As a former Licensed Psychologist in Pennsylvania, California and Florida, I have retired from my work in dealing with psychopathology. I now continue work in cognitive behavior modification online and by phone as an existential life coach. Generally, cognitive restructuring is primarily utilized as a goal- directed, and collaborative intervention strategy. It focuses on the exploration, evaluation, and substitution of maladaptive thoughts, appraisals, and beliefs that maintain psychological disturbance. In particular, this kind of cognitive restructuring model holds that biased self-relevant thoughts, evaluations, and beliefs are key contributors to the development and persistence of maladaptive behaviors and mental states. The biased thoughts and appraisals are derived from maladaptive mental representations of reality stored in memory structures called schemas. Schematic content or beliefs organize and guide the selection, encoding, and retrieval of information. Given their central role as originators of a biased and maladaptive information processing apparatus, schematic change is essential for significant and enduring symptom reduction.
It involves a structured, collaborative online therapeutic approach in which distressed individuals are taught how to identify, evaluate, and modify their faulty thoughts, evaluations, and beliefs that are considered responsible for their psychological disturbance. Thought self-monitoring, reality testing, external re-attribution, evidence gathering, examining consequences, cost/benefit analysis, generating alternatives, and behavioral assignments are emphasized. These key interventions induce cognitive change of adaptive schematic processing over the maladaptive disorder-related schemas.
Maladaptive schemas are most often rooted in negative, or even adverse, early childhood experiences and are subsequently reinforced and strengthened by congruent life events in adolescence and adulthood. For example, the person with an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder will have experiences that appear to confirm his or her belief as “It is critical that I pay close attention to detail in all that I do in order to avoid making mistakes.” With repeated activation and reconfirmation, the maladaptive schema attains a higher degree of inter-relatedness. So it gains a greater capability of dominating the entire information processing system. For the individual with health anxiety, the automatic maladaptive interpretation “What if the red spot on my arm is cancerous?” will feel more intuitively plausible because of underlying rigid, highly interrelated, and generalized dysfunctional schemas about death, disease, and vulnerability. Schematic content then is the primary focus. The content or elements of maladaptive schemas consist of negative and idiosyncratic generalized attitudes, beliefs and assumptions about the self, personal world, future, and interpersonal relations. The aim is not to entirely erase schemas but reformulate them for more adaptive coping with life's inevitable emotional and behavioral problems.
A more integrative stance becomes possible for instance when working with a client seeking a broader exploration of their being-in-the-world, who also feels inhibited by overwhelming and immediate difficulties with everyday living. Through the timely and appropriate use of cognitive behavioral interventions, the overall aim is to alleviate immediate distress and thus prepare the ground for future existential work.
The existential therapist aspect of my work facilitates the client in owning, as well as understanding and discovering meaning and insight within their life in the context of the inevitable nature of existence. It is concerned with helping the client make sense of their subjective experience of Being-in-the-world-with-others, their moods, major concerns, beliefs and attitudes about freedom, choice, responsibility and the end of life. At the very heart of this work is a therapeutic relationship of equals that deeply emphasizes the clients’ responsibility for their life and their choices. By integrating this knowledge and technique into practice, the therapy not only provides a client with the immediate support, relief and space they need to cope in the present. It also opens up space for later engagement in the broader exploration of their existence that concern those dreaded difficulties with living everyone must face.
FOR A FREE LIMITED CONSULTATION, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 347 878-3201.
Hallandale Beach, Florida 33009
|Type:||Existential Neurofeedback Life Coach|
|Accrediting Institution:||Association for Psychological Science|
|Membership ID/Number:||Charter Member Emeritus|
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