Meichenbaum’s Self-instructional training
Problem: Feeling insecure about not being intelligent enough compared to my classmates. Phase 1: Self-observation I have been an average student all my life, and I am aware that at times I feel insecure and doubt my own abilities to be able to complete the required tasks and assignments in my classes to be able to finish this program. When an instructor gives out assignments or projects I always ask myself whether I could do it or not, most of the time I feel I can’t.
Then when during class discussions or debates I listen to my classmates and I wonder how eloquently they are able to share their thoughts and argue their opinions.
I often listen to myself and my internal dialogue had been how unsure I am of my answers, how I fear talking in front of my classmates because I might not be able to give the correct answer. I want to be able to change this behavior and negative self-perception; I want to be more confident and smart in class. Phase 2: Starting a new internal dialogue According to Meichenbaum, the second stage in the behavioral change process is to start a new internal dialogue that is not in accordance with the old negative internal dialogue.
The client can work with this new internal dialogue with the therapist, but I guess I could do it without the help of the therapist. I could basically throw rebuttals to my negative internal dialogues. If for example, I say I am not smart, then my new internal dialogue would be that I always had good grades, I never failed a course and that is being smart. I could also say to myself that there will always be people who are better than me and that I am better than others too. Phase 3: Learning a new skill
In this phase, the client learns new behaviors to cope with the negative internal dialogues and to be able to learn skills that would bring about behavior change. For me, I could probably learn how to be able to speak more confidently and I could do that by observing how my classmates put their thoughts together and how they deliver it in class. I could buy a book about public speaking or better communication skills and learn it. I could also ask my classmates their strategies for studying and maybe learn those strategies to be able to study better and have higher grades.