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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is not a singular approach to therapy. Rather it is a collection of therapeutic approaches which share similar beliefs. These assumptions are broken down to three main propositions. The first is that, it is not the external situation that determines feelings and behavior, but rather the person’s view or perception of that external situation that determines feelings and behavior (Beal, 2019). Secondly, cognitive activity may be monitored and altered. Lastly, desired behavior change may be effected through cognitive change (Beal, 2019).
Family vs. Individual
Conceptually, CBT will be extremely similar in either therapy. Delivery and approach may differ between these therapies. For example; individuals may prefer individual therapy when struggling with PTSD due to concerns of sharing their trauma with others. Where as children with anxiety disorders appear to improve following a family-focused cognitive behavioral intervention, regardless of individual or group administration (de Groot, Cobham, Leong & McDermott, 2007). Furthermore, in a family session, the practitioner must be aware of the needs of the family and tailor individual expectations without leaning to heavily on particular perceptions. While individual therapy focuses solely on the perceptions and realities of the individual. Finally, studies have shown that the cost-effectiveness ratios resulted in dominance for individual CBT, indicating that individual CBT is more effective and less costly than family CBT (Bodden et al., 2008).
Initially, I have found it easier to focus in on an single individuals issues as opposed to a groups. In a group setting, it is very difficult to not dive into each individuals problem, which ultimately may take away from the group experience. Other observations is that individual sessions develop trust quicker and the client is more open and offers more information. Often times in group, it is hit or miss as to whether or not certain individuals will participate. There is also a marked difference between educational group and family session and chemical dependency group sessions. Chemical dependency had far more engagement among the group members. Individual therapy is definitely my strength of the two therapies but both have great potential. It is important to base your choice on the individuals needs and comfortability between the two approaches.
Beal, D. G. (2019). Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health.
Bodden, D. H. M., Dirksen, C. D., Bögels, S. M., Nauta, M. H., De Haan, E., Ringrose, J., Appelboom, C., Brinkman, A. G., & Appelboom-Geerts, K. C. M. M. J. (2008). Costs and Cost-Effectiveness of Family CBT Versus Individual CBT in Clinically Anxious Children. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 13(4), 543–564.
de Groot, J., Cobham, V., Leong, J., & McDermott, B. (2007). Individual versus group family-focused cognitive-behaviour therapy for childhood anxiety: pilot randomized controlled trial. The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry, 41(12), 990–997.