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Week 5- Main Discussion
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NRNP 6650: Psychotherapy With Groups and Families
Cognitive behavioral therapy is indeed applied to many cases and settings. It is important to appreciate the fact that the theoretical construct behind the use of CBT does not change regardless of the issue of setting. What changes however is approach that shall be used when applying CBT at individual and at family levels. When used with individuals, CBT is applied to help them overcome irrational thoughts and cognitive distortions that prevent them from thriving emotionally. Conversely, when applied to families, the through process of family members is restructured in order to help them come into terms with whatever they are facing such as conflict between parents. In the end, it is the family function that is improved by using CBT on such a level (Dattilio & Collins, 2018).
In the Jonson video, the lady who was a victim of sexual abuse is laming herself for what happened to her. These are the thoughts that prevent her from thriving. The bring ger sadness and she hates herself for this. Applying to this individual as an individual is done with the intention of helping her understand that she is not to blame. This way, her individual through process is change for the better and her emotions start to improve as she gradually starts to understand that she was only a victim. This is CBT on an individual level helps an individual to be able to achieve their personal goals for the therapy (Easterbrook & Meehan, 2017).
Cognitive behavioral Family therapy is applied by considering both interpersonal factors and intrapersonal factors that support a problem that a family presents with and this is what has been considered as a notable advantage and strength of cognitive family therapy (Epstein, Schlesnger & Kim, 2017). While working with individuals, the intrapersonal aspects about their cognition and behaviors as well a how they affect their emotional response are focused on. However, in a family level, interpersonal and intrapersonal aspects have to be considered. The nature of the problem that affects the family should be investigated and addressed while considering the manner in which individual members relate with each other as well as the way each person deals with or perceive the issue that affects them as a family.
This interpersonal and intrapersonal approach for cognitive family therapy is what may present serious challenges to therapists. For example, if a single member of the family seems to be the cause of the problem. It might be tempting for the therapist to focus only on the behaviors, cognition and emotional responses of the person, thinking that this will solve the problem for the family (Epstein, Schlesnger & Kim, 2017). This is however a wrong approach. Even through looking into the whole family as a whole might be challenging, success in using CBFT lies on the ability of the therapist to have an interpersonal and intrapersonal outlook of the family.
In the Johnson video, one client claims that even her family blamed her as a victim. This is a family that fails to provide the needed support to the victim. The emotional response of the family to the event prevents the whole family from dealing with it in a healthy manner. As a therapist, dealing with this case requires that the interpersonal issues between family members should be addressed as well as their intrapersonal issues, in the context of the prevailing problem. This way, a sustainable solution shall be reached for the entire family. For example, in the case of adolescents that are at risk of committing self-harm and suicide, CBFT has been established to be effective in preventing suicide (Asarnow et al., 2017). Inclusion of both interpersonal and intrapersonal aspects as has been discussed stand out as the strength of CBFT.
Asarnow, J. R., Hughes, J. L., Babeva, K. N., & Sugar, C. A. (2017). Cognitive-behavioral family treatment for suicide attempt prevention: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 56(6), 506-514
Dattilio, F. M., & Collins, M. H. (2018). Cognitive-behavioral family therapy. Guilford Press
Easterbrook, C. J., & Meehan, T. (2017). The therapeutic relationship and cognitive behavioural therapy: A case study of an adolescent girl with depression. Retrieved from https://ejcop.psychopen.eu/article/view/85/html
Epstein, N. B., Schlesinger, S. E., & Kim, H. (2018). Cognitive-behavioral family therapy. In P. C. Kendall (Ed.), Cognitive therapy with children and adolescents: A casebook for clinical practice (p. 301–328). Guilford Press.
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