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Cognitive Behavioral Theory Understanding Research Paper

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Updated: Jul 2nd, 2020


Family therapy is an aspect of psychoanalysis, which deals with families and individuals in intimate relationships. “It is based on the principle that the family is a unique social scheme with its own arrangement and patterns of communication” (Beck, 2011). It acknowledges the significance of family relationships in the psychological wellbeing of an individual (Butler & Fennell, 2010). Therefore, during therapy sessions, members of a given family should be involved in finding solutions to the challenges that affect one of them. This essay discusses the effectiveness of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

How CBT Works

CBT is one of the interactive forms of family psychotherapy. It is a psychoanalysis technique, which solves dysfunctional feelings, maladaptive actions, and cognitive processes through various goal-oriented procedures (Butler & Fennell, 2010). CBT is based on the idea that a person’s feelings and actions merge to influence his or her life. For instance, an individual may have a low self-esteem in social milieu because of mental disorders. Thus, CBT can be used to train people to manage their thoughts and actions (Leahy, 2003).

CBT encompasses behavior psychotherapy and cognitive psychoanalysis. CBT has great accomplishment rate because it merges the procedures of these two therapies (Butler & Fennell, 2010). Thus, an integrative family psychotherapy involves various aspects of psychoanalysis. Negative thinking leads to self-destructive emotions and actions. Thus, CBT transforms the manner in which an individual thinks about a challenge. For instance, a person who believes that he is worthless of admiration may feel withdrawn in social settings. Cognitive therapy transforms a bad feeling into positive thinking (Beck, 2011).

Conversely, behavioral therapy can be used to train people skills that can enable them to transform their behaviors. For instance, a shy individual can be taught communication skills through CBT (Butler & Fennell, 2010). The acquired skills can be practiced regularly in social settings (Beck, 2011). Negative behavior reduces when an individual realizes that he or she can enjoy participating in social groups. Many psychoanalysts treat patients suffering from apprehension and depression disorders through cognitive analysis and behavioral psychotherapy (Butler & Fennell, 2010). CBT recognizes the fact that some behaviors cannot be transformed through rational thinking. Hence, change of behavior is an important aspect of psychotherapy.

Effectiveness of CBT

Research findings reveal that CBT is an efficient form of family therapy because of the following reasons. CBT can treat many psychological disorders such as despair and anxiety. For instance, the behavioral aspect of CBT can facilitate transformation of bad behaviors into good ones (Butler & Fennell, 2010).

Compared to other models of psychoanalysis, CBT facilitates quick treatment of individuals suffering from psychological and behavioral challenges. Most CBT sessions can be accomplished within a short duration compared to other forms of family therapy. Usually, “a patient attends a CBT session once a week” (Leahy, 2003). Sometimes, a patient can be treated at his or her home.

Hence, CBT is a convenient model of psychotherapy (Leahy, 2003). It is important to note that the number of CBT sessions depends on the complexity of a problem. Generally, a complete CBT session takes about six weeks (Butler & Fennell, 2010). However, it can be carried out in six months if a patient is suffering from a complicated cognitive disorder (Leahy, 2003).

Due to the highly systematic nature of CBT, it can be offered in various formats such as computer programs and books (Beck, 2011). A patient can apply CBT skills in daily life. For instance, once a patient has been healed, he or she can encourage others to overcome similar problems (Butler & Fennell, 2010).

CBT has been effective in treating health complications that occur during adulthood. For example, research findings indicate that nervousness disorders, depression disorders, and constant low back pain in adults can be treated through CBT (Beck, 2011). Moreover, research evidence reveals that CBT can treat schizophrenia (Beck, 2011).

In children, posttraumatic stress disorders and continuous behavior challenges can be treated through CBT. Moreover, computerized CBT can treat depression and apprehension in children (Butler & Fennell, 2010). Indeed, CBT is more efficient in treating many mental disorders than psychodynamic treatment. Nonetheless, psychodynamic psychoanalysis provides lasting solutions to cognitive disorders (Butler & Fennell, 2010).

Shortcomings of CBT

CBT has the following shortcomings. First, a patient must be committed to the CBT process. Second, “some critics contend that CBT only solves current problems and focuses on specific issues” (Leahy, 2003). Nonetheless, “it does not address the potential causes of psychological health conditions such as unhappy childhood” (Leahy, 2003).


This essay has revealed that CBT is one of the most effective forms of family therapy. It is integrative because it applies both cognitive psychoanalysis and behavioral therapy approaches. This makes it more effective in treating psychological and behavior disorders. Moreover, CBT is carried out in a flexible and systematic manner. For this reason, patients can be healed quickly through CBT. Last, CBT can treat children and adults suffering from psychological disorders and behavior challenges.


Beck, J. (2011). Cognitive Behavior Therapy. New York: The Guilford Press.

Butler, G., & Fennell, M. (2010). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: Mastering Clinical Challenges. New York: The Guilford Press.

Leahy, R. (2003). Cognitive Therapy Techniques: A Practitioner’s Guide. New York: The Guilford Press.

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