Essay Sample on Cognitive Behavior Family Therapy

Published: 2023-11-12
Essay Sample on Cognitive Behavior Family Therapy
Essay type:  Definition essays
Categories:  Family Counseling Behavior
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1656 words
14 min read

Cognitive Behavior Family Therapy (CBFT) is a strategy applied to the process of family therapy. It concentrates on using adjustments to the behavior and practices to alter the interaction pattern of family members. Many families do experience many conflicts, disagreements, and physical abuse that create a hazardous environment for the children. The situation is unsuitable for growth and development. The behavioral modifications used in the approach include contingency, contracting, and negotiation strategies. They aim to significantly alter the patterns of interaction among family members, reformulate beliefs, and change perceptions that arise due to faulty family relations and communications. Cognitive-behavioral family therapy is highly based on the ideology that the family members are affected by each other's actions simultaneously. One member's behaviors and actions stimulate the actions and behavior of other people within the family, which in turn leads to a rise in emotions. According to Dattilio & Collins (2018), the approach is applied to treating certain disorders within the family at an individual level and minimizing conflicts and distress in the family. Behavioral interventions are mostly educated to the parents to create solutions for children in cases of such disorders and anxiety.

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Family Therapy Treatment Model

CBFT crafts interventions are efficient and effective in promoting the quality of the functioning of the family as a social unit. The methods are used in collaboration with other response approaches, especially in matters regarding restructuring the thoughts of family members with problems and conflicts. A family with a series of family issues and individual issues relating to the conflict requires a strategic and comprehensive treatment that focuses on improving the behavior of caregivers and the children's upcoming behavioral and emotional changes. The family therapy model's treatment strategy concentrates on specific areas of the problem, like the parenting capacity and skills of caregivers, the child's anxiety and anger, and family coercion. It ensures that the possible causes of re-abuse are tackled entirely to avoid the emergence of mental problems. Family therapy aims at assessing the interaction patterns in a family at an individual level and focuses on identifying and addressing the existing problems.

Structural Family Therapy

The model focuses on creating an action-based strategy of treatment. The model aims at ensuring that the present state of the family is critically modified rather than focusing on digging deeper into the past and creating unnecessary interpretations. Focusing on history will raise new family beliefs that will automatically change the present interventions being put in place. Walker (1995) noted that structural family therapy deals with the family system and focuses on establishing ways to transform it positively. The family structure is assessed alongside the behaviors causing internal problems, and the family therapists focus on altering the structure of the family and their experiences. Walker (1995) indicated that the model adjusts the family structure, hence creating an opportunity for change.

Systemic Family Therapy

The concept focuses on addressing the family issues with the entire family rather than individual members to improve outcomes. The problematic issues and behaviors are collectively identified within the family hence leading to the creation of systemic rules that sustain proper behaviors and discourage the inappropriate ones.

Strategic Family Therapy

The model aims at strategically establishing the reactions and thoughts of other people to avoid struggle due to the actions that follow. The approach seeks to distance itself from manipulation and power struggles within the family by tackling problematic issues from a neutral perspective. The approach contravenes the family structures and power and aims to address problems fairly. The daily family interactions are monitored by therapists to establish sources of issues, and cognitive thinking is put to use to create viable solutions.

Major Assumptions of the Family Therapy Treatment Model

The underlying assumptions associated with the family therapy treatment models include;

  • The family as a social unit is bigger than the individual members. Therefore this emphasizes how personal actions and behaviors can be tackled adequately to eliminate the dangers posed on the unity and wellbeing of the family.
  • A family is a unit that undergoes development and continuous change over time. It is dynamic hence being exposed to different challenges and issues threatening its unity.
  • Members of a family have actions and behaviors that influence other members to develop specific actions and behaviors. The family members have an interdependent relationship.
  • A family is a system that has borders that can be open or closed. The behavioral changes and problematic issues can affect the family if the boundaries are left open hence requiring family therapy treatment to offer solutions and close the boundaries.


Family therapy faces criticism as a treatment model. It creates a perception that all family problems can be solved yet; in reality, it is unrealistic. The conflicts in the family cannot be fully solved under the treatment models. Secondly, therapists establish numerous approaches to offer family solutions without adjusting to the previous approach's failures. It may lead to disintegrating the family hence affecting the lives of individual members. Lastly, the approach is in a competitive environment, and it ends up overstating its efficiency in tackling family issues.

How the Model Is More Effective Than Others in Explaining Family-Level Interactions

Family therapy interventions create effective treatment solutions for people with certain disorders within a family (Jiménez et al., 2019). Therapeutic approaches like strategic and structural family therapy create positive outcomes by promoting interactions between parents and children. The effectiveness of the approach eliminates the problems in families and tackles self-harm issues among adolescent children. According to Crane & Morgan (2007), family therapy as a component that is based on systems theory establishes strong foundations of interaction in a family by strengthening the members' communication patterns. The family approach ensures that it creates an engagement platform for the high-risk family members as compared to other methods hence making it more effective treatment (Thompson et al., 2009). It ultimately improves the quality of family interactions by creating alternative ways to express themselves. Varghese et al. (2020) noted that the basic interventions for different disorders are strategized and rolled out by improving the family systems of the members' interaction, hence improving the communication goals.

Populations It Applies Best To

Family therapy is suitable for families with conflicts between children and parents, adolescents with high-risk behaviors, and people with disorders like mental issues, depression, and anxiety. Family therapy creates positive outcomes for the named population by understanding the underlying challenge before therapists developing effective interventions and treatments.

How the Theory Will Inform Work with a Specific Population and Families under the Identified Model

The systems theory in the context of social work focuses on thoughts that people's behaviors are influenced by many factors that combine within a system. The people factor includes friends, family, and other social settings. The theory guides social workers to establish a perfect model that offers alternative solutions when handling specific populations and families. The theory will be helpful by providing reliable and overall views concerning an individual's issues in a particular family or social environment. Understanding the problematic issue will guide me in coming up with the appropriate intervention that creates positive outcomes. Under my model, the population and families are the children and young adolescents under high-risk exposure to unwanted behaviors. The family therapy model will form systemic based interventions and treatment to dangerous practices and activities when I carefully examine the population and the families.

How Cultural Issues Might Be Something to Consider When Using the Therapy Chosen and How

There is a need to consider cultural sensitivity in family therapy because of increased diversity in modern societies. Cultural pluralism continues to engulf the world, creating social diversity that ends up creating diverse families. Therefore, family therapists and interventions require entirely mindful of the diversity in societies regarding the race and cultural backgrounds of people. According to Zaker & Boostanipoor (2016), the understanding of families' cross-cultural aspect enables therapists to examine the behaviors and actions of people thoroughly. Different families exhibit different cultures hence the need for the therapists to be flexible and dynamic in creating the interventions. Families exist in a culturally diverse environment characterized by multicultural systems of education that have a consequence to their behavior and cultural patterns (Canino & Inclan, 2001). Therefore, the awareness of the cultural issues helps the family therapists to understand the implications of system values and cycles on the behaviors and actions of family members. Cultural awareness enables the family therapists to examine the family members and identify the problematic issues entirely. The formulated interventions subsequently become culturally responsive, which creates effective solutions. According to Zaker & Boostanipoor (2016), effective family therapy objectives and interventions mirror the cultural aspects of the client. To successfully transform the family, the therapists require understanding their culture and background carefully and later seek their permission. It helps in understanding the root problems hence ensuring that the interventions are well formulated.


The knowledge of systems theory and family therapy will be beneficial to my practice as a social worker. The understanding of people involves a critical analysis of how they are connected to the environment, family friends, and the social system through interactions. The theory and therapy model helps the social workers open thoughts and examine the social interactions to establish the causes of problems in a family. Understanding the concepts will enable social workers in their future practice to entirely formulate appropriate intervention and treatment to the families through therapy. The theory and the therapy model lays an educative and robust foundation for the social workers to entirely create reference during the future practice in offering treatment to family problems and disorders.

Treatment plan Outline

  • Family problem: lack of communication and inability to express emotions positively.
  • Definitions:
  • Define the problem goals
  • Identifying the root cause of lack of communication and inability to express emotions positively.
  • Examining the extent of the family problem.
  • Developing suitable behavioral changes to counter the problem.
  • Objectives
  • Improving the family communication
  • Addressing the family problem effectively
  • Establishing and providing effective intervention strategies.
  • Interventions:
  • Diagnosis

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