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Lecture 17

PSYC 31A Lecture 17: Psyc 31A: Ch.16: Cognitive Theories

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Wright Ellen

Main theorists ● Albert Ellis – Cognitive-behavioral therapy (Rational Emotive Therapy, w/ABC theory of personality) ● Aaron Beck – Cognitive, Cognitive/Behavioral, therapy based Cognitive/Cognitive Behavior theories ● Albert Ellis, Aaron Beck and Arnold Lazarus ● Primarily clinicians frustrated with psychoanalysis ● Developed therapies that are brief, client- and present-focused, and direct ● Tenets of the therapy personality model Ellis and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy ● Family life ● Influences – started with psychoanalysis ● Science and Sanity ● Sexologist ● Religiosity Nature of Human Nature ● Sign-, symbol-, and language-creating animals with 4 fundamental processes ○ Processes are necessarily interrelated ○ A person perceives-moves-feels-THINKS about a problem ● 4 Processes ○ Perception ○ Movement ○ Thinking ○ Emotion (type of evaluative thinking) Physiological Basis of REBT ● Emphasizes biological aspects of personality ○ Often "naturally" inclined to do x rather than y ○ Social rearing groups unwittingly or wittingly go along with this natural disposition ○ Much effort is required for individual or cultural change ● Both pessimistic and optimistic ○ Innately inclined positively ○ Innately inclined to sabotage their potential ● Basic assumption – humans born with strong tendency to want and to insist that everything happens the way they want it to be ○ If not, then condemn themselves, others, and the world, when they do not immediately get what they want Most People Prone to… ● Engage in numerous irrational thoughts ● Have unsuitable feelings ● Indulge in dysfunctional behaviors that ○ sabotage potential Social Aspects of Ellis’s Theory ● Reared in social groups ● Spend life trying to ○ Impress others ○ Live up to their expectations ○ Outdo others’ performances ● Define success in terms of being other-directed (i.e., need others to accept and approve of them) ● Healthy (sane) – find and fulfill self in interpersonal relationships, and have considerable social interest ● Unhealthy – care too much about what others think and believe they can only accept themselves if others do ○ When upset, escalate need for approval so it becomes desire and ‘absolutist’ A-B-C Theory of Personality ● Underlies REBT ● Activating event (A) highly charged emotional consequence (C) ○ A seems to cause C, but does NOT ○ C is caused by B ● Individual belief system (B) ● C is largely created by B rather than by the event, but the belief system about A gets lost ● Rather than AC in a linear fashion, the theory is interactive and bidirectional Why are These Beliefs Irrational? ● Beliefs ○ I can't stand this [Activating Event] ○ It is awful it exists! ○ It shouldn't exist! ○ I am a worthless person for
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