Empowerment of Self Via Cognitive Approach

The self schema about self determines our thinking way and which information we remember about ourselves. As self concept shapes thoughts and memory, interventions made to prevent and heal self related mental health problems should be based on cognitive approach.
Use of cognitive approach for problems about self can be via self awareness.

Note: The subject of self-perception with Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is discussed.

The use of cognitive approach to improving self-problems;

  • Capturing automatic thoughts,
  • Analyze and change with realistic thoughts
  • Recognizing the negative loading and cognitive distortions in doing these,
  • Modifying coping patterns with stressful situations

What is self? Self is an organized network of thoughts, emotions and behaviors that human beings develop as a result of their interaction and interaction with their parents and other people in the developmental processes of all people. ( Arnold E, Bogg KU. Interpersonal relationships. 3rd Edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company; 1999 )

According to Rogers (1), the individual becomes aware of his own values as he interacts with his environment and with other people. Develops goals and goals by positive or negative evaluations. Hence, self is a perceptual scheme of the characteristics and riches acquired and realized by the individual’s lives.

According to this; our self-schema determines our way of thinking about ourselves. At the same time, this scheme determines what information we will be aware of.

For example,
The person who has a proof that he / she is inadequate remembers the situations in which he / she fails, but tends to forget that they are successful.
In other words, our concept of self shapes our mind and memory. Cognitive theorists focus on how this shaping is and shape treatment approaches accordingly.

Positive self-esteem

People who have positive thoughts about themselves will be safe and respectful to their own selves. Positive self-perception enables individuals to get satisfaction from their lives and thus to be more productive. Individuals with a healthy self and high self-esteem can be more flexible in the face of challenging events in life, develop effective solutions and thus reduce the chance of experiencing mental problems.

Negative self-esteem

It has been observed that people with low self-esteem tend to use defenses based on denial. In addition, they found that they did not care about or overwhelmed the negative information about themselves, whereas those with high self-esteem were more flexible, could confess their deficiencies or weaknesses, and were less dependent on their external appearance and less authoritarian. (2)

Empowerment of Self according to Cognitive Approach

According to the cognitive approach; a spiritual condition or
To understand the nature of the problem, one needs to focus on the person’s thoughts about the disturbing event. (3)

The cognitive behavioral approach has three basic principles to improve mental problems. (4)
These principles:

  1. The main determinant of behavior is cognitive processes.
  2. These cognitive processes can be monitored and changed.
  3. The desired behavioral change can only be with changes in cognitive structures.

The use of these principles in improving self-problems is as follows;

  • Recognizing their own feelings and thoughts
  • Capturing automatic thoughts
  • Analyze and change them with realistic thoughts
  • Negative loading and cognitive distortions
  • Recognize stressful situations where negative thoughts occur more
  • Changing coping patterns to strengthen the individual against problems

Source: Hiçdurmaz D. Self-perception of cognitive behavioral group counseling and coping with stress
Effect. Hacettepe University. PhD Thesis; 2010.


1- Arnold E, Bogg KU. Interpersonal relationships. 3rd Edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company; 1999

2- Ootim B. Self-esteem. Nursing Management 1998; 4: 24–35

3- De Rubies RJ, Tang TZ, Beck AT. Cognitive therapy. In: Dobson KS, editor. Handbook of cognitivebehavioral therapies. 2nd Ed. New York: The Guilford Press; 2001. p.349-430

4- Dobson KS, Dozois DJA. Historical and Handbook of cognitive-behavioral therapies. 2nd Ed. New York: The Guilford Press; 2001. p.3-39.

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