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:
- 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.
- 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.
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Copyright © 2009 Morty Lefkoe
What happened to the study comparing LBP to CBT that was mentioned in this blog post? I can find some other studies about the LBP, but I can’t find this one. Any hint would be appreciated.
Good point. However, the study involves answering a standardized questionnaire on line, so there is no one to please. And the questions are designed so that the subject doesn’t know what we are looking for.
Also, we did an informal follow up on our fear of public speaking study a few years ago. Both the experimental and control groups went from a mean of 7 to a mean of 1.5 immediately after the sessions and a speech (1 is no anxiety and 10 is terror). We did an informal follow up with most of the subjects 6 months later and the mean was still under 2.
I don’t have any first hand experience with NLP but we’ve had a lot of clients who had tried NLP whose beliefs were still intact when they showed up. In fact I’ve worked with NLP masters who still had a bunch of negative beliefs.
There have been a lot of studies of CBT, but most of them assess its effcectiveness immediately after completion of a program of CBT sessions. Few measure effectiveness one or two years down the line. The problem with immediate measures is they don’t reveal how effective a technique is over time. Many clients want to please therapists and will say they feel better than they actually do. Others feel better briefly because they are being noticed but feel worse once their regular sessions are no longer taking place. Others can follow CBT precepts only with outside assistance; if they can’t afford continuous sessions or choose not to have them, they can’t abide by them on their own. To my mind, that could also be a problem with the CBT/Lefkoe Method comparison study: if it’s done immediately afterwards, it will not be a true measure of long-term effectiveness.
When it comes to consciousness it seems that we cannot eliminate anything. Much like deleting stuff from your computer – it is never really deleted: and the brain is the most sophisticated computer. Though, what does happen, is that we shift perspective, rather than eliminate beliefs.
Once the perspective is shifted then can our same old same old behaviours change.
At least this has been my sense that eliminating anything is really not possible- the consciousness remains but our perspective shifts and that changes everything.
Much like changing beliefs does not solve the repeated behaviour patterns: It only replaces them with coping mechanisms, while the underlying identities remain unconscious and keep us in the same old patterns.
Once what is hidden comes to light there is no going back. The perspective shifts and life changes. We are freed from the old limiting behviours.
As we now know from Quatum Physics, consciousness is everything. The awareness of what we were not aware of before is what shifts the perspective from a limited, narrow focus to a greater view of our lives. Inasmuch we have a greater ability to respond to the world. We can take the practical steps. The practical steps are what we have desperately being trying to do all along arise in a magical way once the beliefs are exposed for what they are: lies.
All concepts are negative and positive inherently. Concepts contain the shadow and the light. Our minds cannot understand dark without know light. In childhood we opt for one over the other. We reject one side of the coin and live into the other. The rejected side of the coin is dumped into the unconscious and then projected onto the other. In a sense the beliefs that are holding us back are hidden in plain sight. They have been there all along we have just lost sight of them through our defensiveness.
The belief that we can “get rid of anything” is only a band-aid. When we want to shed light on or become fully consciousness then getting rid of something is in direct contradiction of fully conscious. The more we try to get rid of something the more it pulls at us. Much like throwing out garbage, we thought in the past we were getting rid of it but it came right back to bite us on the behind!
It is the same with the beliefs we think we have gotten rid of- where would they go? It seems to me they would bite us on the behind when we were least ready for it!
Thanks you for your time
Morty, you are so right in what you say about CBT. To my mind it’s about “papering over the cracks” rather than pulling the whole wall down and building it up again, which is what the Lefkoe process does. I have applied your method to my clients and what a difference! As an NLP practitioner, in answer to Jonathan, I understand how he may feel NLP removes negative beliefs, however, that is not how I use NLP. I use it to help in visualisation and to understand that if a state can be altered or changed, using NLP techniques, then they are not “stuck” permanently in that state, it isn’t “who they are” and they can change if they choose to. So I believe in that way and it can work hand in hand with the Lefkoe process, depending on your belief of NLP of course!!! So the claim to remove negative beliefs with NLP is “a” truth, not “the” truth, according to the Lefkoe Process!
Morty you don’t mention anything about NLP that also claims to be able to remove negative beliefs. Do you have anything to add about NLP and the Lefkoe process?