ABC Model

A + B = C Model

Most of us tend to think that challenging events occur and they automatically trigger the fight/flight response, however this is not correct.  There is another stage that happens after the event and influences whether the event will trigger the fight/flight response.  Dr Albert Ellis, founder of a form of talking therapy called Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (very similar to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), identified the role that our thoughts, beliefs and self-talk play in triggering the fight/flight response.  He called this the A+B=C equation.


A = Activating Event

Activating events are the triggers that cause us potential stress.  As previously mentioned in Session 1 of this course there are different types of stressors.  There are the Life Event stressors, such as the death of a loved one, which are fortunately fairly rare; the majority of us would find these life events difficult and stressful.  Then there are the more common stressors called Daily Hassles.  Not everybody exposed to these daily hassles finds them stressful and this is partly because our individual beliefs, thoughts and perceptions about the daily hassles will determine if the event is stressful to us or not.


B = Beliefs

When we are born we come into this world with no beliefs, opinions, views or perceptions. From the moment we can talk and listen we start to learn the opinions of our parents, our peers, school etc.  We automatically start to use these beliefs as a template to interpret ourselves, other people and the world in general.  The problem is that other people may not necessarily have the same template, views and beliefs as us.  We use our beliefs to interpret what is happening to us. These beliefs may be accurate, possible, flexible and optimistic, these types of beliefs and thinking skills can help to reduce stress, however a lot of beliefs can be in the form of automatic negative thoughts and if they are rigid, negative, inflexible and pessimistic then this can exacerbate any stress we are under.  Fortunately it is possible to change our beliefs and so reduce our stress, the skills to do this are in Session 5.


C = Consequences

The final part of the A+B=C equation is Consequences.  Consequences refer to the feelings that occur as a consequence of our beliefs and self-talk in response to the activating event.  The consequences can be in the form of stress, anxiety, depression, anger, irritability, aggression, fear, worry, and frustration etc.


“We can’t always influence what others may say or do to us – but we CAN influence how we react TO it!”

Mary Wollstonecraft’s famous quotes

No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.
Surely something resides in this heart that is not perishable – and life is more than a dream.
Taught from infancy that beauty is woman’s sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
If women be educated for dependence; that is, to act according to the will of another fallible being, and submit, right or wrong, to power, where are we to stop?
How can a rational being be ennobled by any thing that is not obtained by its own exertions?
I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.
Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will quickly become good wives; – that is, if men do not neglect the duties of husbands and fathers.
Women ought to have representatives, instead of being arbitrarily governed without any direct share allowed them in the deliberations of government.
I do earnestly wish to see the distinction of sex confounded in society, unless where love animates the behaviour.
The beginning is always today.

Biographies Research

Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary was the second child, and eldest girl, in a family of seven.


Wollstonecraft’s early years were spent, with her family, in following her feckless and violent father across England and Wales
In 1783, she helped her sister Eliza escape a miserable marriage by hiding her from a brutal husband until a legal separation was arranged.

The two sisters established a school at Newington Green, an experience from which Mary drew to write Thoughts on the Education of Daughters: With Reflections on Female Conduct, in the More Important Duties of Life (1787)

In 1792, she published her Vindication of the Rights of Woman, an important work which, advocating equality of the sexes, and the main doctrines of the later women’s movement, made her both famous and infamous in her own time.
Education held the key to achieving a sense of self-respect and anew self-image that would enable women to put their capacities to good use.

in 1795 Wollstonecraft attempted to commit suicide by jumping off Putney Bridge as her husband Imlay deserted her.

Mary Wollstonecraft was a radical in the sense that she desired to bridge the gap between mankind’s present circumstances and ultimate perfection. She was truly a child of the French Revolution and saw a new age of reason and benevolence close at hand. Mary undertook the task of helping women to achieve a better life, not only for themselves and for their children, but also for their husbands. Of course, it took more than a century before society began to put her views into effect.

Constellation – Year 1

At the beginning of the first term, we were introduced to constellation; at first I had no idea what the word constellation meant, but then after the first seminar I got a clearer understanding. From this seminar I learnt that constellation is all about making connections, and how it will allow me to engage with critical ideas and how I will be enabled to position my own practice in relation to wider contexts of understanding. Later on that day we had to chose our study groups via moodle, mine were ‘the body in society: from Dr. Tulp to handles’ and ‘Visual Thinking’. I chose these study groups because I was immediately attracted to them both out of the whole options, they looked exciting and I was eager to see what they taught.

The first study group session was about how we all have a body and we take it for granted, the weekly sessions continued informing us on, ‘regulating bodies, power, control and why men don’t wear skirts’, ‘bodies and identity: reading masculinity on the body’, bodies and consumerism and reflexive bodies. When thinking about my practice whilst studying this constellation group I found myself influenced by the way body works and how art portrays this. One of the projects in illustration concentrated on agnosia, and how the brain was enable to interpret sensations and to recognize things, typically as a result of brain damage. I found this particular study group gave me great knowledge on how the body and people were accepted, with their disorders.

At the beginning when writing the first essay of 500 to 1000 words I found finding an idea particularly difficult, as the study group was full of new information. I wrote my essay on passports to inform on how a passport can be seen as something that categorizes people and forces individuals to feel restricted. However I wanted to show the opposite of negative affects passports have on people as there are many positives such as it allows people freedom to travel, and regardless of a passport being a source of identity it doesn’t have to control a persons image. I really enjoyed this theory especially looking into the background of citizen’s identity. The downside of this essay was my feedback, I wasn’t too sure about it. When writing my essay, I followed the layout and researched into Harvard referencing, however when I received my feedback my lecturer pointed out that I did not use the correct layout and that I didn’t use Harvard referencing. This knocked my confidence a little bit, as writing essays isn’t my strong point.

The experience of being in an interdisciplinary group slightly broadened my understanding of art and design, I discovered that this study group spoke a lot about masculinity and the body, of course this is related to art and design because some certain aspects of the group were aimed at body transformations, which included a lot of diagrams and illustrations to continue with surgery, or what ever the need for them is. I believe almost everything man made on this planet has been created by some sort of art and design. Illustrations, diagrams, x ray scans etc. These are all pieces of art work that are created in order for final plans to continue. Over all this study group definitely broadened my understanding of art and design.

My second study group was ‘Visual thinking’. This group covered the topics of how we think in pictures, the nature of technology and how it defines action perception and thought, the changing meanings of art and design in modernism, postmodernism and beyond, the idea that a drawing does not have to look like its object, the possibility that thinking can be expressed not just in words but in any medium what so ever. The aim of this study group was to gain an understanding of why things are never as they seem, why possibilities multiply the more you look and think, and why this near-overwhelming expansion of ideas and images is important for your knowledge and future studies.

The influence I have had from this study group that makes me think about my practice is that I now look at images differently before I decide what I let myself see. For me this study group was out of my comfort zone, when signing up for this group my intentions were to get a better insight of the world and look upon objects and images differently. I think I have achieved what I was looking for in these study groups, my knowledge was broadened and I have better understanding of art and design. I have learnt that our understanding is never a complete draft and that we often assume knowledge is a complete, direct contact with something. However, sometimes it isn’t. Ideas or aims that look at different things, but sometimes it takes a lot longer for ideas to filter through. In this study group I also learnt that a tool is not simply a device that does our bidding but something that shapes who we are, our understanding, and what is possible for us. I found this study group challenging and extremely interesting, however, when planning for my final 2500 word essay, I found I was more interested in my previous study group. I felt that I could talk more and gather more information on a topic I was really into rather than finding information on a topic I didn’t know an awful lot about.
However, both study groups have had a big impact on my final essay, experiencing different delivery styles form different lectures has been an over all positive out look as I have took knowledge from both and created a final out come. This has made my academic skills and understanding a lot stronger, and has provided me with great academic writing support. I also found that working in a different environment with a lot of CSAD students from different areas has inspired me because the feedback we gave each other became very helpful when working towards the final outcome of my essay.