Chapter 18 - Chapter 18 Oh, I kept the first for another...

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Chapter 18 “Oh, I kept the first for another day!Yet knowing how way leads on to way,I doubted if I should ever come back.” Each of us may be the only one who is aware of our feelings and thoughts; they can be kept private, and any given thought or emotion may not have an impact on our lives. That is not the case with behaviors. Once we take action—choose which road to travel—we make an irrevocable move in a certain direction. In addition, the potentially public and observable nature of behaviors intensifies their impact. Although background, emotions, and thoughts may underlie our behaviors, the actions we take are most likely to determine the direction of our lives as well as our relationships with others and their perceptions of us. Even a small act such as leaving for work early has a profound impact if it enables a person to avoid an accident, meet a new friend in the cafeteria, and make a positive impression on a supervisor. Sometimes people feel overwhelmed and immobilized when they consider the possible impact of their behaviors and so avoid making choices and taking action. However, inaction is an action in itself and does have consequences. Part 5 of this book focuses primarily on treatment systems designed to modify behaviors and actions. However, because behavioral approaches to counseling and psychotherapy are typically integrated with cognitive approaches, we also pay attention to the integration of behavioral and cognitive approaches to change. Chapter 19 reviews the theory and strategies of behavioral and cognitive-behavioral counseling and psychotherapy, paying particular attention to Donald Meichenbaum’s approach to cognitive- behavioral therapy. Chapter 20 focuses on reality therapy, developed by William Glasser, which is particularly useful in settings such as schools, correctional institutions, and substance use treatment programs that emphasize changing behavior. Finally, chapter 21 reviews solution-focused brief therapy, an efficient and widely used approach that helps people build on strengths and successes to effect change in their lives. THE IMPORTANCE OF ACTIONS IN COUNSELING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY Focusing on behavior change has many advantages in treatment, most of which are similar to the advantages of focusing on cognitions. However, an emphasis on actions has additional advantages as well as some drawbacks. The Advantages of Focusing on Actions Most clinicians recognize that emotions, thoughts, and actions have reciprocal relationships. Whether or not clinicians focus primarily on behaviors, they should be aware of the potential benefits of paying attention to clients’ actions. The Accessibility of Behaviors Behaviors usually are more accessible than either thoughts or emotions. Think back to yesterday at this same time. You may have difficulty recalling your thoughts and feelings, but you can probably remember where you were and what you were doing. You may have been listening to a lecture, driving home from work, or taking a nap. Because behaviors are linked to the structure of our days, we can
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This note was uploaded on 04/25/2010 for the course PSYCHOLOGY PSY400 taught by Professor Rosaliewood during the Spring '10 term at Argosy University.

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Chapter 18 - Chapter 18 Oh, I kept the first for another...

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