Social Cognitive theories are a primary focus in today's clinical world. The person is seen as a proactive vs. reactive organizer of his or her life. Utilizing the main concepts of this theory explain why Jane is having such difficulty coping with life? How would Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck intervene in Jane's lifestyle?
The social cognitive theory is when there is focus on learning by watching what others do. The successes and failures that they experience are used to shape how the individual will view the world around them and their role in it. This is accomplished by teaching them techniques during the process that can be applied to their daily lives. (Santrock, 2008, pp. 26 -- 30) When this occurs on a regular basis, is the point that the person will begin to use these events as experiences that will shape how they react to different situations.
At the heart of these concepts, are the ideas of moral competence and moral performance. Moral competence is when there is an emphasis on the ability of the individual to perform moral actions. While moral performance is used by the person to motivate them to engage in actions that are considered to be ethical. There several areas that are focused on during the process these include:
What the person is capable of?
What the individual knows?
The skills of the person.
The individual's awareness of moral rules and regulations.
The ability to change their behavior to match these standards.
The combination of these elements are important, because they are used to show how social observations can have an effect on the way an individual is reacting to different situations. (Santrock, 2008, pp. 26 -- 30)
The reason why Jane is having trouble coping is based upon what she has observed after accident. This is when she received tremendous amounts of sympathy and was told not to worry about anything. The problem is that these actions caused her to have a shift in moral competence and performance. Where, she believed that caregivers had an obligation to continually be there for her. When they were not, is when she would engage in actions to match the new moral distinctions of this support. Once caregivers were no longer willing to do this, is the point that Jane blamed everyone else. This is because they violated her moral codes and she is now taking action to show how betrayed she feels. When in reality, Jane is misinterpreting the situation based upon her changed moral perceptions about what is acceptable after the accident. (Santrock, 2008, pp. 26 -- 30)
Both Ellis and Beck state that some kind of radical change needs to take place. The way to achieve this objective is to look at the individual's beliefs and the feelings they have associated with a particular event. Then, introduce a new idea to change how the person is looking at a particular incident. Once this occurs, is when these beliefs are reinforced by having the person engage in thoughts and ideas that are more empowering. Over the course of time, this will change the individual's perceptions about particular events and how they are reacting to them. (Holmes, 2012)
In the case of Jane, she is using her negative beliefs associated with the accident to prevent her from leaving the house. This has caused her to have feelings of depression and inadequacy. To effectively intervene, psychologists must understand the fears as to why Jane is so afraid to go outside. This will help them to identify the root causes of the problem and the impact that they are having on her quality of life. Once this happens, is when mental health professionals need to interrupt Jane's thought patterns by having her change the underlying meaning of these events. This is when new ideas are introduced that will lower the intensity associated with the situation. After this occurs, is when Jane needs to continually condition these changes in her mind. The way that this will take place, is to have her consistently replay the new belief over and over. This will push Jane to want to take steps that will lead to a more independent lifestyle (such as: going outside for short periods of time). If this basic approach can be used, it will create a transformation in Jane's thought patterns (leading to new interpretations about past events). This is the point that she will be able to effectively cope with these issues and change how she reacts to different situations. (Holmes, 2012)
The Beginning of Cognitivist. (2002). All Psych. Retrieved from: