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On this track, we will discuss how to increase your client awareness of what I'll call, the Cost-Benefits of their Lifetraps. Think for a moment: Do your clients who state, "I'm unlovable..." or "I am a failure?"”...in their mind are they conducting a cost benefits analysis?
"Cost-Benefit Analysis" Technique
you agree that the reason a client comes into therapy is the costs increase to
the point where the cost outweighs the benefits? I've found that clients have
developed many different ways of dealing with their "I'm Unlovable"
Lifetraps. I've found there are basically three ways clients cope. These often
cause clients to create situations in which costs outweigh benefits, and thus,
the "I'm Unlovable" Lifetrap is created. Here they are. See what you
a 29 year old mortgage broker, found himself always "Giving-In" to co-workers. Karl stated,
Have you found like I have clients that are in the "Giving-In" Lifetrap or frame of reference, are usually dependent, submissive, clinging, avoid conflict, and are people pleasers? This, of course, creates a formula which equals "I'm Unlovable." I found when working with Karl, the best way to help him grow out of his "Giving-In" Lifetrap was to increase his awareness of internal vs. external thinking.
Internal vs. External Control Chart
Karl stated, "Norton my co-worker, uses me." As you can see this is an externally controlled state. I told Karl he couldn't change the way Norton, his co-worker, treated him, but he could change the way he acted and felt about the way Norton treated him. I asked Karl if he could think of a way to express the same thought, but would allow him to be the subject of the sentence. Karl stated, "I allow Norton to upset me." This is an internally controlled emotional state, thus giving Karl a sense of control over the situation.
A reproducible client worksheet entitled "Emotional States and the Dimensions of Internal and External Control" can be found in the manual that accompanies this course. In this chart clients are encouraged to identify external causes of emotional states in one column and internal causes of emotional states in another.
In summary, only when Karl felt the cost of Giving-In exceeded the benefit of getting along did he feel motivated to examine the difference between internal feelings and external referencing.
Do you have a client who feels they're unlovable and gives in? In your next session with "your Karl," would increasing his or her awareness of the difference between saying, "They made me feel" and "I feel," be beneficial?
On the next track, Zachary and the cost of Avoiding will be discussed.
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