If you were a white-collar offender and want to improve your chances for successful completion of the program. It would be prudent to hire a prison consultant who specializes in RDAP preparation. Patrick Boyce, founder of RDAP Prison Consultants. He is an expert in the field of prison consulting. Also a 2003 graduate of the RDAP program you're about to enter.

Criminal Thinking Errors

Cutoff: with practice, the lifestyle criminal eliminates normal feelings, which deter criminal action through a simple phrase (“fuck-it”, “just chill”), image, or musical theme. In some cases the offender will use drugs or alcohol to cut off fear, anxiety, guilt, or other common deterrents to criminal activity.

Cognitive Indolence (Mental Laziness): as lazy in thought as in behavior, lifestyle criminals take short-cuts which inevitably lead to failure, low self-evaluation, and poor critical reasoning skills.

Power Orientation: choosing power and external control over self-discipline and internal control, lifestyle criminals attempt to exert power and control over others. Consequently, they feel weak and helpless (zero state) when not in control of a situation. They attempt to alleviate this feeling by manipulating, intimidating, or physically assaulting others (power thrust).

Discontinuity: lifestyle criminals have difficulty maintaining focus over time because of being easily influenced by events and situations occurring around them. As a result, they have difficulty following through on initially good intentions.

Mollification: lifestyle criminals seek to play down the seriousness of past criminal conduct and current interpersonal conflicts by blaming problems on external circumstances, making excuses for their behavior, pointing out unfairness in the world, or de-valuing their victims.

Entitlement: the lifestyle criminal believes that he is entitled to violate the laws of society and the rights of others by way of an expressed attitude of ownership (“it’s mine”), privilege (“I’m above the law”), or by labeling wants as needs (“I needed a new car, expensive clothing, a trip to Las Vegas, etc.”).

Sentimentality: like most people, the lifestyle criminal has an interest in being viewed as a “nice guy”. However, this creates a serious dilemma, given the level of interpersonally intrusive activity they have engaged in. Consequently, they may perform various “good deeds” with the intent of cultivating a “Heck-of-a-guy” or “Robin Hood” image.

Super-Optimism: experience has taught lifestyle criminals that they get away with most of their crimes. This leads to a growing sense of overconfidence in which they believe they are invulnerable, indomitable, and unbeatable. Ironically, this belief leads to their eventual downfall.

Criminal Thinking Patterns

Irresponsibility: Falling to meet personal obligations to family, friends, and employers.

Self-Indulgence: Thinking of oneself without regard for negative long-term consequences.

Interpersonal Intrusiveness: Intruding on and violating others rights.

Social Rule Breaking: Transgressing the rules of the home, neighborhood, school, and society.

3 C’s: Conditions = Social Environment; Choice = Ego Battle; Cognitions = Thought Processes

Manipulation: Influence/control over personal gain or advantage.

Grandiosity: Criminal pride. Being proud of the fruits of your crime. Exaggerating the extent of your criminality (e.g., “I sold hundreds of keys, had money, cars, jewelry, women”). In addition to these thinking patterns, specific criminal acts are affected by motives such as fear, anger/rebellion, power/control, excitement/pleasure and greed/laziness. These motivations sometimes combine with criminal thinking patterns to produce a variety of maladaptive behaviors.

Rational Thinking Errors

Absolutes: thinking in absolute, extreme, over-generalized or stereotyped ways.  Some types of this error are:

Stereotyping someone as good or bad because of behavior or characteristics, which are sometimes exhibited.

Thinking  about  time in  inaccurate  and  extreme  ways.  Using  terms  such as “never”, “always”, or “forever” when they are clearly invalid.

Thinking  that  there is  only  one  solution to  a  problem or  only  one  way of  doing something.

Thinking that you never make mistakes or are always right.

Awfulizing: looking at things in a negative way.  Some types of this error are:

Thinking that you can’t tolerate an unpleasant emotion or that you will go crazy or die if you experience one.

Thinking that a problem is more severe than it is; exaggerating how bad something is.

Thinking that only bad things will certainly happen.

Overlooking or  ignoring  the  positive,  advantages,  benefits,  or  good  points when  you evaluate   something   (e.g.,   considering   only   the   negatives, disadvantages,   costs, detriments, or bad points.

Blaming: thinking that other people or things are totally responsible when bad things happen to you.

I Can’t: making excuses for not doing something, or declaring that you are not able to do it.  Some types of this error are:

Making a vague half-hearted commitment to do something, rather than stating what you will do.

Implying that your reason for not doing something is due to a physical limitation, when it is really due to lack of motivation or skill.

Thinking that because a task is difficult you should give up.

Deserved Luck: believing that people earn random events.

Have to/need/must:  saying  that  you “have to”  behave in  some  way;  thinking  that  some behavior which you have chosen or selected was coerced or reflexive. Treating a want, desire, or preference as if it were a need.

Emotional Control: thinking that you are not in control of your feelings or emotions.  Some types of this error are:

Thinking that other people, objects, or other things outside of you are the only cause of your emotion.

Thinking that emotions just happen to you perhaps randomly or for no good reason.

Thinking that the way others evaluate you is the way you are.

Mental Magic:  believing  that  your  thoughts  or  feelings  directly  control  external events,  or assuming that you know what other people are thinking or feeling.

Loaded Words and Put Downs:  loaded  words  trigger  images  that  create  strong  feelings. Loaded  words  lead to  unwanted  feelings  and  emotions.  Put  downs  are  ways to  disrespect someone  else to  make  yourself  feel  better  or  attempt to  put  others  down to  your  level of emotional state.

He/she/it Statements: suggesting that you are not in control of your feeling or emotions and someone  else is  causing  you to  feel  a  certain  way.  Others  may  contribute to  your  emotions,

But they are not the sole cause. You create your own self-esteem and your own feelings.

Statement of Fact:  this is  when  you  make an  assumption  or  opinions  about  something  and then present your opinion as fact.

Rhetorical  Question:  you  often  hide  your  thoughts in  questions,  because  you  really  don’t want an answer. They are questions in which you are making a statement rather than looking for  information  (making  a  statement  that  sounds  like  a  question).  Example:  how  stupid  do you think I am? There are hidden motives behind rhetorical questions.

Should: demanding that they would be a certain way; demanding that the behavior of others, self, or objects be a certain way, usually the way you want them to be. This may take the form of demanding immediate gratification.

Steps to Responsible Thinking – The Coping Strategies

Open channels: Truthful and open, critical of own behavior, receptive to positive change.

Personal  accountability:  Reliable,  prompt,  prepared,  takes  responsibility  for  action  admits victimizing others.

Self-respect: Show  gratitude, earn others  respect, explore alternatives, work towards solutions and control feelings.

Daily  effort: Is  considerate of  others,  has  healthy  associations,  organizes to  achieve  expected task, fulfills obligations, considers responsibility rewarding.

Self-discipline: Plans  and  builds  toward  future,  decides on  fact,  not  feelings,  uses  past experience and guilt to learn.

Courage  over  fear:  Views  criticism as  input,  trusts  others to  help,  admits  fears,  and  meets challenges without dodging.

Healthy relationships: Chooses to let go of control, seeks to understand others, and cooperates even when at a disadvantage. Respect for others: sees genuine value in others and respects the rights, property, privilege of others, works toward cooperative relationships, reserves sex for intimacy.

Humility: Demands more of self than others, acknowledges “higher power”, and views self as no better than others.

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