Applications for Self-talk? : LUSENET : GLASSER Choice Theory & Reality Therapy : One Thread

Consider the following information, think about how you would apply it. Forward your information. Thanks, TD

S E L F - T A L K

Self-talk is a very important operation within the Total Behavior component of Thinking. When we are able to realize the cause-effect relationship of these components, we will be able to utilize this personally and professionally to allow Positive Self-talk which will lead to Appropriate Behavior which will lead to Wanted Consequences which will lead to a Positive Feeling state.

The following information comes to us via Bob Wack and Effective Learning Resources (ELR). :

*Self-talk can be positive or negative.

*Positive Self-talk tends to be helpful and/or encouraging with regard to task performance and completion.

*Negative Self-talk hinders, shows us down, causes procrastination, and/or results in a negative feeling toward others or the task at hand.

*Students who perform well usually have a repertoire of positive Self-talk consistently in use.

*There are two types of Self-talk--Task related and Self-related.

There are four basic strategies we can employ in working with students on the idea of Self-talk.:

1. Teach what Self-talk is.

2. Teach the difference between positive and negative Self-talk and the effect of each on task performance.

3. Give the students opportunities to observe their own Self-talk and that of others.

4. Provide students the opportunities to change negative Self-talk to positive Self-talk.

SOME QUICK HOW’s--Use metacognition, talking about a story character’s Self-talk, give personal examples and results, develop student logs in which they note and record their own Self-talk, use cartoons and dialogue bubbles to identify characters’ Self-talk, identify Self-talk from popular songs and determine if it is positive or negative, and periodically stop activities and have students write their Self-talk at that particular time. SELF-TALK

Negative Positive

“This is too hard!” “After I finish, I am going to feel __________.” “I will never get this done.” “After I finish, I am going to treat myself to a __________." “How come I have to do this?”

“I hate doing this!” “After I finish, I will be able to ______.”

“This is too heavy.” “After I finish it will be better because______________." “This is boring.” “How come they never have to “Just do it!” do this?” “Do it now!” “This is cheap.” “I’ll do part of it now,then do the rest later.” “I will never understand this.” “What’s the use of even trying?” “I’ve done (note progress, i.e. half, part) already.” “I don’t get this.” “What’s the use?” “I can do this, if I (prerequisite, i.e., ask for help, watch carefully)." “After I start, I can ask _______for help, if I need it."

“I did it before.”

Before attempting a hard task or assignment which must be done, due to forthcoming consequences or expectations, examine your Thinking component and ask, "Is what I am thinking going to help me get what I want?" If not, try thinking one or more of the above positive Self-talk statements. In short, “What can I say to myself to start this hard task, to do it well, and to feel good after its completion?”

-- Ted Donato (, May 08, 2003


I apologize for the scrambled version of my "T-chart" showing positive and negative examples of Self-talk. It didn't come across as I'd intended, again my apologies. TD

-- Ted Donato (, May 08, 2003.

I can see that the techniques you list fit well into the total behaviour concept. There is a related technique that might work well with young people :it's the "Sports Commentary" idea. It can be very useful for anger management but it has other uses as well. Say you are stuck in a car in a traffic jam and you feel the internal temperature beginning to rise... You start to give a running commentary on your total behaviour map as your feelings increase. "I have been stuck for ten minutes now and there seems to be no sign of movement.I feel myself beginning to drum my fingers on the car dash. I notice that the old heartbeat is beginning to pound a little. Ha! I have begun to whistle this is usually not a good sign. I notice that the colour of my neck has begun to deepen it is becomming redder. I have begun to swing around and focus on other drivers in front of me and I am beginning to make comments on them under my breath". Here the self talk is designed to get you to become aware of the stages you are passing on you way to choosing anger. In his book "Emotional Intelligence"especially in chapters 5+6 Daniel Goleman takes self talk into a few very exciting areas especially anxiety and what he terms "sub clinal depression"

-- ken lyons (, May 11, 2003.

(Excerpt from Choices Activity News, Week of June 2, 2003, Self-talk information from Bob Wack and Associates)

Our study of Self-talk continues. An interesting starting structure for positive Self-talk, containing the clause, "After I finish," provokes much thought. When using positive Self-talk, utilizing this clause, the question as to whether or not you will do perform the task, do the job, or fulfill the responsibility does not arise, as you are looking at a time beyond completion, when you are then able to reap the rewards or benefit from the improved quality,i.e., When I get done, I am going to have a big ole glass of lemonade.;  When I get done, the lawn is going to look real pretty. (Did I say, "pretty?") Off hand, I would hazard a guess that we could encourage positive Self-talk by specific questioning. For example, "What are you going to do when you finish mowing the lawn?" GET A BIG OLE GLASS OF LEMONADE! Perhaps paraphrase, i.e., "I hear you saying that when you are done, you're going to have a big ole glass of refreshing lemonade. That sounds real good. Boy, that's going to taste good." I CAN HARDLY WAIT UNTIL I'M DONE. "Hey, I'll go mix some for you."

Another idea we discussed was using the negative Self-talk beginning with "This will take forever." or "I will never get done." As both imply working to infinity, neither is realistic; "Bummer", if it was. Coming to mind is my son, Deryk, and one of his main chores of feeding and watering the dogs. There are days when it "takes him days" to get the dogs fed and watered. You can almost see the dogs "skinnying." If he were to say "This is going to take forever." I might say, "It couldn't. I can prove it." I would then run a baseline, by timing him. I would encourage him to walk normally, neither should he hurry nor take longer than usual, just do it. . . . normally. The next time he even tried to think, "This will take forever.," I could then say, "Lie!! It only takes you 11 minutes and 21 seconds." I have suggested our students time themselves to determine a baseline doing math problems, mopping, vacuuming, and mowing the lawn. Hey, if something was going to take forever, whether or not you started right away would be inconsequential, as you'd never finish anyway. Compare--"This will take forever." to "It will just take me 11 minutes and 21 seconds, if I start right NOW!" Which one would you choose?

-- Ted Donato (, May 28, 2003.

Recently in on of our 5th grade classes, we were identifying thoughts and actions of an individual choosing the State of Being of Trustworthy (Trustworthying). I received many answers, but one response was impressive. One boy gave the thought,"ANYONE CAN TRUST ME." How fortunate am I to be able to rub shoulders with someone like this? Any other POWERFUL Self-talk statements? TD

-- Ted Donato (, April 22, 2004.

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