Schooling Cognitive-Behavioural Clinical Psychologists: Expressive Arts Activities as Potentially Favourable Conditions Which Facilitate One’s Observing of One’s Own Streaming of Automatic Thoughts

Rosangela Bertelli

Abstract


The aim of this article was to focus on how to design education which would potentially provide favourable conditions in the process of cultivating postgraduate students enrolled in a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy course. Such training intends to benefit the students in terms of developing their alertness and awareness of their subjective mental internal experiences, allowing for the identification of flowing or running automatic thoughts and thus bringing those thoughts to a conscious layer of cognitions. Previous research revealed that the use of expressive art forms produces circumstances which expose an inner silent space which allows for the observation of one’s flows of automatic thoughts. Thirteen postgraduate students enrolled in a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy course participated in a session of an expressive art form aiming at creating a context in which automatic thoughts would move simultaneously at differing layers of cognition potentially allowing one to come upon the contents of one’s own streaming of automatic thoughts. Results revealed that participants noticed both their streaming of automatic thoughts passing by and their ability to just watch the profusely pouring flows of automatic cognitions during the session. Results also revealed the potential for this expressive art form to provide pleasing conditions of training to learn and to acknowledge the present, the now existing instant. In the process of preparing cognitive-behavioural therapists who deal with mental and emotional disorders, the practical application of a simple expressive art form allowed students to perceive mentally in themselves what conditioning does to one’s cognitions, emotions, and behaviours.


Keywords


Cognitive-behavioural clinical psychologists in training; Cognitive-behavioural conditioning processes; Expressive arts activities; Streaming of automatic thoughts.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/journal.v8i10.1740

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[Journal of Arts and Humanities previously published by MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, MD, USA. From February 2018 this journal is published by the LAR Center Press, OR, USA]