How to Successfully Modify Behavior

by Larry Lloyd

Behavior Modification like behavior management & Anger Management is a misnomer. People naturally resist getting modified or managed. People work like springs: the harder you push the harder they resist. The greatest method would be Self Modification as a form in a Manualized Cognitive Restructuring Workbook. Cognitive Restructuring if performed properly has the capacity to dig deep and alter imperfect thinking errors and self-degrading behaviors. The following is one example of a cognitive restructuring text.

Amy constantly feared Cord. She couldn’t do right when he was around. He had powerful muscles and if he lost his temper in seething anger, his fist became a deadly weapon that might kill her with a single hit. Her 128lb body was little defense.

Amy kept him from his sexual fantasies and craving for different females. Consequently he would incite in her the exact conduct that he himself disliked so that he could justify his belligerent actions towards her. He was deeply self-deceived and believed she was the problem. He was always concentrating on her weaknesses while in all actuality she was a loyal, smart, knowledgeable woman and nurturing mom.

Amy joined numerous other women and men caught up in the murkiness of abuse, horrible existence of fright, anxiety and confusion. Different from attack by an unfamiliar person, strong cords of attachment and subconscious programming keep the abused soundly fastened to the abuser in an never-ending tradition of abuse.

Domestic violence is a systemic disease (i.e., it is embedded in ones life). It creates scores of symptoms but, unless the disease itself is exterminated, the symptoms will persist.

1. Can you name a few of the symptoms or outward signs of domestic abuse? _____________________________

2. How come domestic violence is more emotionally harmful than abuse by a stranger? ___________________________

3. How did Amy get rid of her disease?_____________________

4. What happens when her and people similar to her don’t stop the abuse through total separation but stop attached to their abuser? ___________________________________________________________

5. Severing relationships can be very frightening and it can hurt a lot. Why should we avoid judging those who continue on in abusive relationships? __________________________________

Those who are abused really need encouragement, not derision. T or F?

6. How can you successfully sever the emotional ties of an abusive marriage? ________________________________________


To comprehend the abyss of domestic violence, an individual must comprehend the high that one gets through interdependency, where the man and the woman get their hierarchy of emotional and physical needs satisfied. Fulfilling a persons Hierarchy of Physical needs which are: oxygen, water, food, clothing, shelter isn’t tricky, but satisfying ones emotional needs is another question. Take this test:

On a scale from 1-5, rate your marriage for the last two years:

* Need to be loved - My partner deeply loved me; I was not alone.

* Need to be validated - I was encouraged and praised by my partner. He/She made me feel like a good person.

* Need to be affirmed - My partner made me feel important; I was making a difference.

* Need to be understood - My partner listened to me; What I said was understood.

* Need to be appreciated - My partner really appreciated what I did for him/her.

* Need to be secure - I had a home; I felt safe and secure in my environment.


Excellent: 30-24

Problem: 23-17

Harmful: 16-6

7. What did you score? ____

Which bracket (excellent/problem/harmful) did you fall into?

What does it mean?

Does anything need to change?

About the author: Decades ago, Larry Lloyd founded the American Community Corrections Institute. ACCI sponsors a blog on the topic of criminal behavior and related topics.

Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

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