NURS 6650 Week 5 – How CBT in families compares to CBT in individual settings Essay

NURS 6650 Week 5 – How CBT in families compares to CBT in individual settings Essay

Post an explanation of how the use of CBT in families compares to CBT in individual settings. Provide specific examples from your own practicum experiences. Then, explain challenges counselors might encounter when using CBT in the family setting. Support your position with specific examples from this week’s media. (references need to be since 2013 and from creditable resources)

Walden University NURS 6650 Week 5: Group and Family Psychotherapy



Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) trains individuals to recognize their maladaptive thinking patents and to be aware of the situations, thoughts, and feelings that induce negative automatic thoughts. After this step, CBT focuses on confirming if the individual would want to change their current problems (David et al, 2018). CBT is based on the premise that a person can be susceptible to negative thinking regarding self, future and generally the world. According to David et al (2018) thinking is reinforced by attitudes that are based on childhood experiences and other life events and this can lead to negative thinking. Therefore, CBT aims to change the negative thinking perspective into a positive thinking perspective through cognitive restructuring (Mohamadian et al, 2018). This discussion will focus on how the use of CBT in a family setting compared to CBT within individual settings NURS 6650 Week 5 – How CBT in families compares to CBT in individual settings Essay.

Individual CBT has a generally well-defined framework that emphasizes on reducing harm, especially with individuals who have substance abuse disorders or anxiety disorders (Wheeler, 2014). Individual CBT is a collaborative process that occurs between the therapist and the client; the process integrates physiology and schemas when developing the treatment plan (Wheeler, 2014).

On the other hand, CBT for the family is solution-focused and also brief. The focus of family CBT is on providing support to the family members to ensure they think and act in a more adaptive way, and learn to make better decisions and develop a more friendly and calmer family atmosphere. In family CBT therapy, feelings, cognitions, and behaviors are perceived as mutually influencing all individuals involved (Patterson, 2014).

An example of a client I experienced during practicum is a 32-year-old male client named B.G who participated in individual CBT once weekly and family CBT once weekly. The client had an alcohol abuse disorder NURS 6650 Week 5 – How CBT in families compares to CBT in individual settings Essay.

The client presented to the individual CBT after his employer along with the spouse complained that he was not able to manage his alcoholism. The client reported that he took alcohol almost every day of the week but he was trying to cut down the intake. During the individual CBT, open-ended questions were used to help to obtain situational and cognitive information from the client. The client would get angry and upset; this implied that he was not being honest about his alcohol intake. The client would give different information every time he was questioned. The client attended three individual CBT sessions and a recommendation was made to start family CBT with his wife (EB) because “the house was full of stress”.

During the family CBT therapy, the client was open about his alcohol use. However, the wife would interrupt him. The wife insisted that the client was not making efforts to cut down alcohol intake. However, during the session, B.G kept contradicting himself and while EB gave a seeming reliable account. This informed the therapist that BG was not making noticeable efforts to reduce alcohol intake. NURS 6650 Week 5 – How CBT in families compares to CBT in individual settings Essay.

According to B.G thinking, his alcohol intake did not in any way present a problem to his marriage, life or career. CBT views substance use disorder as a situation where individuals use such substances to reinforce the behavior. With time, such negative and positive reinforcing agent becomes a part of everyday activities. CBT attempts to reduce such effects by improving incidents allied to abstinence or by developing skills to help in reducing substance use (Wheeler, 2014). NURS 6650 Week 5 – How CBT in families compares to CBT in individual settings Essay.

During the family therapy, it became clear that B.G would give a different account when alone but when the wife was present, he tried to give an accurate account. Accordingly, the therapist proposed to the client to continue with the individual therapy and also attend family CBT once weekly.

Evidence shows that when individuals with substance use disorder try to maintain sobriety or lower substance use, there is a likelihood of relapse (Ringle et al, 2015). As a result, ready for change meeting were proposed for the client. This was based on this week’s media that indicated that clients are positively influenced to change when they encounter other individuals experiencing similar situations.

The example of this client shows some of the challenges encountered during psychotherapy and that in some situations it would be necessary to have clients undergo both family and individual therapies to ensure the therapy goals are met. NURS 6650 Week 5 – How CBT in families compares to CBT in individual settings Essay.

Some of the challenges that a therapist may encounter when using CBT in a family setting is trying to restructure the thinking pattern of different people at the same time. In addition, the therapist may be unsure if the structure of the session was appropriate for diverse family members and if the CBT techniques were effective for every individual (Ringle et al, 2015).



David D, Cristea J & Hofmann S. (2018). Why Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Is the Current Gold Standard of Psychotherapy. Front Psychiatry. 9(4).

Mohamadian F, Bagheri M, Sadat M & sani H. (2018). The Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Depression and Anxiety among Patients with Thalassemia: a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Caring Sci. 7(4),219–224.

Patterson, T. (2014). A Cognitive-Behavioral Systems Approach to Family Therapy. Journal of Family Psychotherapy25(2), 132–144.

Ringle, V. A., Read, K. L., Edmunds, J. M., Brodman, D. M., Kendall, P. C., Barg, F., & Beidas, R. S. (2015). Barriers to and Facilitators in the Implementation of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Youth Anxiety in the Community. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.)66(9), 938-45.

Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to

       guide for evidence-based practice. New York, NY: Springer. NURS 6650 Week 5 – How CBT in families compares to CBT in individual settings Essay


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