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Clinical Social Work PracticeA Cognitive-Integrative Perspective$
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Sharon B. Berlin

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195110371

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195110371.001.0001

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Changing Behaviors

Changing Behaviors

(p.314) 10 Changing Behaviors
Clinical Social Work Practice

Sharon B. Berlin

Oxford University Press

This chapter makes the case that taking effective action is a powerful source of information about oneself, providing an internal sense of the self as an actor or a doer. It also asserts that action is a major means for influencing one's circumstances. The chapter goes on to provide a detailed step-by-step discussion of how skills training and exposure protocols can be adapted and utilized to help clients learn new ways of operating or to let go of old self-defeating responses. Special attention is given to exploring the ways that avoidant behaviors, often triggered by feelings of anxiety or vulnerability, interfere with learning how to manage challenging situations and keep individuals embedded in a feeling that there is much to fear. Guidelines are offered for helping clients to allow, understand, and accept feelings of vulnerability, but not to act on them in the same old avoidant, defensive way.

Keywords:   action, solve problems, skills training, exposure, anxiety, avoidance, noticing emotions, accepting emotions, allowing without acting

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