Chrysalis Module 5 Essay

Describe and evaluate two approaches to the treatment of self-defeating behaviour.

In this essay I will give a description of self-defeating behaviour, including the origins, causes and maintenance of them. To help me do this I will draw on my own life experience of self-defeating behaviours. I will then go on to describe two treatments that I think a therapist could use when working with a client who presents with a self-defeating behaviour, noting their similarities and differences. Finally I will weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of each approach in order to help me arrive at a conclusion.

What is self-defeating behaviour?
“We all at some time in our lives get into a pattern of behaviour or behaviours that everyone around us can see are self-destructive and stand in the way of us reaching our potential.” (Chrysalis notes Year 2 Module 5 p3). It is important to note that some of these self-defeating behaviours will have a “physical component based in our biological and neurological make-up” (Chrysalis notes Year 2 Module 5 p3), however we also know that “all self-defeating behaviours are individuals’ tried and tested responses to a given situation that they have come across.” (Chrysalis notes Year 2 Module 5 p3). “People are more likely to behave in a self-defeating or destructive manner when either there are threats made to their ego or when they have low self-esteem.” (Wikipedia: Self-defeating behaviour)
  Self-defeating behaviours can be anything from the misuse of any potentially damaging substance or substances eg. smoking, overeating, alcohol, drugs or stimulants, to unbalanced attitudes such as defensiveness, worrying, perfectionism, shyness, avoidance, lack of confidence and/or isolation. Also on the list are sexual dysfunctions, procrastination, depression and compulsive/ritualistic behaviours. “In fact, any behaviour that we have subconsciously learned to repeat and maintain, but that is unhealthy or ultimately harmful to...