Choon Yong-EBRR Class Report-Men’s Criminal Thinking

Author of Book: The Change Company.
Date Read: December 4, 2023

Book Report

Begin: 10/20/2023
Finish: 12/4/2023
Title: Men’s Criminal Thinking
Author: The Change Company.

Why I chose to take this class:
Help me improve my thinking to get more positive outcomes. Learn the skills that can help me examine my thinking.

What I learned from this class:
Cost and Rewards of Criminal Behavior:
Rewards of criminal behavior is often attractive because the reward is immediate and the effort is often minimal and the risk seem too long-term to be of concern. Rewards for criminal behaviors: Money, respect,acceptance, protection, access to drugs, power and control, excitement and influences. It is easier to change your criminal behavior when you have a clear view of what rewards you gain, compared to what you risk. Cost of Criminal behavior: addiction, legal expenses, loss of freedom, missed opportunities, depression, damaged relationship, feeling afraid, loss of health and feeling used. Many people question how much choice they had when it came to being involved with criminal behavior. Think of the three C’s: Conditions, Cognitions, and Choices.

  • Conditions – Stands for condition in your life based on you, your intelligence, temperament and other genetic factors. Conditions are based on things around you, like your family, friends and neighborhood. Condition do not control the choices you make.
  • Cognitions – Is how you think. Conditions are how you explain to yourself the choices you make.
  • Choices – You can choose how your condition affect your behavior. You can make informed decisions because you have the ability to think and reason.

Examining my thinking:

  • Influences on my thinking includes: family, work, school, community, experiences and media.
  • Automatic Thinking – Over time, mental patterns can develop into automatic thinking. That’s because people think incredibly fast. Some short cuts in thinking can be helpful, they sometimes lead to poor choices. It’s important to step back, slow down and examine your thinking. This allows you to listen to the conversation and consider the best response to a situation.
  • Noticing my Thoughts: Effective way is simply by noticing your thoughts comes from different places. For example ” I am going to call mom today” is a planning thought and “Those guys are stupid” is a judging thought, you might have notice, remembering, observing, complaining, hoping and many other thinking’s.
  • The Benefits of Slowing Down: When you slow down your thinking, you have more control over how you respond to situations. And if you take time to consider your response, you give other people less power and control over how you feel and behave.

Eight Criminal Thinking Errors:
These are patterns of unhelpful thinking that leads people to irresponsible behaviors. You can challenge and change those thinking errors.
The criminal thinking errors: Mollification, Cutoff, Entitlement and Power Orientation.

Mollification – Makes excuses and blame others for their criminal behaviors.
Cutoff – Ignoring responsibilities.
Entitlement – Felling above the law. They believe rules don’t apply to them.
Power Orientation – Asserting power. People who use power orientation are focused on gaining control over others and the world around them.
Four other Criminal thinking errors: Sentimentality, Super optimism, Cognitive Indolence and Discontinuity.
Sentimentality – Self serving acts of kindness, excuse the harm they have caused others by saying or doing things in an effort to feel better about themselves. Compartmentalizing – avoiding less favorable parts of yourself by focusing on the positive aspects.
Super Optimism – Over confidence. They have unrealistic beliefs about their abilities and set unrealistic goals for themselves.
Cognitive Indolence: Taking the easy way out.
Discontinuity – Getting sidetracked, are often easily distracted and have difficult time being consistent.

Examining My Feelings:
Understanding feelings. Facts about feelings:

  1. How you think determines how you feel.
  2. Feelings may be uncomfortable.
  3. Feelings are not good or Bad.
  4. Other people don’t make you feel a certain way.
  5. Ignoring feelings can lead to risky behavior.
  6. Feelings may be confusing.
  7. Feelings and change go hand in hand.

Eight Big Feelings:

  1. Fear.
  2. Guilt – When your behavior has harmed others.
  3. Shame – It is an inner sense of feeling broken or not good enough.
  4. Boredom – Time passes slowly and activities are not enjoyable.
  5. Loneliness – Feeling lonely when they experience a lack of connectiveness with others.
  6. Grief – Intense sadness and emptiness when you lose something or someone.
  7. Anger – You feel angry when you are disappointed or don’t get your way.
  8. Resentment – comes from unresolved anger. Hanging on to resentment can keep you from a happy productive life.

Understanding the ABC’s:
A – Activating Event – The situation or the trigger.
B – Belief, your self talk, what you think of the situation.
C – Consequences – What happens as a result of your thinking.
The key to understanding why you feel and act the way you do rest with your beliefs.

Rational Self – Analysis (RSA)
A Camera Check – What actually happened
– How would a camera show this event.
B Rational – Are my belief about what happened based on facts.
Challenge – Are they keeping me safe.
– Are they moving me towards my goals and keeping me out of conflicts with others.
– Are they leading me to feel the way I want to feel.
C Desired – Did I behave in a helpful way.
Consequences – Did I get the way I felt in the end?
– Did I get the outcomes desired?
Step 1 – In an RSA is to check your perception compared with what actually happened. Helps you make sure that you are seeing things as they are. This practice is called A Camera Check.
Step 2 – In an RSA is to take a look at your thoughts and beliefs about the event. Asking and challenging unhelpful belief – is called a Rational Challenge.
Step 3 – Is to consider the feelings, behaviors and outcomes you experience and decide whether you are satisfied with them.

Develop Mental Strength:
Being mentally strong means you are prepared to use positive skills to deal with difficult situations. They are: Practice Healthy Relaxation, Use The Stop Method, Maintain Physical Health and Make Good Decisions.
Practice Healthy Relaxation: 1) Take slow deep breath. 2) Write a journal.3) Take a walk. 4) Read a book.
Use the STOP method:
S – Stop what ever you are doing or saying.
T – Take a deep breath.
O – Observe what you are feeling.
P – Pick a behavior that support your values instead of going straight to your automatic response.
Maintain Physical Health: Because the mind and body are connected. Your physical health plays a role in developing mental strength. Healthy Eating, Staying active and getting enough sleep.
Make Good Decision: Plan ahead, use common sense, ask others for advice, think through possible positive and negative consequences and look at results of past decisions.

Building Healthy Relationships:
To make lasting changes to your thoughts, feelings and actions, it is also helpful to build and strengthen healthy relationship with others. The five skills for building healthy relationship: 1) Create a safety net. 2) Respect others boundaries. 3) Accept feedback. 4) Practice effective communication, and 5) respond to social pressure.
1) Create a Safety Net: It is helpful to strengthen relationships with people who practice these skills and demonstrate positive habits. Four areas to consider when building your safety nets: Healthy peers, Mentors and Role Models, Supportive family members and skilled helps.
2) Respect Others Boundaries: A boundary defines what someone wants or is comfortable with in your relationship. Respecting other’s boundaries help build trust for healthy relationship: A0 Listen to the other person and really seek to understand them, b) pay attention to body language, c) learn to identify verbal cues that show that they aren’t comfortable.
3) Accept Feedback: When you remain open to other people’s points of view, you can learn valuable information and benefits form their advice.
4) Respond to Social Pressure: Elements of an effective response to social pressure: a) Begin with the word no, b) It is brief, clear and direct, c) It is honest, d) It discourage further attempts to pressure you.
5) Practice Effective Communications: It’s a two way process that helps people connect and understand each other.

Setting Successful Goals:
Successful goals are:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Rewarding
T – Timebound.

How will this class contribute to my success upon release:
This class helped me improve my thinking skills to get positive outcomes. These skills will be used in my communication with others. It will enhance my relationship. This information can be taught to others when I volunteer my teaching, tutoring and mentoring services.