Describe and Evaluate Two Approaches to the Treatment of Self-Defeating Behaviour.

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Self defeating behaviour is an act that causes the individual to fail or suffer but instead of stopping this behaviour, they continue with it.

It is defined as “any deliberate or intentional behaviour that has clear, definitely or probably negative effects on the self or on the self’s projects” (Scher & Baumeister 1988).

There are many examples of self defeating behaviours like, being needy, guilty, fearful, envious, angry, obsessive, rebellious, addictions, eating disorders, procrastination, controlling, gossiping, self doubt and depression.

There are many theories as why humans have a self destruct button and one theory is by Freud, “people have an innate death drive that impels them to pursue their own downfall and death”.

Basically self defeating behaviour is a coping mechanism, when we are dealing with a threatening, stressful situation, we grab any solution we can find. The solution might have helped in the short term, which is why we keep repeating it. Nonetheless because it was thought of in a stressful situation it also has a negative impact.

When children are supported in a stressful situation they develop healthy coping mechanism, however when they are not supported they then feel, “unprotected and alone”. 1

Many self defeating patterns are thought of in childhood traumas, there is an individual I know who due to her controlling mother, used to use ostrich approach whenever she felt threatened. To this date she avoids confrontations even if confrontation is needed, as that was what she learnt.
I have brought to her attention that it was useful then but now I think it is becoming a hindrance. I also mentioned to her that she is no longer a child even though she might feel like one, she has many choices as an adult that were not available to her as a child.

There are three models of self destructives:

1) Primary self destruction
2) Trade off
3) Counter productive strategies

The primary self...