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Cognitive Behavior Group Therapy, Research Paper Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1345

Research Paper

Cognitive Behavior Group Therapy (CBGT) is a popular topic of professional discussion. It seems that CBGT is among few therapies that can positively influence patient and treatment outcomes. The principles and approaches of CBGT can be successfully used to address a variety of behavioral and mental health disorders. CBGT helps patients to restructure their cognitive abilities and improve their wellbeing. Numerous factors influence and predict the efficiency of CBGT. The significance of CBGT in treating various mental health disorders is difficult to underestimate. Nevertheless, many patients drop out of the CBT groups and fail to meet their treatment goals. Professionals in psychotherapy and counseling must acquire the skills and expertise to support their knowledge of cognitive behavior theories. A brief insight into the contemporary research will help to identify the problems and barriers against effective implementation of the CBT procedures. This knowledge will help to raise the efficiency of various CBT techniques in practical therapeutic environments.

Cognitive Behavior Group Therapy: How Effective?

Oei, T. & Browne, A. (2006). Components of group processes: Have they contributed to the outcome of mood and anxiety disorder patients in a group cognitive-behavior therapy program? American Journal of Psychotherapy, 60(1), 53-71.

The factors that influence CBGT effectiveness and outcomes are numerous and varied. In their research, Oei and Browne (2006) explored the effects of various group processes on clinical outcomes in patients with depression and anxiety following cognitive behavior therapy in groups. The authors measured cohesion, expressiveness, leader support, independence, and self-discovery variables and concluded that,within the groups, patient independence and expressiveness were the principal sources of patient benefits and improved patient outcomes (Oei& Browne, 2006). These results are easy to explain: expressiveness means that individuals can express their feelings, problems, and anxieties. Independence makes possible to express these problems in ways which benefit patients and other members of CBT groups. Apparently, when patients can articulate their problems in groups in ways that are convenient to them, they feel easier and relieved. They can evaluate their problems from several different viewpoints. Such communication and expressiveness can provide mental health professionals with a chance to look deeper into the patient issues and develop more effective treatment strategies.

Effective CBGT: Patients Are Dropping Out

Davis, S., Hooke, G.R. & Page, A.C. (2006). Identifying and targeting predictors of drop-out from group cognitive behavior therapy. Australian Journal of Psychology, 58(1), 48-56.

All people are unique, and so are patients. Thus, it is extremely difficult to define how to keep patients within these CBT groups and not to let them drop out. The current state of CBGT research suggests that age, diagnosis, low self-esteem and poor relationship status often distract patients from their treatment goals (Davis, Hooke & Page, 2006). Patients are more likely to drop out from CBGT if they are young and have diagnosis other than a neurotic and affective disorder; furthermore, patients with low self-esteem and poor relationship status are less likely to achieve their treatment goals than their“more successful” group members (Davis, Hooke & Page, 2006). This information implies that professional counselors must pay particular attention to young patients and those with the diagnoses other than affective and neurotic disorders. Possibly, patients with these or similar health problemswill have to be exposed to therapies and strategies other than CBGT. Patients with low self-esteem and poor relationship status may need additional counseling and treatment assistance to succeed in CBGT. Based on this article, age, diagnosis, self-esteem and relationship status could be used as the criteria toevaluate patients’ preparedness participate in a CBT group. In the meantime, only professionals that have skills, knowledge and expertise to develop effectiveCBT interventionscan support their patients in their way to meeting the principal treatment goals. Counselors and professional psychiatrists must possess the knowledge, skills, and expertise needed to implement CBTtechniques successfully.

The discussed research shows that even when CBGT is effective, many patients will face the risks of dropping out of their CBT groups. Why patients drop out from CBGT is difficult to define. Probably, not all patients are willing to accept CBGT as the principal instrument of improving their mental and spiritual health. Also, CBGT may conflict with patient principles and treatment expectations. Like any other medical intervention, CBGT is not universal, and in some instances, it may not improve patient health. How many patients drop out from CBT groups is yet to be discovered, but when it comes to cognitive behavior solutions, there is always some room for improvement. Professionalsin psychotherapy must be aware of the factors, which predict and encourage drop-outs from the CBT groups, to reduce the number, scope, and negative effects of these drop-outs on the patient outcomes.

How to Learn and Not to Learn Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Trinidad, A.C. (2007). How not to learn cognitive-behavioral therapy.American Journal of Psychotherapy, 61(4), 395-404.

Professionals need a strong knowledge of CBT philosophy, principles, and techniques. Patients who enter CBT goals face serious mental health issues. Like in any other field of medicine,theoretical knowledge of psychotherapy is not enough to lead patients to their treatment goals. Theoretical knowledge of CBGT creates only a foundation for the development of effective treatment strategies. More often than not, these are practical experience, skills, and expertise that can help to align the goals of CBGT with the individual patient characteristics and the desired treatment outcomes. Practical experience provides medical professionals with information about patients and helps them to evaluate the most effective treatments. The only question is in how to learn CBGT and what exactly medical specialists need to successfully implement CBGT in practice.

In case of CBGT, “the therapist best learns CBT while actively and dynamically ensconced in the real world of the learner” (Trinidad, 2007, p.396). Successful learning of CBT must be systematic and regular. Students in CBT must be willing to compare CBT to other forms of psychotherapy.A professional belief that CBT is equally psychoanalytic and psychodynamic will reinforce the effectiveness of any CBGT intervention (Trinidad, 2007). In simple terms, CBGT offers numerous benefits to patients and psychiatrists, but it does not deny the relevance and efficiency of other strategies. Of course, CBGT is just one of many approaches to mental health issues. The choice and use of each CBT strategy depend on the complexity of the mental health situation, patients’ features, preferences, and goals. Like any other medical strategy CBGT cannot be universal and equally effective for all patients. Today, professionals must finally understand that CBGT is an extremely complex approach to psychotherapy. A whole range of factors influences the efficiency of the therapy itself and the quality of patient outcomes. Regular, systematic learning will help psychiatrists to acquire knowledge, skills, and expertise needed to use CGBT in various practical environments. The openness to other strategies, the knowledge of factors that predict drop-outs from CBT groups and the willingness to support patients in their way to improved well-being raise the efficiency of the CBGT interventions and help patients to meet their treatment goals.

Conclusion

Cognitive Behavior Group Therapy (CBGT) is a popular topic of scientific discussion. Numerous researches show the efficacy of CBGT and its positive effects on patient wellbeing. The factors influencing CBGT efficacy are numerous and varied, but independence and expressiveness within CBT groups proved to be important predictors of the successful treatment outcomes. The principal reasons behind patients’ drop-outs from CBGT include their age, diagnosis, low self-esteem and poor relationship status. Professionals in psychiatry need to engage in regular, systematic, and practical learning, to be able to implement and use CBGT techniques successfully. The openness to other strategies, the knowledge of factors that predict drop-outs from CBT groups and the willingness to support patients in their way to improved well-being raise the efficiency of the CBGT interventions and help patients to meet their treatment goals.

References

Davis, S., Hooke, G.R. & Page, A.C. (2006). Identifying and targeting predictors of drop-out from group cognitive behavior therapy. Australian Journal of Psychology, 58(1), 48-56.

Oei, T. & Browne, A. (2006). Components of group processes: Have they contributed to the outcome of mood and anxiety disorder patients in a group cognitive-behavior therapy program? American Journal of Psychotherapy, 60(1), 53-71.

Trinidad, A.C. (2007). How not to learn cognitive-behavioral therapy.American Journal of  Psychotherapy, 61(4), 395-404.

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