, the client will arrive at a core belief. The answers must be confined to statements that express conclusions, beliefs or assumptions – not descriptions of feelings.
    4. A similar process is called the Vertical Arrow
      1. Instead of disputing negative thoughts, have the subject ask: “if this thought were true, why would it be upsetting?
      2. Start by writing the negative thought and drawing an arrow down to the next item, which is the answer to the question.
      3. Then ask the question again and draw an arrow down to the next answer.
      4. This will generate a series of negative thoughts which will lead to more clearly defined core beliefs.
  5. cognitive error correction: [perceiving automatic or reflex thoughts, altering limited thinking, interpersonal cognitive problem solving, etc.] Usually addressed through cognitive errors that are identified through ‘leakage’ from self talk. These errors include:
    1. Filtering: You focus on the negative details while ignoring all the positive aspects of a situation.
    2. Polarized Thinking: Things are black or white, good or bad. You have to be perfect or you’re a failure. There’s no middle ground, no room for mistakes.
    3. Overgeneralization: You reach a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. You exaggerate the frequency of problems and use negative global labels.
    4. Mind Reading: Without their saying so, you know what people are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, you have certain knowledge of how people think and feel about you.
    5. Catastrophizing: You expect, even visualize disaster. You notice or hear about a problem and start asking, “What if?” What if tragedy strikes? What if it happens to me?
    6. Magnifying: You exaggerate the degree or intensity of a problem. You turn up the volume on anything bad, making it loud, large, and overwhelming.
    7. Personalization: You assume that everything people do or say is some kind of reaction to you. You also compare yourself to others, trying to determine who is smarter, more competent, better looking, and so on.
    8. Shoulds: You have a list of ironclad rules about how you and other people should act. People who break the rules anger you, and you feel guilty when you violate the rules.
    9. Externalizing: The person explains the cause of success and/or failure as external forces such as task difficulty or luck over which s/he has no control, instead of to his/her own effort. “It’s his fault! She doesn’t like me.”
    10. Prophesizing: The person has negative and relatively stable expectancy or generalized beliefs about a lack of self competence in achievement situations. “I’m going to fail this test. Nobody is going to talk to me.” Prophesizes negative outcomes.
  6. social skill training [mental and interpersonal skills]: This is a direct approach to improving a person’s interpersonal relationships. Critical elements in their approach are:
    1. Definition of the problem or target behavior for improvement
    2. Assessment of the extent to which the problem or behavior occurs, and
    3. Development and implementation of systematic intervention plan.
    4. Goals associated with general affective growth, such as enhancement of self concept or the development of a personal set of values, are not a primary focus.
    5. Friendship skills, such as greeting, asking for and returning information, inviting participation in activities and leave taking are taught.
    6. Other programs target social maintenance skills [such as giving positive attention, helping or cooperating], or conflict resolution skills [such as nonaggressive, compromising or persuasive behaviors]. Any behaviors believed to contribute to successful interpersonal functioning may be the focus.
  7. relapse prevention [anticipation & inoculation]
    1. If you want to feel different in a future situation, for example if you want to have more self-confidence, you can future pace, i.e. link this feeling to the situation.
    2. To do this, first set up an anchor for the desired state.
    3. See a picture of yourself in this situation and be associated into this picture and fire off your anchor.
      1. Anchors: If someone is in a certain state, you can set up an anchor, that means you can trigger this state by associating it with an external stimulus.
      2. Anchors can be a specific hand gesture or a picture (visual), a word, sound or voice tone (auditory), a touch or a movement (kinesthetic), a smell (olfactory) or a taste (gustatory).
      3. With anchors you can easily change and control your/someone’s emotional state.
      4. When anchoring, you have to follow these conditions:
        1. Uniqueness of stimulus: The anchor should be something that you don’t do in other situations. So don’t anchor something like clapping the hands (Only if you want to go into a specific state when you are at the theater and have to clap your hands)
        2. Intensity of experience: You have to be associated into the experience. It should be strong.
        3. Purity of experience: Your experience should be without contamination.
        4. Timing of anchor: The experience should be at its peak. You have to wait for the right moment to set up the anchor.
        5. Accuracy of replication of anchor: Different kind of touches are different anchors. You have to do the same thing when you set up and fire off the anchor.
      5. Anchoring:
        1. First, you have to know which state you want to anchor. It can be any kind of state, like confidence, happiness, etc.. Then, you have to choose an anchor. This can be any touch, word, sound or movement. If you anchor yourself, you normally use a touch as an anchor. It could be something like touching your ear, scratching your nose, giving your wrist a squeeze or touching your thumb and first two fingers together. Now, go into the state you want to anchor. This can be done by:
          1. Recalling a time in your past when you felt the way you want to feel every time you fire off the anchor. Close your eyes and see yourself from a dissociated point of view. Step into the picture and look at this scene as if you were looking through your eyes (associated point of view). See, hear and feel everything as if you were actually there.
          2. Imagining a time where you could have felt this way. Step into this picture, be associated into this scene.
          3. Associating into somebody else of who you know that he feels this way. First, see him from a dissociated point of view. Then, move into the image of him, associate into him. You will begin to feel the same things you think he feels.
          4. Doing something in which you feel this way. If you know that there is an activity in which you are in the state you want to anchor, use this activity to anchor your state. For example, if you want to anchor happiness, do everything that will make you happy. Read some jokes, play games, have fun, etc..
          5. You can make your state stronger by changing the submodalities.
          6. You can test your anchor by going into a normal state and then firing off your anchor. If your state doesn’t change the way you want it to, go back and make your state stronger and better.
      6. Collapsing Anchors:
        1. When two different anchors are fired off at the same time, they combine their states.
        2. If one of the states is the opposite of the other one, they cancel each other out.
        3. If you want to delete an anchor, set up an anchor for the opposite feeling and fire them off simultaneously.
        4. If you have an uncomfortable feeling when you do something or are at a specific place, imagine doing this thing or being at this place and set up an anchor.
        5. Set up an anchor for the opposite feeling and let them collapse.
      7. Chaining Anchors:
        1. If you have set up a few anchors, you can fire them off one after the other, changing the state as each emotion is at its peak.
        2. You will then move through a sequence of states.
        3. A useful chaining anchor can make you (by firing it off a few times) go through the different states automatically, e.g., the first state will induce a process that automatically leads to the last state.
      8. Stacking Anchors:
        1. When you anchor a few different states with the same anchor, it is called a Stacking Anchor.
        2. The different states will be combined. For example, you could set up the same anchor every time you are happy.
        3. After a while, the anchor will be very strong.
      9. Sliding Anchor:
        1. A Sliding Anchor works as an amplitude.
        2. You can amplify and decrease your state with it.
        3. For example, you use one of your fingers as an anchor, you change your submodalities to make your state more intense and then you slide one of the other fingers along your anchor-finger toward the fingernail.
        4. The motion of sliding will then be associated to the amplification and you can use this sliding-motion to change other anchors.
        5. Now, you will automatically have the anchored feeling when you are in such a situation.
  8. relaxation & calming: Relaxation training: refers to the regular practice of one or more of a group of specific relaxation exercises.
    1. These exercises most often involve a combination of deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and visualization techniques that have been proven to release the muscular tension that the body stores during times of stress
    2. Self instruction calming techniques [cueing] are then developed for use in vivo.
  9. culture restructuring [seeding the environment with memes & rituals]
    1. A culture is a many faceted perspective, perhaps best seen as a set of control mechanisms – plans, recipes, rules, instructions, which are the principal basis for the specificity of behavior and an essential condition for governing it.
    2. Since these variables have generally become repetitious and habitual, they have become nonconscious mental contexts, which for people who are committed to it, becomes an inability to consciously think consistently of the alternatives to their own, stable presuppositions.
    3. If someone asked us to write down the basic assumptions of our cultural paradigms, few of us could do it. And yet we could not operate without them.
    4. The restructuring of a culture is a process that includes ‘seeded’ content [e.g., prosocial words, icons, etc.] and teaching rituals [e.g., modeling, behavior rehearsal, feedback, and reinforcement] in order to shape the nature of the thoughts and behaviors in prosocial ways.
    5. This cultural approach is usually used preventively, but is worth consideration in all environments.
    6. The process followed in developing a prosocial culture [e.g., a culture which emphasizes positive reinforcement of prosocial behaviors rather then punishment of antisocial behaviors] has elements that appear to be quite different than the other conventions since the intervention itself is with a socio-cultural entity [school, family], rather than with an individual or the members of a group. But, in fact, these processes are very similar.
  10. Goal development [motivation & purpose] is a cognitive restructuring process, which is built upon the following principles:\
    1. Create the future [self-fulfilling prophecies] – A Self Fulfilling Prophecy is said to occur when one’s belief concerning the occurrence of some future event…makes one behave in a manner…that increases the likelihood that the expected event will occur.
    2. Reframing [negative to positive] – The goal should not be related to ‘I’m too fat and must lose weight’, but rather to ‘I am thin’.
    3. Present time perspective – The present tense time technique assists in visualizing a goal as if it already exists. A goal stated in future time is likely to always remain in the future.
    4. Cognitive errors [shoulds] – When you have a list of ironclad rules about how you and other people “should” act, this generally means that the goals operate within the “shoulds”.
    5.  Visualization [attainment] – You can learn new behavior sequences by imagining yourself performing the desired behavior successfully. Called covert modeling, it enables a person to identify, refine, and practice in his/her mind the necessary steps for completing a desired behavior
    6. Intentionality – It is expectancy in the sense of that which the expecter believes is likely to occur, rather than that which a person believes ought to occur, that leads to the behavior that fulfills the prophecy.
    7. The purpose of this technique is to assist a client with problems in living in obtaining absolute clarity on what s/he wants in every area of his/her life.
      1. If s/he is interested in improving the quality of day-to-day experiences, then s/he must define a richer, fuller, more satisfying life.
      2. S/he must face what s/he wants. This technique is designed to be a tool to determine and clarify all of the child’s personal desires, wants, and dreams; becoming aware of what they are, assessing them and making them real by acting on them.
  11. Protocols combine the techniques and procedures to address specific issues such as anxiety disorders (e.g., TFT, Visualization, TIR, EMDR, breath work), and
  12. Strategies that combine protocols to address multiple problems in living.