This chapter describes the relevance of critical thinking and the related process and philosophy of evidence-based practice (EBP) to cognitive behavior therapy and suggests choices that lie ahead in integrating these areas. Critical thinking in the helping professions involves the careful appraisal of beliefs and actions to arrive at well-reasoned ones that maximize the likelihood of helping clients and avoiding harm. Critical-thinking values, skills and knowledge, and evidence-based practice are suggested as guides to making ethical, professional decisions. Sources such as the Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations and other avenues for diffusion, together with helping practitioners and clients to acquire critical appraisal skills, will make it increasingly difficult to mislead people about “what we know”. Values, skills, and knowledge related to both critical thinking and EBP such as valuing honest brokering of knowledge, ignorance and uncertainty is and will be reflected in literature describing cognitive behavior methods to different degrees.
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This chapter describes the Coping Skills Program, an innovative, school-based, universal curriculum for elementary-school aged children that is rooted in cognitive behavior theory. Rooted in cognitive behavior theory, the Coping Skills Program consists of carefully constructed metaphorical fables that are designed to teach children about their thinking; about the connections among their thoughts, feelings, and behavior; and about how to change what they are thinking, feeling, and doing when their behavior causes them problems. The chapter provides a thorough description of the Coping Skills Program and how it is implemented through a discussion of relevant research-based literature, and the theoretical underpinnings underlying this cognitive behavior approach with school-aged children. It also includes the results of preliminary testing of the Coping Skills Program. The research-based literature shows that cognitive behavior approaches are among the interventions commonly used by social workers to help young children in school settings.
Clinical social workers have an opportunity to position themselves at the forefront of historic, philosophical change in 21st-century medicine. As is so often true for social work, the opportunity is associated with need. For social workers, in their role as advocates and clinicians, this unmet need would seem to create an obligation. This chapter argues that, if choosing to accept the obligation, social workers can become catalysts for vitally needed change within the medical field. 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 Cognitive behavior therapy’s (CBT) effectiveness in relieving not just emotional suffering but physical suffering among medically ill patients. While this chapter discusses the clinical benefits and techniques of CBT, it also acknowledges the likelihood that social work will have to campaign for its implementation in many medical settings.
School social workers provide direct treatment for a multitude of problems that affect child and adolescent development and learning; these problems include mood disorders, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), disruptive behavior disorders, and learning disorders, as well as child abuse and neglect, foster care, poverty, school drop out, substance abuse, and truancy, to name but a few. This chapter examines four constructs that are important when working with students. These constructs include: assessment and cognitive case conceptualization, the working alliance, self-regulated learning, and social problem solving. The chapter discusses the development of attainable and realistic goals is a critical component both of self-regulated learning and social problem solving. The chapter examines the problem of academic underachievement and four constructs that are critically important when working with children and adolescents in school settings. Academic underachievement is a serious problem affecting the lives of many children.
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.
Most Behavioral Group Therapy (BGT) with children and adolescents include aspects of problem solving or social skills training or both. This chapter describes group workers can make an important contribution to children, families, and schools through preventive and remedial approaches. Social skills training grew out of the clinical observation and research that found a relationship between poor peer relationships and later psychological difficulties. The social skills program taught the following four skills: participation, cooperation, communication, and validation/support. The chapter focuses on the unique application of behavioral treatment using groups with an emphasis on assessment, principles of effective treatment, and guidelines for the practitioner. It also focuses on the use of the group in describing these aspects of BGT. The primary goal of using BGT with children is enhancing the socialization process of children, teaching social skills and problem solving, and promoting social competence.
The clinical social worker typically interfaces with older adult clients and their families in a variety of settings, providing diverse services ranging from assessment to clinical treatment to referral. This chapter discusses the ways in which cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) techniques can be used by social workers across different milieu to assist elderly clients who may be suffering from depression. These settings include the client’s home, an inpatient or outpatient mental health facility, a hospital or medical setting, a long-term care facility, or a hospice setting. The chapter provides an overview of how cognitive behavior techniques can be integrated throughout the range of services social workers may provide to elderly clients. Clinical examples demonstrate the use of CBT in a variety of settings. For many older adult clients, issues related to the need for increasing dependence on family, friends, and paid caretakers may become the central focus of counseling.
Community-based epidemiological studies find that when grouped together, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health conditions in the United States apart from substance use disorders. Anxiety disorders are also associated with substantial impairments in overall health and well-being, family functioning, social functioning, and vocational outcomes. This chapter includes a brief description of the anxiety disorders followed by a more detailed review of the cognitive behavior interventions indicated for these conditions. Social phobia is the most common anxiety disorder in the United States. Panic attacks are sudden surges of intense anxiety that reach their peak with 10 minutes and involve at least 4 of a list of 13 symptoms. Another somewhat less common anxiety disorder is obsessive compulsive disorder. The chapter discusses the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Two anxiety management procedures, breathing retraining and deep muscle relaxation, have been subject to some level of empirical investigation for certain anxiety disorder.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with children addresses four main aims: to decrease behavior, to increase behavior, to remove anxiety, and to facilitate development. Each of these aims targets one of the four main groups of children referred to treatment. This chapter suggests a route for applying effective interventions in the day-to-day work of social workers who are involved in direct interventions with children and their families. An effective intervention is one that links developmental components with evidence-based practice to help enable clients to live with, accept, cope with, resolve, and overcome their distress and to improve their subjective well-being. CBT offers a promising approach to address such needs for treatment efficacy, on the condition that social workers adapt basic CBT to the specific needs of children and design the intervention holistically to foster change in children. Adolescent therapy covers rehabilitative activities and reduces the disability arising from an established disorder.
Social work professionals are in key roles for providing effective education, treatment, training, and services for adult survivors. This chapter helps the social workers to equip with an evidence-based treatment framework to effectively enhance their work with this population of adult survivors. A community study of the long-term impact of the sexual, physical, and emotional abuse of children concluded that a history of any form of abuse was associated with increased rates of psychopathology, sexual difficulties, decreased self-esteem, and interpersonal problems. There is well-established and increasing empirical evidence that cognitive and cognitive behavior therapies are effective for the treatment of disorders that are typical among adult survivors of sexual and physical abuse. The chapter presents some basic cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) strategies that social workers can use in whatever roles they play in working with the multidisordered adult survivor. There are three types of schema avoidance: cognitive, emotional and behavioral.
When Charles, a 46-year-old divorced male with an extensive psychiatric history of depression, substance abuse, and disordered eating resulting in a suicide attempt, erratic employment, and two failed marriages, began treatment with a clinical social worker trained in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), he was an angry, dysphoric individual beginning yet another cycle of destructive behavior. This chapter provides the reader with an overview of the standard DBT model as developed by Linehan. Dialectical behavior therapy, which engages vulnerable individuals early in its treatment cycle by acknowledging suffering and the intensity of the biosocial forces to be overcome and then attending to resulting symptoms, appears to be the model most congruent with and responsive to the cumulative scientific and theoretical research indicating the need for the development of self-regulatory abilities prior to discussions of traumatic material or deeply held schema.
This chapter offers a brief and focused review of human development, with specific emphasis on cognition and emotion. It is essential that the reader distinguishes between cognitive development, cognitive psychology, and cognitive therapy. Both short-term and long-term memory improve, partly as a result of other cognitive developments such as learning strategies. Adolescents have the cognitive ability to develop hypotheses, or guesses, about how to solve problems. The pattern of cognitive decline varies widely and the differences can be related to environmental factors, lifestyle factors, and heredity. Wisdom is a hypothesized cognitive characteristic of older adults that includes accumulated knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge to practical problems of living. Cognitive style and format make the mysterious understandable for the individual. Equally, an understanding of an individual’s cognitive style and content help the clinician better understand the client and structure therapeutic experiences that have the greatest likelihood of success.
Social workers are committed to the protection and empowerment of weak populations, of those people who are least powerful. Gradually, social work started to rely more on problem-solving methods, client-focused therapy, family theories, and, more recently, cognitive behavior theories, constructivist theories, and positive psychology developments. Clinical social work today operates in a variety of settings in the statutory, voluntary, and private sectors. Clinical social workers have always been interested in helping clients change effectively. The importance of empirical study, valid information, and intervention effectiveness has always been accentuated by the social work field’s central objectives of increasing accountability, maintaining exemplary ethics and norms, and establishing clear definitions and goals. Cognitive behavior theory emphasizes several components. First and foremost, human learning involves cognitive mediational processes. Social workers need to look for effective methods for change, and CBT methods are very promising in this respect.
Over the past 25 years there has been a growing recognition of the importance of working with families of persons with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and treatment-refractory depression. Family intervention can be provided by a wide range of professionals, including social workers, psychologists, nurses, psychiatrists, and counselors. This chapter provides an overview of two empirically supported family intervention models for major mental illness: behavioral family therapy (BFT) and multifamily groups (MFGs), both of which employ a combination of education and cognitive behavior techniques such as problem solving training. Some families have excellent communication skills and need only a brief review, as provided in the psychoeductional stage in the handout “Keys to Good Communication”. One of the main goals of BFT is to teach families a systematic method of solving their own problems.
This chapter discusses the treatment of comorbid chronic depression and personality disorders. It then discusses recent treatment advances in the cognitive behavior field relevant to this population. Recently, research has been done comparing schema therapy to Otto Kernberg’s latest model. Because of severe emotional distress, patient often experience suicidal and/or parasuicidal behaviors. The chapter explores the benefits of mode work with these particular difficulties while maintaining a therapeutic approach of connection and compassion; this alliance is crucial for the approach to be effective. It focuses on the five most common modes for those with chronic depression and personality disorders namely the abandoned/abused mode, the detached protector mode, the angry mode, the punitive mode and the healthy adult mode. The interventions described in schema mode therapy have cognitive, experiential, and behavioral components. Identification of the mode the patient is in when suicidal is essential when managing a crisis.
This chapter reviews the basic tenets of evidence-based practice (EBP), and discusses the potential applications of this model of practice and training for the field of clinical social work. It also presents some actual illustrations of its use. The chapter describes the major forms of clinical outcome studies: Anecdotal Case Reports, Single-System Designs With Weak Internal Validity, Quasi-Experimental Group Outcome Studies, Single, Randomized Controlled Trial, Multisite Randomized Controlled Trials and Metaanalyses that comprise the priority sources of information underpinning EBP. 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 cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and practice represents a strongly supported approach to social work education and practice.
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.
This chapter presents a combined creative-corrective approach to working with the bereaved by emphasizing on cognitive assessment as a tool for social workers. It determines how best to facilitate an adaptive grief process with individuals who experience traumatic loss or complicated grief. Cognitive therapies (CT) and cognitive behavior therapies (CBTs) were found suitable with individuals suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and chronic or traumatic grief. Grief as a process of reorganizing one’s life and searching for a meaning following a loss through death is a painful experience. The Adversity Beliefs Consequences (ABC) model is based on a cognitive theoretical model to be applied in treatment of bereaved individuals. Like other cognitive models, rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) emphasizes the centrality of cognitive processes in understanding emotional disturbance, distinguishing between two sets of cognitions that people construct, rational and irrational ones and their related emotional and behavioral consequences that differ qualitatively.
This chapter discusses some of the critical issues surrounding culture and cognitive behavioral methods in order to better inform the advancement of culturally responsive social work practice. It focuses on one such treatment modality, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). The chapter reviews relevant theoretical frameworks, existent empirical studies on CBT with diverse cultural groups, strengths and limitations of this modality across cultures, and suggestions for culturally responsive CBT practice, in order to better inform social work practice. While cognitive behavior therapy was developed with universal assumptions and without consideration to the diversity of the cultural contexts of consumers, it is grounded in theory that is likely to have “some universal basis across populations”. Several studies have described the use of cognitive behavior methods with gay and lesbian clients, particularly the use of rational emotive therapy, cognitive restructuring, and behavior experiments.
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.
The emotional pain and concomitant psychological and behavioral consequences of couple relationship distress are rivaled by few other life crises and stresses. Negative reciprocity has been found to exist to a degree in both distressed and nondistressed couples. This chapter provides a view of the evolution of Cognitive Behavior Couple Therapy (CBCT) identifying the predominant influence of Behavioral Marital Therapy (BMT) along with the work of early cognitivists. The chapter also provides social workers with effective methods for the treatment of problems in intimate committed relationships. It presents conceptualization of couple functioning and treatment and clinical procedures that are highly relevant for same gendered couples. The chapter depicts the use of cognitive behavior methods to ameliorate problems in intimate relationships. Communication problems have been identified as the greatest area of limitation among unhappy couples. Cognitive behavioral couple therapy is comprised of approaches that are compatible with evidence-based practice.
This chapter explores how and why mindfulness has emerged in recent years as an important intervention in cognitive behavior theory (CBT) both as a stand alone treatment and woven into more complex treatments. It introduces the core skills of mindfulness as described by Linehan and discussed how they are useful to clients and to social workers. The chapter provides an example of how mindfulness, combined with good social work and other treatments, succeeded with a depressed veteran with chronic pain and a history of heroin dependence. In cognitive behavior theory and research treatment development will continue. How mindfulness is incorporated into existing treatment will change according to the research and new treatments will emerge. The principles of mindfulness, however, will remain. They are ancient and changeless and will always be of use to those seeking shelter from the suffering of life.
Cognitive behavior theory attempts to deconstruct individual differences in vulnerability, adaptation, and development of psychopathology, through systematic assessment of a client’s thoughts and behaviors, and use of empirically validated interventions. This chapter presents an overview of depression, demonstrates empirical support for CBT and clarifies its potential usefulness in social work settings. Albert Ellis’s rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) was developed in the 1950s. Albert Ellis’s REBT model uses cognitive restructuring to change irrational thoughts. Behavior therapy is founded on the premise that when environmental consequences are linked to particular behaviors, the consequence either increases or decreases the likelihood of a person responding in the same manner when confronted with similar stimuli in the future. Despite extensive research into variables that might contribute to suicidal behaviors, evaluating suicide risk continues to be both clinically difficult and scientifically imperfect for mental health providers.
Social workers have a long history of working with abused children and adolescents. This chapter focuses on the clinical treatment of the abused child or adolescent using a cognitive behavior approach (CBT). It familiarizes the reader with the treatment of children and adolescents who are experiencing impairment as a result of post-traumatic stress associated with their history of abuse. The chapter focuses on the treatment of children who have been victims of physical and/or sexual abuse. Child abuse is a widespread problem that impacts society on a variety of levels having long lasting effects on the child, the family, and the community. The use of CBT in clinical social work with abused children and adolescents offers an opportunity to utilize treatment that has been shown to be effective in reducing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
This chapter presents the definitions, prevalence, prognosis, warning signs, and treatment for anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), eating disorder not otherwise specified or atypical eating disorder (AED), and binge-eating disorder (BED). The distinctive core psychopathology for both anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) is a person’s constant concern and evaluation of his or her shape and weight. Psychological symptoms of AN include depression, anxiety disorder, irritability, mood swings, impaired concentration, loss of sexual desire, and obsessive thoughts. Some people who suffer with BN complain of stomach flu symptoms or complain that certain foods do not digest well. The distinguishing factor between BN and BED is the absence of compensatory purging in BED. BED shares the core eating disorder psychopathology, including preoccupation with shape and weight, the degree to which self-worth is influenced by weight, low self-esteem, poor social adjustment, and high rates of comorbid psychiatric disorders.
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.
This chapter provides a general overview of substance-related disorders and the diagnostic criteria. It discusses cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) techniques for treating as well as a review of the neurophysiologic basis of addiction and reward pathways. The chapter examines the impact of substance use and misuse on the patient, the family, and social worker in the therapeutic process. The social worker should be familiar with general assessment guidelines for substance misuse spectrum disorders with and without confounding comorbid conditions such as medical and psychiatric problems. The chapter then discusses the biological-psychological-social components that must be in place for a substance disorder to be diagnosed. According to Freeman and Dolan the five-step stages of change (SOC) model widely accepted in substance misuse treatment settings lacks the specificity that is an essential part of the cognitive behavior treatment model, namely precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance.