Psychology and Self-instructional Therapy Focus

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Meichenbaum's self-instructional approach

Psychologist Donald Meichenbaum pioneered the self-instructional, or "self-talk," approach to cognitive-behavioral therapy in the 1970s. This approach focuses on changing what people say to themselves, both internally and out loud. It is based on the belief that an individual's actions follow directly from this self-talk. This type of therapy emphasizes teaching patients coping skills that they can use in a variety of situations to help themselves. The technique used to accomplish this is self-instructional inner dialogue, a method of talking through a problem or situation as it occurs.

Cognitive Behavior Modification (CBM) is a therapeutic technique in which clients challenge their internal beliefs and assumptions regarding matters that are upsetting them. The objective is to eliminate debilitating cognitions and replace them with productive ones. In turn, these new conceptions must transform the clients' behaviors and relieve their unhappiness or suffering.

Essentially, CBM attempts to change a person's behavior through changing how they think and how they talk to themselves. Instead of focusing upon the modification of external stimuli, CBM therapies concentrate on techniques that modify the internal cognitive patterns of a person in order to affect behavior. For example, many people have beliefs that are self-fulfilling prophecies such as, "I am a failure." This internal self-image is repeatedly proven to be true because the belief is both a conclusion and a prediction. Any examples of success will be ignored or simply not perceived as such because the belief is destructive.

Cognitive Behavior Modification- an approach to treatment that focuses mainly on changing overt behavior by modifying covert behavior, such as dysfunctional thinking.

Meichenbaum says Cognitive-Behavior Modification is a system that attempts to integrate psychodynamic and systemically oriented psychotherapies with behavior therapy....
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