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Self Control Procedures Used in Therapeutic Psychology

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Self control procedures used in therapeutic psychology

Self control procedures are cognitive and behavioural skills used by individuals to maintain self motivation and achieve personal goals. They are defined by Ruch (1984) as “procedures that involve the growing emphasis on asking people to set up personal systems of rewards and punishments to shape their own thoughts and actions.” The goal of self control procedures is to reduce behavioural deficiencies or behavioural excesses. They help individuals become aware of their own patterns of behaviour and to alter those patterns so that the behaviour will be more or less likely to occur. They are used by people who are dissatisfied with certain aspects of their lives for instance one may feel they smoke too much, exercise to little, or have difficulty controlling anger. Self control procedures include aspects like self monitoring and stimulus control and follow a particular process.

Self control procedures are based primarily on the social cognitive theory of Albert Bandura. According to Bandura, ones behaviour is influenced by a variety of factors including one’s own thoughts and beliefs and elements in the environment. Self control procedures are useful for a wide range of concerns including medical, addictions, occupational and psychological. However self control procedures when used in situations where symptoms are severe, should be used in conjunction with other therapies. The self control procedures follow certain step so as to be effective.

As in any application of behaviour modification the first step in self control is to define the problem. For example a person who smokes too much would be encouraged to actually count how many cigarettes he smoked every hour of the day and note what kinds of situations led him to smoke, for instance after a meal or talking to friends. Researchers have found that just...

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