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Techniques Used in Cognitive Therapy Interventions

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Rational-Emotive Therapy is a cognitive theory that has many interventions that can help individuals with several different issues. The goal of Rational-Emotive Therapy is to help clients recognize and acknowledge their irrational beliefs and to use specific techniques to help establish new beliefs and rational thinking. This will help the client to be a genuinely happy and healthy individual. Rational-Emotive Therapy uses the A-B-C model, which is the belief that an activating event triggers a belief about the event, which triggers an emotional consequence. This therapy can be successful in helping an individual with an anger management problem.

A technique that can be utilized when working with someone who has an anger management problem is rational self-analysis. Parrot III. (2003) stated, "Rational self-analysis allows a client to apply the A-B-C theory to their situations, which helps them to actively dispute their own irrational beliefs" (p. 315). Rational self-analysis is a technique that can be used by a client in every situation that they are in when they become angry and feel out of control. If a client can identify the activating event that triggered their belief about the situation, it may help the client's ability to control the irrational thinking that contributes to their uncontrollable emotional consequence of becoming angry and/or violent.

Another technique that is used in cognitive therapy interventions is action homework assignments. When a client has an anger management problem the homework assignment may be a daily occurrence. Before the counselor assigns the client with a homework assignment, the counselor would ask the client to tell him about situations in which he becomes angry. This would help the client's awareness of the activating events. When the client shares specific situations with the counselor then they can begin discussing how the client feels at the time when they are angry. This would help the client identify the belief that he or she has about the situation. Once the client understands and acknowledges the irrational thinking that he or she will experience then the counselor and the client can begin exploring other options that the client has rather than becoming angry and losing control of their emotions because of their irrational thinking. This would be when the client is becoming aware of their emotional consequences. Once the activating event, the client's beliefs, and the emotional consequences are understood by the client then the counselor can assign the client a homework assignment were the client can apply the A-B-C theory to their situation.

Parrot (2003) stated, "These kinds of homework assignments share several important characteristics: consistency, specificity, systematic follow-through, and large steps" (p. 317). During the sessions prior to the homework assignment the client and the counselor will discuss the events that the client will encounter. The homework will be consistent to the session. The client and the counselor will develop a plan and the client will be clear on what they are expected to do. The client will follow-through by coming back to the next session to discuss what happened. Often times the client is taking "big steps" rather than small, gradual steps to reach their goals.

Our beliefs are the driving cause of our emotional reactions and unwanted behaviors. In any relationship it is necessary for the involved parties to have some type of understanding of each other's background in order to determine if the relationship will thrive or fail. Parting of know who you are as a person involves understanding your personal beliefs. In dealing with a client who has anger management issues, identifying the root of the belief, along with the belief that sustains the anger is essential. Once the counselor has identified certain themes that trigger the client's anger, steps can be made to work on how to diminish the presence of such triggers or to avoid them in their entirety.

Another cognitive behavior tool within the scope of Rational Emotive therapy is the practice of disputing. Disputing involves two processes by which the counselor hopes to get the client to see the irrationality behind his or her anger. The first process requires a sentence by sentence evaluation of a client's irrational belief behind their anger, which is then challenged



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