“Anger Management: CBT Strategies for Your Out of Control Client”, “Track #5 Four Fallacies of Should”- TOC
Four Fallacies of Should, is an excerpt from the Online Continuing Education Course intended for Social Worker CEUs, Psychologist CEUs, Psychology CEUs, Counselor CEUs, MFT CEUs
This course is designed to offer psychologists, counselors, MFTs, and social workers CEU hours to fill licensure renewal requirements. This video is an excerpt from the continuing education course “Anger Management: CBT Strategies for Your Out of Control Client”, “Track #5 Four Fallacies of Should”. In this track we will cover the Four Fallacies of “Should” which include entitlement fallacy, fallacy of fairness, fallacy of change, and letting it out fallacy.
Fallacy #1: The Entitlement Fallacy
The entitlement fallacy occurs when an anger management client confuses desire with obligation. For example, Samantha, age 35, wanted a child but her husband still wanted to wait. Samantha explained that they would often get into heated arguments because she felt like if she wanted a child her husband had no right to say no. I explained to Samantha “Your painful feelings around having a child may cause you to forget your husband’s equally important needs and feelings.
Fallacy #2: The Fallacy of Fairness
The next fallacy is of fairness and anger. When Renata, age 29, complained that it was not fair that after her husband was able to fulfill his dream of finishing grad school she was not able to fulfill her dream of buying a house. I explained to Renata “saying ‘that’s not fair’ communicates to the other person ‘ my needs are more legitimate that yours’.”
This information about four fallacies of anger management clients is part of the continuing education course “Anger Management: CBT Strategies for Your Out of Control Client”, “Track #5 Four Fallacies of Should” which is designed for psychologists, social workers, counselors, and MFTs.
Fallacy #3: The Fallacy of Change
This fallacy makes the assumption that by applying enough pressure on someone, you can make them change. Adrian explained to me that he was upset that he was not able to make his wife want to talk about world affairs and politics even though he tried to criticize what she wanted to talk about. I explained to him that his wife still loves and cares about him even if she cannot fulfill all of his needs.
When a client is struggling through one of the above fallacies, I often explain the “Stand in Their Shoes” cognitive behavior therapy technique to them. The following four questions can help guide your client to understanding the behavior of another person:
1. What needs influence the other person to act in this way?
2. What beliefs or values influence the other person to act in this way?
3. What aspects of the other person’s history influence their behavior?
4. What limitations influence this behavior?
Fallacy #4: The “Letting it Out” Fallacy
Clients with this fallacy believe that people who hurt them or cause them pain should be punished. One client, Yasser, age 52, struggled with how to deal with the anger that he felt when his daughter did not do well in school. I stated to Yasser that he is responsible for his own pain, when you inflict the same amount of pain you feel on another person the other person will put up wall as an act of protection, and you can rarely get what you want from anger.
To help clients deal with the “Letting it Out” Fallacy, I often guide them through the “Pros and Cons” Cognitive Behavior Therapy technique. I encourage clients to make four columns on a piece of paper. In the first two columns the client can write out the short term positive and negative consequences for letting out their anger on someone else. When Yasser filled out the columns he put that he felt better after getting angry under the positive short term consequences column. In the negative short term column he wrote that his daughter Nadia gets really upset. The other two columns are for the long term positive and negative consequences. Yasser wrote under the positive long term consequences that Nadia knows he has high expectations of her. Under the negative long term consequences he wrote that they hardly communicate with each other. This technique helped Yasser see that getting angry at Nadia did not achieve anything in the long run.
The following information was taken from the CE course “Anger Management: CBT Strategies for Your Out of Control Client”, “Track #5 Four Fallacies of Should” for psychologists, MFTs, counselors, and social workers.