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Effectively Using Freidman's 10 Drills to Modify Behavior
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In the last section, we discussed how to be a Type B. This section covered three strategies for fostering type B behavior. These three strategies are make physical and mental health a priority, getting to know yourself as you are, and reexamine sense of time urgency.
In this section...we will continue to discuss how to be a Type B. Additional strategies for fostering type B behavior that we will discuss in this section are giving yourself permission to play, shifting your focus, and Friedman’s drills to modify behavior.
Strategies #4 - #6 for Fostering Type B Behavior
♦ #4 Give Yourself Permission to Play
In addition to the three strategies for fostering type B behavior that we discussed in the last section, a fourth strategy Tyler used for becoming more like a type B was to give himself permission to play. I stated to Tyler, "Instead of sending your children into another room to play after your hard day, join them. This will give you a Type B break from work, a chance to capture a fleeting moment in your children’s rapid sprint from infancy to teens, and, I trust, some fun. You don’t feel angry if you don’t feel deprived. Don’t wait until the world gives you permission to take a break - by then you probably won’t have the energy for fun. Relaxation and recuperation are not synonymous!"
♦ #5 Shift Your Focus
In addition to give yourself permission to play, a fifth strategy for fostering type B behavior is to shift your focus. As you know, Type A behavior is usually very self-focused behavior. This means constantly checking out your progress or success by trying to see yourself in other people’s eyes. I stated to Tyler, "Instead of trying to read other people’s minds, a Type A can profit more from reading his own. Look at others and at yourself through your own eyes." Would you agree that Type B personalities take the long view and realize that only the future will prove that a current decision or action was a good idea. I find that Type B’s usually see their best as good enough; Type A’s rarely do. So how could your male stress client benefit from a shift in focus?
♦ #6 Friedman’s Drills to Modify Behavior
Finally, let’s discuss Friedman’s drills to modify behavior. Clearly, insight alone will not change long-standing habitual behavior. Learning a new behavior, like learning a new skill or sport, takes practice. In his study of 1,012 post-heart attack subjects, Meyer Friedman found that those who practiced various Type B behavior drills for three years had 72 percent fewer recurrences of heart attacks than did subjects who similarly watched their diet and exercised, but who did not modify their Type A behavior.
A later study of 13 heart disease patients with Type A behavior who had frequent episodes of silent myocardial ischemia (dips in blood circulation to the heart) found that those who received counseling were able to reduce their ischemia by about half. For our male stress clients, these are exciting statistics.
Dr. Friedman also completed a study with Barton Sparagon, M.D., that looked at the incidence of coronary artery disease in 35 healthy Type A’s and Type B’s. The study discovered evidence of atherosclerosis in 40 percent of the Type A volunteers - and in none of the Type B subjects. Therefore, perhaps you will find that Freidman’s drills to modify behavior will benefit your male stress client.
1. First, Friedman recommends that clients do only one thing at a time. He discourages his clients from engaging in polyphasic (more than one thing at a time) activity. When your client reads, eats, or speaks on the telephone, how can he concentrate on that one activity only?
2. Second, Friedman suggests that clients catch themselves when they use quantity rather than quality adjectives in thoughts or speech. You might consider suggesting to your client that he try to describe the beauty of an object or location without referring to its dollar value.
3. A third exercise is reading books that are purely recreational, not occupationally or professionally relevant. Perhaps you might suggest to your client that he concentrate on the prose as well as the content, and look up new words in the dictionary as he encounters them.
4. Fourth, Dr. Friedman encourages his clients to move more slowly. You might suggest to your client that he eat, walk, and talk more slowly. Tyler stated, "I drive in the slow lane to avoid pressing the gas pedal with every urgent thought and to achieve a steady, moderate pace as a driving habit."
5. A fifth strategy Dr. Friedman provides is selecting times for the client to leave his watch at home. You might ask your client, "How often did you find yourself looking at your wrist that day?"
6. Next, I stated to Tyler, "Record your half of a business telephone conversation, or record a dinner conversation with your wife, and play it back to yourself. Note whether or not you are speaking rapidly, asking questions, and listening to answers. Do you try to speed up your conversation by supplying the endings of sentences for your partner? If you recognize a Type A speech pattern, re-record as you practice your listening and Type B conversation skills." Think of your male stress client. Could the strategy of recording conversations help him to monitor his progress?
7. Dr. Friedman’s seventh strategy is for the client to get in the longest toll line to practice waiting without agitation. How can your client make the time pass pleasantly? Tyler speculated about the lives of those around him. Perhaps your client can review pleasant memories or plan a future trip or project.
8. To introduce Tyler to Dr. Friedman’s eighth strategy, I stated, "Check your face in a mirror at least twice a day for signs of annoyance, tension, or fatigue. Get to know these expressions so that you can feel them on your face without looking in the mirror." Can an awareness of facial expressions help your client modify his type A behavior?
9. Dr. Friedman’s ninth strategy is to practice smiling and laughing. I stated to Tyler, "Do this by deliberately thinking of a delightful memory or funny incident. Don’t wait for smiles and laughter to come to you - make them happen." How might your client practice smiling and laughing?
10. Finally, Dr. Friedman suggests that clients make implicit spiritual points of view explicit. You might suggest to your client that he review and reappraise his ideas about birth, life, maturity, and even death, whether they are religious, philosophical, or pragmatic in origin.
As Georgia Witkins advises clients: "Turn your palm up and look at your lifeline (the line that starts between the thumb and first finger and curves around the base of the thumb to the wrist). It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It does not go on forever. Be reminded whenever you look at your hand that life, too, does not go on forever. The time to modify your behavior is now."
Think of your male workaholic client. How can he benefit from these techniques? Would playing this section be helpful?
In this section... we discussed how to be a Type B. Additional strategies for fostering type B behavior that we discussed in this section were giving yourself permission to play, shifting your focus, and Friedman’s drills to modify behavior.
What are three additional strategies for fostering type B behavior?
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This CD set has covered such topics as: understanding motivation, reducing motivators, managing ambition, picking up housework, overcoming resistance to change, factors of stress, how the body copes with stress, male stress, the responsibility factor, type A personalities, and How to be a Type B personality.
I hope you have found the information to be both practical and beneficial. We appreciate that you've chosen the Healthcare Training Institute as a means for receiving your continuing education credit.
Other Home Study Courses we offer include: Treating Teen Self Mutilation; Treating Post Holiday Let-Down and Depression; Living with Secrets: Treating Childhood Sexual Trauma; Interventions for Anxiety Disorders with Children and Adults; and Balancing the Power Dynamic in the Therapeutic Relationship.
I wish you the best of luck in your practice. Thank you. Please consider us for future home study needs.