Forgive me for replying to an old message but "Intellectually that makes sense" is a classic problem. If a client can understand intellectually but not emotionally, I wonder if there are not some underlying core beliefs or schemas which may not yet be addressed. Schema-focused therapy seems helpful in this case.
I don't believe that behavioral experiments are that helpful. In the prison setting, offenders often behave in ways that confirm their new, "intellectually based" beliefs. For example, because of the clear and immediate negative consequences in prison, offenders will negotiate instead of fight which they "intellectually know" to be the best solution many times during the day. Yet, there is often still a rage inside of them due to a core belief for example "Men must fight to prove their self-worth" or maybe an underlying schema "I must be in control." No matter how many times the intellectually superior new belief is behaviorally proven within this setting, when the offender leaves the prison and negative consequences are no longer clear and/or immediate, the offender reverts back to his old beliefs and old behavior. Acting in the appropriate ways does not seem to affect the beliefs.
To me, the goal would be to go back and confront the affect laden cognitions, my mentor Merv Smucker would call "hot cognitions" or underlying schema as opposed to going forward to the behaviors.
I'd appreciate your opinion on this. Thanks.
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