Family Therapy: Integrating Cognitive, Behavioral, and Interpersonal Approaches - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-10-15
Family Therapy: Integrating Cognitive, Behavioral, and Interpersonal Approaches - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Family Behavior Human behavior
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1190 words
10 min read


Family therapy or family counseling refers to a treatment type that is designed to address specific issues that affect the well-being or the proper functioning of the family (Worthington Jr, 2009). Ideally, this approach can be utilized to assist the family through challenging times, major transition, or the mental health challenges at the family level. In most cases, family therapy integrates methods and exercises from cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, or interpersonal therapy. Integrated Christian family therapy is, therefore, a form of treatment that involves the use of religious or spiritual intervention and engaging the clients in a clear theologically-oriented response. In most cases, it will require clear integration that includes reading of bible verses and stories to form part of counseling. Integrated Christian family therapy further involves praying with the client and subsequently assigning a formative discipline (Worthington Jr, 2009).

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According to Worthington Jr (2009), the effectiveness of integrated Christian family therapy depends on so many factors. It is based on the recognition that family is an institution, which may be affected by numerous challenges that may consequently affect the well-being of the members. Often, the intensity of the people mostly determines the approach that the therapists intend to take (Yarhouse & Sells, 2017). As part of the therapy process, the counselor will utilize the language of sin, repentance, forgiveness, and holiness to establish a Godly atmosphere that will favor the intervention of the Holy Spirit.

The therapeutic method, in this case, will further involve the acknowledgment of God at some point in the session. Such acknowledgment should take place before, during, and after the session. More explicit integration can include the Christianization of other conventional counseling approaches. This is particularly more effective when there is a huge underpinning overlap between Christian beliefs. As such, the counselor must make and establish a strong understanding of the role of God in human life. Under these circumstances, the counselor must give assurance that these propositions will shape the life of the client (Worthington, 2000).

Impacts of Christian world view on my Family Therapy View

It is undeniable to mention that the Christian worldview has had a tremendous impact on family therapy. Initially, I perceived family therapy as a simple method and process that aims at developing solutions to the underlying challenges that the family face. However, the Christian worldview has greatly transformed this perception. Now, my view towards family therapy is that it is the process that combines one’s Christian faith with the principles of psychology to improve their mental health and relationships at the family level. More specifically, this approach utilizes the contents of the scripture and biblical teachings to help clients deal with life challenges.

The fundamental goal of integrated Christian family therapy, in my view, is that it assists Christians to identify the behaviors that are highly consistent with God’s teaching. As a result, they will help guide them on how they should behave, act, and address issues that affect them at the family level. Further, I believe that God is already in operation to respond to people’s problems. Under such processes, the client can get the opportunity to align their lives towards holiness and righteousness, which are important elements in Christianity (Wade et al. 2007).

The integrated Christian family therapy is mainly based on the psychological interventions and client’s Christian faith with the help of a therapist or counselor. While this is so, I believe that God is the ultimate healer of the human problem. However, such kind of healing comes with a lot of dynamicity and diversity. Some families can indeed pray themselves out of depression or anxiety. God made medical experts and counselors for a purpose.

As society continues to find value in counseling, our spirituality has found an effective way through which it can penetrate the therapy room. Undeniably, I believe that integrated Christian family therapy can assist Christian families who have a rigid view of God as punitive and with grace. The majority of the clients who have entered the integrated Christian family therapy have been able to find solutions to their problems and their way back to God.

Reading the Bible and learning about biblical concepts is valuable in helping them develop in Christ and tackle issues the same way that Jesus did. Studies have shown that the clients who spent their time in the family therapy without the intervention of a Christian counselor did not benefit as whose sessions were facilitated by the latter. Under such circumstances, the beneficiaries effectively began their spiritual journey.

Biblical worldview in the practice of marriage and family counseling

According to Yarhouse & Sells (2017), marriage is one of the oldest institutions in the world. Its origin can be traced back to the Garden of Eden, whereby God made the first man and brought the woman as a suitable companion. From the Bible, it is evident that God had good intentions for both Adam and Eve. Marriage is sacred based on the fact that it was God’s idea. Because it was intended for both men and women, it deserves to be preserved, protected, and reverenced (Worthington, 2000).

It is critical to note that a Christian counselor will perceive marriage from his perspective. On the other hand, a secular counselor may or may not share what they understand about an individual’s family status. Instead of encouraging the important concepts of vision, perseverance, and hard work, they employ a relativistic approach that helps the desires of individuals over the Biblical worldview.

I believe that one way through which the Biblical worldview can be integrated into the practice of marriage and family counseling is that the latter should be based on the scripture. Such integration means that the world should primarily inform the origin and challenges that affect people in the marriages of God rather than science or psychology. Thus, the knowledge of the Word is the most vital tool of marriage counseling within Christianity. It will help inform its prescriptions about the thoughts, behavior, and attitudes.

As part of the Biblical worldview, the marriage in Christianity recognizes that the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit offer humanity with tremendous strength and change to win over the tough marital challenges. Just like traditional counseling, Christian marriage may provide many practical instruments necessary for coping with one’s marital behavior and attitude. With the Biblical worldview, families can develop various skills that will help them enhance communication, family cooperation and understanding, and rebuilding of the family trust. Thus, this kind of counseling encourages greater transformation, which can be achieved through a changed mentality about God and His Word. Most importantly, individuals’ ca effectively respond to the challenges of their marriage by growing spiritually and inviting the Holy Spirit intervention in their families.


Worthington Jr, E. L. (2009). Marriage counseling: A Christian approach to counseling couples. InterVarsity Press.

Worthington, E. (Ed.). (2000). Christian marital counseling: Eight approaches to helping couples. Wipf and Stock Publishers.

Yarhouse, M. A., & Sells, J. N. (2017). Family therapies: A comprehensive Christian appraisal. InterVarsity Press.

Wade, N. G., Worthington Jr, E. L., & Vogel, D. L. (2007). Effectiveness of religiously tailored interventions in Christian therapy. Psychotherapy Research, 17(1), 91-105.

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