Over the years, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has been applied to a variety of client populations in a range of treatment settings and to the range of clinical problems. This chapter provides a general overview of the cognitive behavior history, model, and techniques and their application to clinical social work practice. It begins with a brief history and description, provides a basic conceptual framework for the approach, highlights the empirical base of the model, and then discusses the use of cognitive, behavior, and emotive/affective interventions. Cognitive behavior therapy is based on several principles namely cognitions affect behavior and emotion; certain experiences can evoke cognitions, explanation, and attributions about that situation; cognitions may be made aware, monitored, and altered; desired emotional and behavioral change can be achieved through cognitive change. CBT employs a number of distinct and unique therapeutic strategies in its practice.
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The treatment of the suicidal individual is perhaps the most weighty and difficult of any of the problems confronted by the clinical social worker. Some frequent comorbid pathology with suicidal behavior includes alcoholism, panic attacks, drug abuse, chronic schizophrenia, conduct disorder in children and adolescents, impulse control deficits, schizophrenia, and problem-solving deficits. Suicidal harmful behavior appears in all ages and characterizes clients in a large spectrum of life. There are four types of suicidal behavior namely rational suicider, psychotic suicider, hopeless suicider and impulsive or histrionic suicider. This chapter presents some primarily cognitive techniques for challenging suicidal automatic thoughts. Recent reports suggest that individuals suffering from alcohol or substance abuse are at an increased risk both for attempting, and for successfully completing, a suicidal act. The therapist must develop an armamentarium of cognitive techniques, and the skills to use these effectively in ways that are appropriate for each individual client.
This chapter provides a general overview of the cognitive behavioral history, model, and techniques and their application to counseling practice. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) originally evolved out of two traditions, the behavior therapy tradition and the psychodynamic tradition. Behavior therapy was one of the first major departures from the more traditional, psychodynamically oriented approaches to therapy. Through the use of Socratic questioning, CBT involves an ongoing assessment of the person and the problems throughout the therapy experience and is very sensitive to the idiosyncratic nature of an individual’s problems. Once cognitive, behavioral, and emotive patterns are identified for change, the CBT therapist begins to introduce a variety of focused techniques to facilitate this process. Behavioral interventions can be especially helpful in promoting change in individuals who have a harder time making elegant core belief changes through cognitive methods.
The contents of social work interventions in the future will likely be highly determined by technological and medical advances. Modern society has discovered remarkable ways to extend people’s lives, helping them live longer, live with illnesses that caused death in the past, and cope with traumatic threats to their lives. Modern life has enabled a shift from a human preoccupation with basic survival needs to questions about the quality of life. Recognition of the role of emotions in behavioral change and in human functioning has opened a whole new world to social workers, legitimizing a focus on internal events, affects, and awareness rather than a concern with mainly environmental causes for human disorders. Growing consensus in the profession about the need to address subjective well-being and emotional disorders will necessitate new modes of intervention.