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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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Cognitive-Emotional Change

Cognitive-Emotional Change

(p.350) 11 Cognitive-Emotional Change
Clinical Social Work Practice

Sharon B. Berlin

Oxford University Press

The last two chapters focused on creating change by bringing new information—feedback from different actions and from shifts in environmental circumstances—into the memory system. This chapter considers what happens within the system to allow or impede change. It addresses the question of what practitioners can do to increase the probability that differences in available information will be selected into the system, given processing priority, and organized into more adaptive meanings. In so doing, the chapter describes and provides case examples to illustrate several approaches for inserting new bits of information into old memory patterns in a way that “respects” the automatic quality of old patterns, but creates a different feeling about it. These include: decentering, reframing, narrative reconstruction, paradoxical communication, and acceptance. The chapter also elaborates and exemplifies the idea that a shift in feeling is at the core of meaning change.

Keywords:   selection, processing priority, new information, memory system, overriding, memory patterns, decentering, reframing, narrative reconstruction, paradoxical communication

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