Often when I start to explain to someone how the Lefkoe Belief Process (LBP) works, they quickly respond, “Oh, you’re just doing Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)!”

Although the LBP is similar in some ways to CBT (of which there are several variations), there are more things that are different than the same.  (Because I am not trained in CBT, I have no first hand knowledge of it.  But several people who are certified in CBT and who also are familiar with the LBP have helped me make the following distinctions between the two.)

First, some versions of CBT attempt to change beliefs by challenging the validity of the evidence that the client uses to support them. However, the “evidence” that people offer for a belief usually is not the actual reason they believe it. The evidence people offer usually consists of recent observations that appear to substantiate the belief. The real source of one’s fundamental beliefs, the LBP contends, is interpretations of circumstances earlier in life. Core beliefs about one’s self and life are usually formed in childhood. After a belief has been formed, however, one acts consistently with it, thereby producing “current evidence” for the already-existing belief.

Because the evidence one presents to validate one’s beliefs usually is a consequence of the beliefs, not its source, challenging the validity of that evidence may not be the most effective way to eliminate beliefs.

Second, CBT tries to show clients that their thinking is illogical, broad generalizations, self-defeating, etc.  The LBP makes no attempt to get clients to see that a current belief is wrong or not true, to see it as illogical, to accept that it does not make sense, or to reject it as self-defeating. The LBP actually validates people for forming the belief earlier in life by assisting them to realize that most people probably would have made a similar interpretation under similar circumstances. It insures that people realize that their belief actually is one valid interpretation of their earlier circumstances.

CBT attempts to get clients to realize their beliefs don’t make sense and are self-defeating; therefore they should give them up. The LBP assists people to eliminate beliefs by getting them to realize that they form beliefs by giving/attributing meaning to events that have no inherent meaning, after which they think they can “see” that meaning inherent in the events.  When clients realize they really can’t see the belief (the meaning) in the world, that it exists and has only ever existed in their minds, and when they realize the feeling of the belief was not caused by something outside of them, but by the meaning they gave the events, the belief is eradicated.

A third element that distinguishes the LBP from some versions of CBT is that CBT tries to get the client to agree to act consistently with an alternative belief to test its possible validity. In other works, homework is an integral part of CBT; there is nothing a client has to do between sessions with LBP. Because the current belief is totally eliminated by using the LBP during the session, one has no need to try to change one’s behavior when one goes back “into life”; one’s behavior changes naturally and effortlessly once the belief is gone.

A fourth distinction between the LBP and many cognitive approaches is that the latter frequently give clients tools that they are expected to use to think more rationally in order to act more rationally in the face of strong emotions such as fear, anger, depression, hostility, etc. The LBP is used by a facilitator (either a live person, or an on-line or DVD program) to assist clients to eliminate the beliefs that cause such emotions. When these emotions stop after the beliefs (and conditionings) that give rise to them are eliminated, clients no longer need a tool to deal with them more effectively.

Fifth, The Lefkoe Method includes other processes other than the LBP when appropriate.  For example, the Lefkoe Stimulus Process facilitates de-conditioning the stimuli for negative emotions, which has nothing to do with beliefs or illogical thoughts. In order to get rid of the fear of public speaking, for instance, one has to extinguish the conditioned stimuli that have become associated with fear, such as facing criticism, or feeling that one is not meeting expectations, that one is being judged, or that one is being rejected.

And in last week’s blog post I described the Lefkoe Sense Process and the Lefkoe Expectation Process, which de-condition negative senses and expectations.  To the best of my knowledge CBT does not deal with conditioning directly.

Finally, there is no explicit spiritual element in CBT.  As far as I am concerned, the “Who Am I Really?” Process, which helps you shift your identity from an ego—the sum total of your beliefs and their manifestation—to the source of the ego, is a crucial element of the LBP and is as important as getting rid of beliefs.

The Lefkoe Method, which includes the LBP and several other processes, accomplishes two distinct things with clients:

  1. It helps people make fundamental changes in who they think they are, namely, their beliefs and the way those beliefs manifest in their behavior and feelings, by eliminating beliefs and de-conditioning stimuli, senses, and expectations.
  2. It helps people make a distinction between themselves as the sum total of their beliefs and how they manifest, and themselves as the creator of those beliefs, and, therefore, of their lives.

Because CBT is the most researched psychotherapy (and is considered the “gold standard”), I am excited to announce a research study we are about to start.  Conducted by a major university, the study will compare the results of using our Natural Confidence DVD program, which contains 23 self-esteem beliefs and conditionings, with 10 hours of private CBT sessions.  The study will measure  changes in self-esteem, self-confidence, and stress.  Stay tuned for the results.

Thanks for reading my blog. I really appreciate your comments and questions. Please feel free to share my blog posts with anyone you think might be interested as long as you tell people where they came from.

If you haven’t yet eliminated at least one of your limiting self-esteem beliefs using the Lefkoe Belief Process, go to http://www.recreateyourlife.com/free where you can eliminate one limiting belief free.

To purchase DVD programs that we guarantee to eliminate eight of the most common daily problems people face, go to http://www.recreateyourlife.com/store.

Follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mortylefkoe and join our fan page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/LefkoeInstitute) to get my latest insights on the role of beliefs in our lives.

Finally, to receive notice of new blog posts, please fill out the following form.

Copyright © 2009 Morty Lefkoe