Family Therapy and Counseling Essay

Family Therapy and Counseling Essay

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Part 1

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) use family and group settings have some similarities and differences. The main similarity is CBT is applied in both settings as a practical approach to problem solving with the focus being on changing behavior and thinking. The second similarity is that it is applied to address a range of issues in both settings to include depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse, and relationship problems. The third similarity is that it works by changing behavior and attitudes through focusing on the attitudes, beliefs, images and thoughts that the clients hold (as part of their cognitive processes) and how they relate to ways of dealing with emotional problems and behavior. The fourth similarity is that CBT is applied for between five and ten months in both settings, with the clients typically scheduled to attend one therapy session every week. Each session lasts for between 40 and 60 minutes during which time the clients and counselor engage in conversation to understand the problem and strategies for addressing the identified problem (Bitter, 2014; Yalom & Leszcz, 2005). The fifth similarity is that the persons attending therapy for both settings are encouraged to express their feelings and learn how others perceive them. Also, they are offered encouragement to motivate them to continue attending therapy sessions. The final similarity is that CBT application in both settings focuses on introducing the clients to a set of principles that they are expected to apply as needed over the course of their lives (Welfel, 2013). Family Therapy and Counseling Essay


The main difference noted for CBT use in family and group settings is that its application in family settings focuses on addressing issues that affect the whole family while group settings focus on issues that happened outside the group. Another difference is that family therapy stresses in intragroup interactions since the family members have a history together and their problem requires them interact with each other as the first step to its solution. In contrast, group counseling calls for intragroup interactions, but to a lesser extent since the participants may not have a history together. Yet another difference is that family therapy focuses on improving the cohesion between family members by strengthening interactions, while group therapy focuses on how the members perceive themselves and interact with others. The final difference is that family settings relies on existing ties between members as the only inclusion criteria while group settings relies on a pre-determined profiles that aggregates individuals with the same psychiatric condition, age-group or gender within the same treatment group (Cautin & Lilienfeld, 2015).

Part 2.

CBT application in group setting presents some challenges. The first challenge is that CBT effectiveness in group settings is questionable and should be complemented with other therapies such as medication. The second challenge is that the group setting has privacy and confidentiality concerns thus making it difficult for the members to open up. That is because members are encouraged to open up within the group and yet there are no guarantees that the information would be kept confidential. This causes the members to prefer keeping to themselves with the result that their reasons for attending the therapy are unlikely to be addressed (American Psychiatric Association, 2013; Bitter, 2014).


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Bitter, J. (2014). Theory and practice of family therapy and counseling (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Cautin, R. & Lilienfeld, S. (2015). The encyclopedia of clinical psychology, volume II Cli-E. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Welfel, E. (2013). Ethics in counseling & psychotherapy (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Yalom, I. D., & Leszcz, M. (2005). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy (5th ed.). New York, NY: Basic Books. Family Therapy and Counseling Essay