Taming Your Reactions to Stress with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the CVI Share:

Steve Williamson, Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
Monday, July 22, 2019

By combining the knowledge provided in the Core Values Index psychometric assessment with the tools and techniques of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, you can enhance your personal growth and tame your natural reactions to stressful situations.

Innate Reactions to Stress

Everyone has a natural set of default behaviors they unconsciously utilize in times of stress. It is our innate reaction, at least until we understand how we are hardwired and recognize triggering situations early enough.

If you have taken the Core Values Index psychometric assessment and read your full report, you will know what your primary and secondary core values are. For those new to the CVI, here is a brief explanation.

We all have a unique combination of four core value energies. They are called:

  • Builder: represents power and action.
  • Banker: represents knowledge and wisdom.
  • Merchant: represents love and intuitive connections.
  • Innovator: represents wisdom and compassion.

When you take the CVI, you learn your particular ratio of these energies that combine to make up your unique personality.

Each of these energies has a particular response to conflict or stress.

When you take the Core Values Index and read your full report, you will find a section that addresses your stress response, or your Conflict Resolution Strategy as it is called. This describes the default behavior you fall into when faced with a stressful situation.

Your conflict resolution strategy will depend on which of these four energies is in your dominant and secondary position.

For example, a Builder's conflict resolution strategy is intimidation, a Banker's is aloof judgment, a Merchant's is manipulation, and an Innovator's is interrogation.

Once you get your CVI profile and read your full report, you can learn about your conflict resolution strategy. This knowledge will empower you to recognize when you are feeling stressed, and you can take appropriate and mature action based on the situation.

This is where Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, comes in.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The foundation of Cognitive behavioral Therapy is based on the principle that our thoughts come first and our emotions and actions come after. Many techniques used in CBT to treat anxiety, depression, and other psychological and emotional challenges rely on practiced methods to quickly identify disruptive or distorted thoughts and correct them.

In a relatively short period of time, these more supportive and healthy thoughts become the default, rather than the negative thoughts they replace.

Psychological research estimates that up to 95% of your actions are unconscious. The math is easy — only 5% of your day is willful and deliberate. This means your innate and instinctual self is driving your thoughts, emotions, and behavior.

Your Core Values Index report defines and describes how you are prone to react 95% of the time in stressful circumstances. Your conflict resolution strategy isn't necessarily the most positive or constructive way to react, so finding new thoughts and behaviors is an opportunity for personal growth. Methods taught in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help you recognize those moments and act more constructively.

Discover your personality's DNA with the Core Values Index psychometric assessment.

A person informed by their CVI psychometric profile will understand and recognize situations where they are living outside their true self. By using CBT-inspired techniques, they can improve the maturity and awareness of their own profile and engage in behavior that reinforces and constructively embraces their particular core value energies.

This combination of clarity (CVI) and action (CBT) can help you shift your life from the unconscious, reactive and instinctual mind into a more willful, conscious and healthy state.

The Method

As mentioned previously in this article, each core value responds to stress in a particular manner. Builders intimidate, Merchants manipulate, etc. The trick is to recognize when you are falling into these behaviors and adjust on the fly.

The use of a Thought Record from CBT can help. As soon as feasible after a stressful situation occurs, take a moment to jot down a few notes.

  1. Date, time, and place.
  2. Situation. What were you doing? Who were you talking with?
  3. Automatic thoughts. Note your thoughts at the time. How much did you believe the thoughts (0-100%)?
  4. Emotions. How did you feel at the time? How intense was the emotion? (0-100%)
  5. Alternative thoughts. What evidence is there that your automatic thought is true? Can there be an alternative explanation?
  6. Outcome. How much do you believe in your original automatic thought now (0-100%)? How do you feel at this moment?

By taking the time soon after the event to make notes about the situation — what you were thinking and feeling, and how you reacted — you can begin to notice the particular pattern of reaction you experience in stressful situations. Using your knowledge of your CVI profile and your default conflict resolution strategy, you can catch yourself at the moment you dive into this behavior and shift into more positive energies.

This isn't something that changes right away, but with practice of this CBT technique coupled with your knowledge of your own CVI profile, you can see real growth in how you recognize your own counter-productive thoughts and rapidly change them into more constructive thinking, emotions, and behavior.

Additional Reading

Core Values Index psychometric assessment:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

Go to to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.
Taming Your Reactions to Stress with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the CVI

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Core Values Fundamentals

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Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in information technology and software development spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing he enjoys motorcycle adventure touring, cycling and buzzing around the skies in his home-built flight simulator.