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Harmonizing Cognitive, Emotion

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Harmonizing Cognitive, EmotionFocused, and Interpersonal
Psychotherapeutic Principles in the
Service of Improving Well-Being
Presented by: Andrea Falzone, M.S.Ed.
James Madison University
Overview of the Presentation
пЃ® Cognitive Therapy (CT), Emotion-Focused Therapy
(EFT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) are some of
the most well-known, best empirically supported, and
frequently employed psychotherapeutic systems in
the field today.
пЃ® A central tenet of the ToK System is that it allows the
major existing perspectives to be integrated in a more
coherent and readily specifiable way.
пЃ® The ToK System aligns and unifies CT, EFT and IPT
through common language and provides a shared
and integrative theoretical framework.
Cognitive Therapy (Beck)
пЃ® individuals are constantly and automatically
engaged in a stream of self-talk
 “private self-consciousness system”:
individuals are evaluating themselves in
relationship to others and the world around
them (automatic thoughts and core beliefs)
пЃ® These cognitions/beliefs feed back into the
feelings individuals have and the behaviors
they engage in
Cognitive Therapy
пЃ® Automatic thoughts/beliefs can be brought
into clear focus with particular types of
questions (i.e., “What is going through your
mind right now?”)
пЃ® A central goal is to make clients aware of their
dysfunctional and maladaptive thoughts and
beliefs, evaluate such beliefs and make
necessary changes/replacements
Justification Hypothesis (Henriques)
 The term “cognition” is a descriptive term, rather than
a functional term
This term is ambiguous and does not explain why
people have the beliefs they do.
 From the ToK lens, the term “justification” allows us a
more functional lens to understand the manner in
which people’s linguistic beliefs and values are
functionally organized.
пЃ® The justification hypothesis (JH) serves to extend and
deepen the overarching fundamental principles of
Beck’s Cognitive Therapy.
Why Do We Justify?
“In virtually every form of social exchange,
from warfare to politics to family struggles to
science, humans are constantly justifying
their behavioral investments to themselves
and others… The major function of justifying
particular beliefs and values is to legitimize
the flow of resources in a particular direction.”
(Henriques, 2006)
пЃ® Extend and deepen the concept of
пЃ® Provide a frame for understanding the
function of particular beliefs/self-talk.
пЃ® Serve to legitimize behaviors/chosen courses
of action
 Ex.: “I am a loser.”
What does this legitimize? What is the function
of this belief?
“I am a loser.”
пЃ® An individual holding this belief may feel
threatened by a particular course of action
(i.e. attempting to be successful holds risk of
In other words, “Why bother trying when I am
just going to fail anyway?”
 The belief “I am a loser” serves to justify, or
legitimize, the behaviors of deference and
disengagement and the individual’s chosen
course of action (i.e. avoidance).
Emotion-Focused Therapy
пЃ® A psychotherapeutic model extending out of the
humanistic tradition
пЃ® Key principles
Emotion Awareness
Emotion Expression
Emotion Regulation
Identification of Primary Emotions
Changing Emotion with Emotion
 Therapist is an “emotional coach.”
пЃ® Aroused emotion is processed by symbolizing it in
awareness and clarifying the source of its arousal.
“What am I feeling?” “Why am I feeling this way?”
пЃ® Are a signal to oneself
пЃ® Organize one for action
 Monitor the state of one’s relationships
 Evaluate whether things are going one’s way
пЃ® Signal to others
пЃ® Enhance learning
пЃ® Are affected by beliefs and cognitions
(Greenberg, 2002)
Emotion-Focused Therapy
пЃ® A central feature stressed in EFT is the
two-domain model of the human mind.
пЃ® Emotion coaching integrates head and heart
by promoting emotional arousal and reflection
by helping people become aware of when to
change an emotion and when to be changed
by it.
Two Domain Model of Mind
“In a nutshell, people must pay attention to their
emotions and give them equal status to
thought and action. It is the integration of
emotions and reason that results in a whole
that is greater than the sum of its
parts…Awareness of emotions and the ability
to enable emotion to inform reasoned action
is what is necessary for emotional
intelligence” (Greenberg, 2002, p. 10).
Two Domain Model of Mind
пЃ® In accordance with the ToK, the human mind
is composed of a rational and emotive self.
a nonverbal, perceptual, motivational,
affective, parallel information-processing,
behavioral guidance system
a verbal, logical-analytic, sequential
information processing, justification system
Notice that EFT
explicitly uses the
two domain model
of mind
The Justifying Mind
Rational, analytic,
language based, selfconsciousness
Emotion Focused
The Experiential Mind
Emphasizes a
Automatic perceptions,
feelings, desires, needs,
Emphasizes a
Behavioral Investment Theory
пЃ® Behavioral Investment Theory (BIT) provides
a framework for understanding the
experiential self, which is emphasized in
Emotion-Focused Therapy.
пЃ® According to the BIT, emotions provide:
feedback to how we are meeting our goals
and needs
a frame for how our non-verbal behavioral
investment system is working
A Useful Heuristic that Emerges Out
of BIT:
P= perception of where one currently is in
relation to achieving some need/goal
M= motivation/memory, an internal
representation of some goal structure based
on genetics and prior learning
E= emotion, which stems from the discrepancy
between where one is and where one desires
to be in relation to a particular need/goal.
пЃ® My current goals (M):
пЃ® Demonstrate competence (evident today by
my successful or unsuccessful completion of
this presentation)
пЃ® My perception of how I am doing right now on
that goal (P):
I am about half-way through completing this
goal and I am doing it successfully.
пЃ® My emotion (E):
пЃ® I am feeling proud, happy, and relief.
Interpersonal Therapy (Weissman,
Markowitz, & Klerman)
пЃ® Stems from psychodynamic theory
пЃ® All symptoms occur within a social context and within
interpersonal relationships, thus the focus is on
increasing healthier interpersonal functioning
пЃ® Four interpersonal problem areas
Interpersonal Role Disputes
Role Transitions
Interpersonal Deficits
пЃ® Stresses distorted thinking in relation to significant
others (about self, others, and options open to them),
as well as affect/expression of feelings
Influence Matrix (Henriques)
пЃ® The influence matrix (IM) provides a frame for
looking at the interpersonal relations/conflicts
defined in Interpersonal Therapy.
пЃ® Interpersonal relationships are understood
within the frame of individuals’ attempts to
satisfy their needs in relation to others.
пЃ® According to the IM, social influence is a
resource all humans are motivated to acquire.
Clinical Case Example
пЃ® Brandon: 21 year-old Junior in college
пЃ® Notable pattern of disruptive interpersonal
relationships with women
пЃ® Push/pull (desire for/seeking of intimacy, as
well as fear of intimacy)
пЃ® Justifying statements made to legitimize his
pulling away from relationships (“They are too
Case Example
пЃ® Automatic Thought/Justification:
 “They are needy.”
 “I don’t want them becoming so clingy and tying me
пЃ® Primary emotion at the core/Driving Behavioral
пЃ® Social Influence Needs:
пЃ® Affiliation/LOVE
пЃ® High Control/Autonomy/FREEDOM
пЃ® Dominance/POWER
What this Illustrates Is:
пЃ® Importance of attention to underlying
emotional experience
пЃ® How justifications evolve to reveal partial
truths due to “filtering”
пЃ® How the interplay between justifications and
emotional needs play out in various relational
Case Example
пЃ® Interventions aimed at Awareness, Acceptance, and
Building the therapeutic alliance and developing
atmosphere of trust and safety.
Exploring underlying beliefs/justifications and what
functions these serve.
 The purpose/function of his “filtering.”
Bringing to awareness the experiential self –the client’s
underlying needs/desires/emotions.
Providing acceptance of all aspects of his self.
Processing ways in which needs can be met through
more healthy interactions/ relationships with women.
The Linkage between the Justification
Hypothesis, Behavioral Investment Theory,
and the Influence Matrix
пЃ® Power, Love, and Freedom are three primary inner
needs/motives (the “M” in the BIT heuristic).
пЃ® The reasons one gives for his/her behavior (the
justifications) are guided in part by the underlying
motivational tendencies toward maximizing social
 A person’s emotions provide feedback to them as
they either succeed or fail in relationship to achieving
their goals.
In Summary…
пЃ® The ToK provides an inclusive, integrated and
comprehensive framework that encompasses
the important domains of emotions, thoughts,
and behaviors/relations to others and serves
to unify seemingly different and discrepant
psychotherapeutic intervention modalities into
one major theoretical frame of intervention.
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