What is Cognitive Behavior Change
Donald Meichenbaum is a psychologist known for his approach to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). He also developed a psychological strategy called cognitive behavioral modification (CBM) that relies on the detection of dysfunctional self-talk to change unwanted actions.
According to Donald Meichenbaum’s cognitive behavior modification theory that focuses on changing the client’s expressions about himself, self-expressions affect one’s behavior as much as another’s. One of the opinions put forward by Cognitive Behavior Change; is how clients think, feel, behave, and have an impact on others for behavior change.
This approach agrees with REBT and CT that feelings that disturb the individual are mainly the result of incompatible thoughts. However, there are also differences between these approaches. While REBT is more direct and confrontational in revealing and discussing irrational thoughts, Meichenbaum’s self-training program focuses more on making clients aware of their internal conversations. The therapeutic process involves teaching the clients to make self-expressions and enabling them to tackle the problems they face by educating them to change themselves. The therapist and the client together play a role in reflecting the client’s problems in his daily life. Emphasis is placed on practicing coping skills in situations such as exam anxiety, coping with attacking behavior, solving tests and fear of speaking in front of the community.
Behavior Modification: Meichenbaum suggests that behavior change is the result of a number of unifying processes that involve the interaction of internal conversations, cognitive structures, behaviors, and their consequences.
Cognitive Behavior Modification Stages
The first step in the process of change is to learn how clients can observe their own behavior. This process creates extreme sensitivity in their thoughts, emotions, movements, psychological responses and the way they react to others. For example, if depressed clients are hoping to make constructive changes, they must first understand that they are not victims of negative emotions and thoughts. Rather, they are expected to observe how the statements they repeat to themselves and how their internal conversations affect them. As the therapy progresses, clients acquire new cognitive structures that enable them to address their problems from a different perspective.
Starting a New Internal Dialogue:
In the early stages, clients learn to recognize their disharmonious behavior and begin to create options for compatible behavioral alternatives. During the therapy process, clients learn to change their internal dialogue.
Learning New Skills
The purpose of this process is to teach clients effective coping skills in real life situations. For example; Clients who cannot cope with failure avoid activities related to fear of failure. Cognitive restructuring helps them change their negative opinions and are more willing to participate in desired activities. At the same time, they continue to focus on building new sentences and monitoring and evaluating their results.