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Purpose:

The practice of Self–Reg draws a fundamental distinction between self-regulation and self-control.

Self-Reg vs. Self-Control:

Self-Regulation

Self-regulation seeks to identify and reduce the causes of problems in mood, thought, and behaviour.

Self-regulation is always searching for hidden stressors.

Self-Control

Self-control seeks to inhibit or manage such problems only when they arise.

Self-control looks only at surface behaviours.

Origin:

The roots of the distinction between self-regulation and self-control are remarkably ancient, tracing all the way back to Hippocrates and Plato.

Self-Regulation

Hippocratic physicians turned to cupping, diet, exercise, and emetics to restore “humoral balance” in the blood.

Self-Control

Educators and religious authorities worked on character–building to strengthen “willpower”.

At the beginning of the 20th century, both theories gave birth to a science. Hippocratic methods evolved into physiology, while “willpower”–based methods influenced modern day Behaviourism.

Physiology looks at neurobiological systems that maintain a balance between energy expenditure and restoration.

Self-regulation capitalizes on recent advances in the science of stress management.

Behaviourism, on the other hand, looks for ways to contain the surface effects of an imbalance.

Self-control looks at age–old methods of punishment and reward to manage behaviour.

Methods:

Both self-regulation and self-control seek to achieve “effortful control”, or the ability to voluntary manage attention and inhibit or activate behaviours in response to external stimuli.

Self-Regulation

Self-Reg seeks to reduce the effort required to reach effortful control.

Self-regulation is about looking non–judgmentally at one’s impulses, worries, and fixations.

Self-Control

Self-control encourages battling “weaknesses” to exercise effortful control.

Self-control is about being judged, by oneself as much as by others.

Focus:

Self-regulation looks at the social dimension.

Self-control focuses solely on the individual.

Self-regulation makes self-control possible,

not the other way around.

Learn more about how behaviourist, self-control views became so prevelant in our socity today in Stuart’s webinar HERE.

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