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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Family Therapy

Free «Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Family Therapy» Essay Sample

In the light of the multiple approaches to counseling, the use of specific psychotherapeutic methods has been popularized. Specifically, there are many psychological treatments which can contribute to the improvement of one’s mental health. What is more important is that therapeutic approaches do not require medical interventions and can be regarded as stand-along treatment. In this respect, the simultaneous use of cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy leads to a confrontation between individualized and collective treatments, which must be analyzed to define further methods of improvement.

The Benefits of Each Treatment: CBT and Family Therapy

The major benefit of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) consists in the fact that this is a stand-along treatment which does not require additional assistance in terms of medication prescription. This approach focuses on the negative experiences which should be recognized by the patient to shift to the alternative patterns of behavior (Depression Centre, 2016). Since the target audience includes teenagers, this could be the safest method of treatment, requiring no medical interventions. The cognitive behavioral therapy is an excellent observational research study which defines further ways of managing and controlling the disease with reliance on previous experiences. In this respect, Miklowitz and Scott (2009) insist that, “the importance of psychosocial intervention also reflect that environmental variably play an important role in determining whether an individual at risk develops bipolar disorder, and the timing frequency, and polarity…of bipolar disorder” (p. 104). Therefore, this aspect of treatment can allow teenagers to find out the specific social rhythm to oppose the instability of the mental state.

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The major advantage of family therapy lies in the ability to receive support and assistance on the part of the family members and close relatives. An individual becomes aware that he/she is not alone in treatment, and there are people who are always ready to help and support. Family therapy is an excellent addition to other types of treatment, because it allows the patient to learn more about self-control and understand his/her personal problem in the family context and relationship management, leading to independent awareness of causes and symptoms.

The Risks of Each Treatment

Despite the advantages, there are certain risks of CBT. To enlarge on the issue, this type of therapy could be a challenge for teenagers with complicated mental disorders, or learning issues (University of Louisville, n.d.). Besides, there are also cases when CBT causes only financial problems, failing to address some health conditions, such as a difficult and unhappy childhood. Moreover, cognitive behavioral theory can hardly eliminate the risk of instability and recursion due to the psychological approaches used only. Finally, it is not effective in complicated cases which do not depend on the experiences, but on genetics and family problems. At the same time, it could still be considered to be among the most effective methods of reducing the threat of mental disorder development.


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The above-presented therapies focus on individual characteristics of the treatment, but family therapy ignores an individualistic approach, which is the major weakness of the approach. Therefore, it is better to conduct this treatment in combination with other types of therapies (Taxy, Liberman, Roman, & Downey, 2012). The disadvantages refer to the collective approaches which could not be introduced as a stand-along treatment, but in correlation with biological treatments and medical prescriptions.

The Treatment with the Strongest Research Base

With regard to the above detailed assessment of psychological treatments, it is evident that cognitive behavioral theory is more accurate and has the strongest research base in terms of empirical findings and research-evidence value. It involves many contexts of individual assessment in terms of cultural, psychological, and social dimensions. Therefore, this is specifically important to be able to foresee the outcomes of treatment. Additionally, psychosocial therapies rely more on individualistic approach with no specific rules and regularities, since customers can focus on specific trends and feedbacks only after a single or a range of sessions. Besides, some of the conclusions could not be as objective as test results, but the experiences of counselors should be taken into account because they have learned much about different cases during numerous sessions. What is more important, cognitive behavioral therapy is more systematic and individualized due to what it can be used both as a stand-along treatment and as a part of a combined therapy. As such, there are different aspects of experience analysis with the evaluation of specific features of character.

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Best Treatment for Teenagers with Mood Disorders

With regard to the above-presented overview of psychological and therapeutic approaches, it should still be stressed that psychosocial methods are more suitable for this particular case due to several reasons. To begin with, therapeutic sessions relying on cognitive, emotional, and social learning dimensions are much safer as compared with the medical and pharmaceutical interventions, because despite the latter were tested clinically, they cannot be applied to every individual. Second, psychological approaches could also serve as stand-along tools for understanding teenagers who are less resistant to face-to-face conversations in a comfortable setting with no signs of clinical interventions. Teenagers belong to a complicated, specific group of adolescence and experience the transition stage of their psychological development, requiring lenient, delicate approaches, and specific sessions. Hence, in this respect, cognitive-behavioral method could suit the explored group best, because it can involves both individual and collective techniques. Such an approach is also effective unless certain family factors are involved. Nonetheless, considering different experiences and possible psychological and emotional problems and challenges which are encountered by teenagers in school and at home, the task of the counselor is to listen, recommend, and provide the new guidelines for behavior. Study of patterns, after all, is one of the basics of understanding people’s attitudes, perceptions, and reactions to a specific event or experience in life. Turning negative experience into positive ones can shape a new sequence of situations and life events which allow teenagers to view their lives and other people differently.

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In conclusion, it has been found that cognitive behavioral therapy is more effective, particularly when it comes to handling mental disorders among teenagers.

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