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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Search and Assess


 

One marksmanship technique that remained consistent across my training with the Departments of Defense, State, and Energy was the practice of post-engagement searching and assessing. After shooting, I was taught to look left, look right, and look behind me.

 

Providing justification for this technique, one source states, “The intent of this is to scan for other potential threats, gain situational awareness about the location of friendlies and innocents, and generally understand the larger scene.” Thus, this practice contributes to situational awareness (understanding of an environment).

 

Critics of this practice refer to the technique as “tactical theater,” because some trainers rigidly enforce shooters to zealously perform the observational steps without explaining the importance of the practice. I find value in determining whether or not I’ve neutralized all potential threats when shooting, so I favor the technique.

 

Now that I practice Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I use psychoeducation to train people how to neutralize irrational beliefs which threaten success with personal interests and goals. As such, I use a modified version of search and assess that I learned from my days of target shooting.

 

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.

 

As well, the ABC model incorporates Disputation of unhelpful assumptions in order to explore Effective new beliefs. If there were a mathematical formula for the ABC model, it would be something like: Action + Belief = Consequence ÷ Disputation = Effective new belief.

 

When disputing wacky beliefs, it isn’t uncommon for more of these unhelpful assumptions to pop up. Therefore, a well-trained REBT practitioner will search and assess for these beliefs while remaining prepared to offer different strategies for disputation.

 

Regarding this matter, page 136 of The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion (“Pocket Companion”) invites REBT practitioners to develop a fund of rational stories, parables, and anecdotes for use during the process of disputing. Throughout my blog, I demonstrate my reserve of these disputing measures.

 

As well, page 137 of the Pocket Companion encourages REBT practitioners to be meaningful, vigorous, and persistent (MVP) when disputing irrational beliefs. If a person doesn’t consider disputation to be a worthwhile process, it’s likely that the individual will provide little more than disputing theater while not actually benefitting from REBT techniques.

 

As well, vigorous practice is necessary when self-disturbing beliefs begin stacking upon one another. Of this, I’m reminded of target engagement with multiple objectives positioned in a staggered fashion as I was required to quickly perform target acquisition.

 

I needed to figure out which objective presented an immediate threat, move to the next target, and then the next, and so forth and so on. In doing so, I was persistently engaged with searching and assessing for the next threat.

 

In similar fashion, using the MVP strategy allows a person to effectively target self-disturbing beliefs which present one after another. Sometimes, people upset themselves with unhelpful beliefs related to demandingness – unhelpfully believing that these assumptions shouldn’t exist in the first place.

 

When searching and assessing with a client, I vividly dispute this sort of layered belief, per page 138 of the Pocket Companion. Additionally, I pay attention to which arguments clients find persuasive and capitalize on my delivery in this regard, per page 139 of the Pocket Companion.

 

Ultimately, I don’t consider the search and assess technique to be equivalent to tactical theater. Rather, I appreciate the engrained reminder that a gunfight isn’t over until all threats are neutralized.

 

Although not a method many of my peers within the field of care for mental, emotional, and behavior health may appreciate, I’ve adapted searching and assessing of this sort with my approach to REBT. Irrational belief neutralization isn’t complete until each unhelpful assumption has been properly dealt with.

 

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—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging 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:

 

Dryden, W. and Neenan, M. (2003). The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion. Albert Ellis Institute. ISBN 0-917476-26-3. Library of Congress Control Number: 20031044378

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

Hollings, D. (2023, February 20). Dipping into layers. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/dipping-into-layers

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

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

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

Hollings, D. (2024, April 22). On disputing. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/on-disputing

Hollings, D. (2024, January 1). Psychoeducation. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/psychoeducation

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. (2024, February 29). Switching targets. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/switching-targets

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

Hollings, D. (2022, November 2). The formula. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-formula

Hollings, D. (2024, May 4). Turtles all the way down. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/turtles-all-the-way-down

Hollings, D. (2024, February 23). Wacky beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/wacky-beliefs

Justin. (2021, April 13). Post-engagement, part I: Search & assess. Swift Silent Deadly. Retrieved from https://swiftsilentdeadly.com/post-engagement-part-i-search-assess/

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