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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Chain Link

 

This isn’t my first time featuring lyricist Brother Ali in my ongoing hip hop and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) blog series. I’ve previously shared the lyricist’s content in an entry entitled Letter to My Countrymen, because I consider his work truly meaningful.

 

For the current blogpost, I’m examining the hook of Brother Ali’s track “Chain Link.” Lyrics include the following, stated twice:

 

Children growin’, women producin’

Men go workin, but what’s the use

When the real strive hard and stress about the rent

And can still die poor, and in debt without a cent

 

I want to be clear about something before going further. I think this entire song is praiseworthy. Nevertheless, I’m challenging myself to write an entry that’ll be relatively quick to read. Therefore, I’m only addressing the hook to what I consider an inspirational track.

 

REBT theory uses the ABC model to illustrate how when Activating events (“Actions”) occur and people maintain irrational Beliefs about the events, these unhelpful assumptions – and not the actual occurrences – are what create unpleasant cognitive, emotive, bodily sensation, and behavioral Consequences.

 

Therefore, from a psychological standpoint, people disturb themselves using a Belief-Consequence (B-C) connection. Of course, this isn’t to suggest that in the context of the naturalistic or physical world there is no Action-Consequence (A-C) connection.

 

In consideration of “Chain Link,” Brother Ali highlights both A-C and B-C connections. For instance, the lyricist addresses the A-C link by expressing how children grow, women produce children, and men work.

 

He then infers the B-C link by asking, “What’s the use?” when people exert significant effort only to “stress about the rent” and “die poor, and in debt without a cent.” Perceivably, Brother Ali’s inference alludes to irrational beliefs related to awfulizing and demandingness.

 

The former unproductive belief could be summarized by an individual inquiring, “What’s the use of trying to succeed when my situation is so awful that I have no hope?” The latter unhelpful assumption may be characterized by the person stating, “I shouldn’t try hard, because I’ll inevitably struggle with the rent, die in poverty, and with debt.”

 

It isn’t illogical or unreasonable to observe naturalistic A-C connections, as referenced in “Chain Link.” Many people function in the cycle of life while not achieving beneficial opportunity.

 

As an example, person X works lengthy hours (Action) though can’t outpace the rising cost of living, so he amasses debt while remaining relatively poor (Consequence). Nonetheless, this A-C chain link isn’t what creates the unpleasant reaction of sorrow, frustration, or anger.

 

Instead, person X’s unhelpful assumption completes the link to his unpleasant reaction. Therefore, he works lengthy hours though can’t outpace the rising cost of living, so person X amasses debt while remaining relatively poor – all of which comprises an Action.

 

Regarding the A-C connection that forms a single link in the chain of self-disturbance, person X then inflexibly Believes, “What’s the use of trying to succeed when my situation is so awful that I have no hope? “I shouldn’t try hard, because I’ll inevitably struggle with the rent, die in poverty, and with debt.”

 

His assumption is the next link in this unproductive chain. Using a rigid Belief, person X then experiences the Consequence of sorrow, frustration, or anger – or perhaps all of these assumption-driven reactions to a self-disturbing personal narrative – as the B-C link appropriately explains his experience.

 

Even still, person X may then continue the chain of self-disturbance by using his Consequence to create a new Action. As an example, when experiencing anger (Action), person X unfavorably Believes, “I should take money from the register at work,” and the Consequence of his self-disturbed behavior results in apprehension by police. Thus begins another A-B-C link.

 

Once people understand the difference between physical A-C connections and psychological B-C connections, we can then take appropriate actions to Dispute our unfavorable assumptions and attain an Effective new belief that better serves our interests and goals (e.g., not going to jail).

 

It’s true that in person X’s scenario, REBT hasn’t resolved issues with the economy, social justice matters, or suffering inherent in life. However, personal ownership over one’s own reaction to inopportune events is the function of REBT – not the elimination of global misfortune altogether.

 

Therefore, people can take control of their own lives by breaking the chain of self-disturbance through use of rational thinking. If this sounds like something in which you might be interested, I’m here to help.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


 

References:

 

Brother Ali. (n.d.). Brother Ali [Official website]. BrotherAli.com. Retrieved from https://www.brotherali.com/

Brother Ali. (2020, June 4). Chain Link [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/5DKZUvoQf7Q?si=lybLDSfmn4xw2d5G

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Blog – Categories: Disputation. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/blog/categories/disputation

Hollings, D. (2022, May 17). Circle of concern. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/circle-of-concern

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2024, January 2). Interests and goals. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/interests-and-goals

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2024, January 6). Letter to my countrymen. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/letter-to-my-countrymen

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2023, January 8). Logic and reason. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/logic-and-reason

Hollings, D. (2022, June 23). Meaningful purpose. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/meaningful-purpose

Hollings, D. (2022, November 7). Personal ownership. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/personal-ownership

Hollings, D. (2022, March 24). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2024, January 4). Rigid vs. rigorous. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rigid-vs-rigorous

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2022, November 9). The ABC model. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-abc-model

Hollings, D. (2022, December 23). The A-C connection. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-a-c-connection

Hollings, D. (2022, December 25). The B-C connection. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-b-c-connection

Hollings, D. (2022, November 15). To don a hat. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/to-don-a-hat

Hollings, D. (2023, March 5). What is rEBt? Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/what-is-rebt

Marlon, D. (2024, February 22). Man chained by his hands and legs [Image]. Playground. Retrieved from https://playground.com/post/man-chained-by-his-hands-and-legs-weak-hypnotized-standin-clsxnhdn3004ns601nw34w3a7

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