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Approaches to Working with Self Defeating Behaviours

Updated: Aug 18, 2022



One of the ways of working with self-defeating behaviours is replacing the behaviours with personality strengths. This involves the utilisation of strength-based orientations.


The unique strengths of an individual's personality can help in working with self-defeating behaviours and give a person a healthier life.

Secondly, talking therapy can help in addressing self-defeating behaviours. Talking therapy assists client to examine thoughts that impact their self-defeating behaviours. In this context, cognitive behaviour therapies focus on changing self-defeating behaviours and associated cognitive distortion. Therapies such as the CBT approach is designed to improve the thinking approach of people and their acts.


People can override self-defeating behaviours by being selfless. When we are full of ourselves, we are more likely to fall victim to this kind of behaviour in society. Self-defeating behaviours will make an individual become so much of themselves and will always want to feel great whenever they do something in the society or community set up. By resisting the need to be filled by our ego, we become so much selfless and will do something out of empathy or the legal aspect of it rather than to use it as a ladder to being top dog in society. We become great by others, making us known for the right things which one does for the society and not by our ego, which intends to make others give it to us out of compulsion.


We can also deal with self-defeating behaviours by trying to reflect on who we can be without the fear that is overriding our daily lives. When doubt fill our lives, we become so vulnerable to self-defeating behaviours in society. Getting to the right basis of the matter can help us so much. We should try and get to know who we are likely to be and the challenges that we are likely to face and check on the fears we have. Some of these fears are just because it is reasonable to fear change, and we all have the behaviour to fear change. Getting to know who we will be without any doubt will help in building us in the best ways possible and lay with the right form of ourselves rather than suffering self-defeats.


As a therapist the use of empathy in the elimination of self-defeating behaviours is critical, as it aids in the identification of how they adversely impact the client’s life. I am able to determine the unmet needs of the client and they could begin a deliberate process to address the needs. Additionally, empathy aids in understanding the source of the client’s self-defeating behaviours to identify the underlying needs in relation to their emotions, thought, and beliefs. The use of client empowerment aids in emphasising the need for clients to address their own barriers towards defeating self-defeating behaviours. This entails giving them the responsibility to determine their self-worth, self-esteem, and dignity, to increase their ability to maximise their functionality within the constraints of self-defeating behaviours for their effective elimination. Moreover, offering continuous support to the client through out the self-defeating behaviours elimination process aids in their ability to properly adhere to the stipulated techniques for recovery. Support encourages the client in the replacement of negative habits that cause self-defeating behaviours, as they rebuild a healthy life.





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