Universal Interventions

Abstract:Cognitive Behavior Management provides ways to help people make informed decisions in regard to self, others and future prospects and provides the skills for doing that. There are three practical modes of intervention 1) Cognitive Rehabilitation, which includes restructuring and cognitive error correction, 2) Cognitive Skills Development, and development of a 3) Cognitive Culture. Into these three, all the techniques and procedures fit.

Cognitive and behavioral approaches have been used throughout the history of man. As natural components of life, they have occurred naturally for good or evil and have been extensively honed by spiritual leaders from the oldest known records of the Vedic teaching to Buddha and Jesus. Recent works by Bandura, Seligman, Ellis, Beck, Arnold Goldstein and many others have not only documented the effects of such interventions, but have keenly focused on shaping positive effects which result in enabling persons to improve their ability to develop mutually satisfying and gratifying relationships.

It is almost universally recognized that how a person thinks about themselves, others and future events determines their selection of functional behaviors. Additionally, the behavior selection can be dramatically reduced if requisite social skills are not available. It is only now becoming clear as to how these two factors interrelate in a cycle of action/reinforcement which leads either to socialization or distortion and deficit. A distorted picture of the world makes one less likely to choose appropriate behaviors, even if s/he has the skills; and if a lack [deficit] of skill results in inappropriate behavior, it is likely to result feedback which impacts one’s picture of the world.

Finally, the status of ritual becomes apparent as the process of telling oneself [self verbalization] and others positive things [e.g., belief in God, belief in one’s self as a good person] help to create a serenity which is reciprocated by social reinforcement. It is, perhaps, a process of “survival of the fittest” that our gods have gradually evolved from many to one; and from fear provoking to loving. The serenity that occurs from a belief in a loving god is apparent and the term “enlightenment” evokes the cognitive qualities which bring it about.

Moreover, since these cognitive activities are a normal part of everyday functioning in process, if not in content, they are non-intrusive interventions. No one can make you think anything; that is an internal decision. For most of us that decision is unconscious and based on a history of experiences and interpretations of which we are not aware. Cognitive Behavior Management provides ways to help people make informed decisions in regard to self, others and future prospects and provides the skills for doing that. The person, however, decides what is best for him. One may choose to be a criminal regardless of the problems in living that such a choice creates. The fact that most people, given the option won’t make such a choice is a positive statement about human beings.

There are three practical protocols in Cognitive Behavior Management: 1) Cognitive Rehabilitation, which includes restructuring and cognitive error correction, 2) Cognitive Skills Development, and development of a 3) Cognitive Culture. Into these three, all the techniques and procedures fit.

COGNITIVE REHABILITATION COGNITIVE SKILL BUILDING

Distortion Paradigm Deficit Paradigm

Beliefs, attitudes and thoughts lead to Lack of “thinking skills” [e.g.,

overt behaviors which define quality awareness and attendance to inner

of life. dialogue, empirical analysis, empathy, situational perception, etc.] and “interpersonal skills” [e.g., problem solving, sharing, reciprocation, etc.]: a lack of social competence causes problems in living.

These two circumstances are always interactive. Additionally, both paradigms assume that natural social learning through personal experience has resulted in behavior patterns that are ineffective in developing mutually satisfying and gratifying relationships, which is the arch requirement of a quality life. The outcome is problems in living that the person usually would like to resolve. Thus the motivation for involvement is enhanced. The techniques of modeling, behavior rehearsal, feedback and reinforcement are essentially the techniques of both paradigms as they mimic natural social learning constructs. The child learns first what parents and significant adults model and reinforce and then learns what peers model and reinforce.

The development of a COGNITIVE CULTURE is a process of “restructuring” the culture with ‘seeded’ content [ e.g., prosocial words, icons, etc.] and teaching rituals [e.g., modeling, behavior rehearsal, feedback, and reinforcement] in order to shape the nature of the thoughts and behaviors in prosocial ways. This cultural approach is usually used preventatively, but is worth consideration in all environments.

DISCUSSION:

The determination of the context of these interventions varies widely depending on whether one is serving children or adults and by the discriptors of the problems in living. Offenders and psychotics have the same essential needs for the interventions.

You may want to check the following articles and/or links for contextual shaping:

Mental Health

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy of Schizophrenia

http://www.tandfdc.com/PSYPRESS/BKFILES/CBTSCHIZ.HTM

http://www.guilford.com/paci/kingdon.htm

Corrections

Justice Services Resources – Correction Management

http://www.c-m-i.com/

Cognitive Programs In Corrections

http://www

Education

© Jerome R. Gardner – June 1998

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