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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Inside Out


 

When living in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, I used to enjoy watching people practice capoeira on Copacabana beach. In particular, I liked seeing how capoeristas (practitioners of capoeira) contorted their bodies inside and out of one another.

 

A Brasilian friend of mine explained that the martial art form was designed to appear as a dance in order to fool slave masters while slaves were actually practicing self-defense in hopes of one day overthrowing their oppressors. I found the ritualistic practice quite captivating.

 

Around that same time in my life, I’d shop for various items along a stretch of Copacabana, as popup retailers sold clothing, music, decorations, and other merchandise in the evenings. Added to my massive CD collection was Floorfilla’s album The Dancers in Arena of Floorfilla.

 

One of the electronic dance music (EDM) tracks I most enjoyed from the anthology was “Anthem #3.” Reminiscent of capoeiristas aligning the beach, lyrics from the song state:

 

Inside, inside, inside out

Inside, inside, out, out

Inside, inside, inside out

Inside, inside, upside down

 

When considering this track through the lens of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I think of how the ABC model illustrates the process of self-disturbance. Sometimes, people turn themselves inside out and upside down when unhelpfully believing narratives about situations.

 

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.

 

To provide an example of self-disturbance, forgive me a personal anecdote. One evening, when shopping on Copacabana, a female sex worker propositioned me. At the time, my Brasilian Portuguese wasn’t very polished.

 

Understanding that she was soliciting me for sex, given that she kept motioning towards her crotch, I decided to play stupid by telling her I didn’t speak Portuguese. “Não fala Português,” I said.

 

She instantly became upset, as though an A-C connection occurred. However, an A-C chain of events did result in regard to the Marine who accompanied me. Mistakenly, I told the woman, “You don’t speak Portuguese” (Action) and her angry reaction resulted in the Marine’s laughter (Consequence).

 

“No, no, no” he said, “You just told her that she doesn’t speak Portuguese and now she’s yelling at you, because you’re the foreigner, not her. Say, ‘Não falo Português,’ which is, ‘I don’t speak Portuguese,” he added.

 

When initially speaking to the sex worker, I used an improper gender form (Action) and the woman likely Believed something like, “You shouldn’t disrespect me,” which resulted in her anger – flailing her arms inside out while her vocal tone went upside down (Consequence).

 

Because of her B-C self-disturbed reaction, I learned not to repeat my mistake. Ultimately, I was able to laugh at myself and I apologized to the woman by saying, “Desculpe” (I’m sorry).

 

This mild example of a B-C connection is what I envision when hearing “Anthem #3,” because the woman upset herself so much that for a moment, her world was turned inside, inside, inside out and upside down. Now, I’ve used the experience to teach the reader about the B-C connection.

 

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 original EDM-influenced REBT psychotherapist—promoting content related to EDM, 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:

Discogs. (n.d.). Floorfilla – The Dancers in Arena of Floorfilla. Retrieved from https://www.discogs.com/release/5860348-Floorfilla-The-Dancers-In-Arena-Of-Floorfilla

Expanded Music. (2011, May 12). Floorfilla - Anthem #3 (Official video) [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/Wf-EXRwvA-A?si=9Zys0Csz4B-OJqLf

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

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

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. (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

Last.fm. (n.d.). Floorfilla. Retrieved from https://www.last.fm/music/Floorfilla/+wiki

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Capoeira. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capoeira

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copacabana_beach

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