Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most effective psychotherapy approaches, whether it be used in group, family, or individual treatment. It is important to understand the purpose of it what its process consists off. It can be used to treat different mental health conditions, ranging from addiction to more severe illnesses. Its approach is to work with the patient into strategizing ways to change unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. Throughout the process, the patient not only learns solving skills, but also to re-evaluate and learn how to understand other’s perspectives, skill that helps build their confidence.
Some believe group therapy is more effective than individual therapy, as established by Kellett, Clarke, and Matthews (2007, p. 211). It has been established that CBT in general can be effective, but based on the Johnson Family Session video, it leads me to believe that either group/family or individual would be effective depending on the condition that is being treated. It is clear from the video that the girl who had been sexually assaulted at the fraternity does not believe talking or sharing her experience, even if it is with other girls who went through the same experience, will help in any way. She still has some internal issues that need to be addressed individually in order to make progress and get her to a place where she can participate in group/family therapy with an awareness that it will help her and purpose to it. Another important aspect of having a client be committed to the treatment is that research has showed “Poor compliance can adversely affect the remaining group members who may become worried or insecure” (Söchting, Lau, Ogrodniczuk, 2018, p. 185).
An example during practicum that supports my belief is the case of a terminally ill patient who had been recommended comfort care through hospice. She was ready to do so, understood and accepted her prognosis, but her daughters and husband were in denial. Every time they participated in a family session the patient held back on her wishes and verbalized whatever their wishes were as if they were her own. When treated as an individual client, she would express her concerns of not being able to “disappoint and abandon my family”. She had suffered all her life from anxiety, insecurities, severe depression, and low self-esteem. Those were issues that should have been addressed individually before she could fully engage in a family session in a healthy and productive way, if she would’ve had the time. CBT would have still been the choice of treatment for individual therapy for this client, as evidenced by Driessen et al. who stated it “is the psychotherapy method with the best evidence-base in the treatment of depression” (2017, p. 654). Not being fully engaged in the program, or believing the treatment will not help, or having other issues that need to be addressed on an individual basis, are all challenges presented in a family setting when relying on CBT.
Kellett, S., Clarke, S., & Matthews, L. (2007). Delivering Group Psychoeducational CBT in
Primary Care: Comparing Outcomes with Individual CBT and Individual
Psychodynamic-Interpersonal Psychotherapy. British Journal of Clinical Psychology,
Söchting, I., Lau, M., & Ogrodniczuk, J. (2018). Predicting Compliance in Group CBT Using the
Group Therapy Questionnaire. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 68(2).
Driessen,E., Van, H. L., Peen, J., Don, F. J., Twisk, J. W. R., Cuijpers, P., & Dekker, J. J. M.
(2017). Cognitive-Behavioral Versus Psychodynamic Therapy for Major Depression:
Secondary Outcomes of a Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of Consulting Clinical