This book provides the foundations and training that social workers need to master cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). CBT 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. As the human services increasingly develop robust evidence regarding the effectiveness of various psychosocial treatments for various clinical disorders and life problems, it becomes increasingly incumbent upon individual practitioners to become proficient in, and to provide, as first choice treatments, these various forms of evidence-based practice. It is also increasingly evident that CBT and practice represents a strongly supported approach to social work education and practice. The book covers the most common disorders encountered when working with adults, children, families, and couples including: anxiety disorders, depression, personality disorder, sexual and physical abuse, substance misuse, grief and bereavement, and eating disorders. Clinical social workers have an opportunity to position themselves at the forefront of historic, philosophical change in 21st-century medicine. While studies using the most advanced medical technology show the impact of emotional suffering on physical disease, other studies using the same technology are demonstrating CBT’s effectiveness in relieving not just emotional suffering but physical suffering among medically ill patients.
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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.