Personal Theory of Therapy Research Paper
Excerpt from Research Paper :
personal theories about change and therapy as part of developing a personal therapeutic approach and process. The exploration begins with examining personal beliefs regarding health, normalcy, and change. The author also includes a discussion about the theoretical foundations influencing personal style of therapy. A description of a personal therapy process and culturally responsive therapy is also included in the article. The final section provides a theory of therapy diagram based on cognitive behavioral therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Michael White and David Epston have played a crucial part in explaining family therapy for nearly two decades through contributing to the emergence of numerous concepts in textbooks and handbooks of family therapy (Ramey et. al., 2009, p.262). One of the concepts in family therapy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is used to treat people with several problems including mental health issues. The use of such theoretical approaches is based on the fact that people have several interacting narratives that contribute to the development of sense of self. As a result, the issues that people bring to therapy are not limited within the clients themselves but are affected and shaped by cultural discourses regarding identity and power (Madigan, 2011). This article explores personal theories about therapy and change by examining personal beliefs and values about health and normalcy and how people change and the role of the therapists.
Personal Beliefs about Health and Normalcy
As previously mentioned, every individual or therapist has a set of personal beliefs and ideas regarding health and normalcy. This set of beliefs and ideas are influenced by several factors including sense of self and cultural discourses in personal growth and development. These beliefs and ideas have a considerable impact on a person's perspective of health and normalcy, which in turn affects his or her quality of life and the healing process. Moreover, the personal beliefs and ideas about health and normalcy affect personal growth and an individual's sense of well-being.
From an individual perspective, health is the state of physical, social, emotional, and social well-being. This definition of health is influenced by the fact that health is more than the absence of illness or injury. Through physical, social, emotional, and social well-being, healthy individuals have the ability to cope with day-to-day activities as well as adapt to their ever-changing surroundings ("What is Health?" 2012). This implies that despite the significance of the absence of disease, it is not enough to adequately define health or adequate to produce health. On the other hand, normalcy is ability to sustain the best possible level of wellness in order to improve the quality of life. Therefore, normalcy is an active process through which a person is constantly aware of a healthy and satisfying life and makes decisions and choices that contribute towards the realization of a healthy and satisfying life.
Change in Relation to Cognitive Behavioral Theory
As previously mentioned, the exploration of personal theories regarding change and therapy involves examining how people change and the role of therapist in the change process. While I believe that people do not change who they are, they develop and become better through changing various things relating to their decisions and behaviors. Based on Cognitive Behavioral Theory, people's change following interactions between their cognition, emotion, and behavior. The change process takes place following learning new ways of thinking that in turn triggers different emotional responses and behaviors. Moreover, the change can come from modification of thinking patterns, emotional responses, and behavior. People change through acquiring skills and knowledge relating to a particular issue or area they would like to change. When using this theory of therapy, the role of the therapist in the process is to help clients identify ways of thinking, feelings, and behaviors that sustain problems. The identification of these factors is followed by assessment and conceptualization of new ways of thinking, emotional responses, and behaviors. The therapist then acts as a change agent by assisting the client to implement these thought patterns, feelings, and behaviors in order to avoid sustaining the problems and dealing with them. In this case, the therapist acts as a change agent whose role is to engage the client with several possibilities of change (Linnell, 2010, p.24).
Individual therapy approach and process are influenced by his/her theoretical foundations, which differ with regards to their focus and methodologies. Generally, therapeutic approaches and processes are classified into
three major categories that influence the actions of a therapist i.e. psychodynamic, humanistic, and cognitive-behavior approaches. These categories are regarded as groups of varying theoretical approaches and foundations that share certain important similarities that differ from other approaches. The theoretical foundation for my therapeutic approach is cognitive behavior therapy. Behavior therapies traditionally focused on transformation of observable behaviors through providing varying or rewarding outcomes or consequences. However, the cognitive-behavior approaches widens behavior therapy to include the contribution of people's thought processes with regards to creating, maintaining, and changing the various issues or problems they experience (Jones, 2010, p.2).
The use of cognitive behavior therapy approach as my theoretical foundation for counseling and therapy services is influenced by my focus on helping people or clients identify the reasons for their problems and develop measures for handling these issues through thinking. Through cognitive behavior approaches, the therapist evaluates clients and then provides effective intervention to help them change their thought processes or ways of thinking as well as behaviors that sustain their problems or issues. The use of this theoretical foundation in my therapy approach and process is based on the belief that every individual has the ability to deal with their problems through changing their thinking patterns and behaviors in order to avoid sustaining the problems or issues. The interventions provided during therapy mainly focus on helping the client identify ways of changing thinking patterns and behaviors.
The theoretical foundation of my approach to therapy is Cognitive Therapy, which was developed by Dr. Aaron T. Beck. This theory is a comprehensive psychotherapy system in which the therapist and the client collaborate as a team to identify and solve problems. The work of the therapist in this process is to help clients deal with problems through changing their thinking, emotional reactions, and behaviors. Treatment using the Cognitive Therapy or Cognitive Behavior Therapy is based on a comprehensive and empirically supported psychopathology and personality theory. McLeod (2014) states that this theory is based on the idea that our cognition (how we think), emotional responses (how we feel), and behavior (how we act) interact. Therefore, dealing with problems requires being aware of negative interpretations and reactions and behavioral patterns emerging from distorted thinking. The goal of Cognitive Behavior Therapy is to help clients realize a remission of their disorder and develop suitable measures to prevent relapse ("Cognitive Behavior Therapy," n.d.). This is achieved through teaching individuals to change their distorted thinking, distressing effects, and dysfunctional behaviors.
Description of Fit
As previously mentioned, this theory fits with my conceptions about human behavior and development since human behavior and development is a by-product of cognition, emotional responses, and behavior. These three elements interact together to influence human growth and development. Actually, a person's cognition or thinking patterns play a crucial in determining feelings and behaviors. The feelings and behavior in turn affects an individual's development and growth through influencing mental representations of the real world.
Description of Therapy Process
There are various techniques that can be utilized to provide therapy to clients based on the Cognitive Behavior Therapy. The differences in cognitive behavior therapy techniques are influenced by the applicability of this theory in various settings and in dealing with different issues. My therapy process is entails different steps that are used to assess clients and provide intervention that revolves around helping them change their ways of thinking, feelings, and behaviors in order to avoid sustaining the problem. The planned structure and flow of the therapy process include initial interactions with client, assessing the client's issues, conceptualizing the case and planning treatment, providing feedback to clients, and commencing the treatment process. This is followed by dealing with any challenges in the treatment process, teaching core techniques for change, terminating therapy, and conducting client supervision.
The most suitable intervention for this style of therapy is cognitive behavior therapy or intervention since it incorporates each of these steps in the treatment process (Ledley, D.R., Marx, B.P. & Heimberg, R.G., 2011, p.1). The other types of interventions that will be important to this style of therapy include conceptualizing the client, identifying a client's inaccurate or unhelpful ideas, and conducting behavioral experiments (Beck, n.d.).
Culturally Responsive Therapy
The integration of cultural influences into Cognitive Behavior Therapy plays a crucial role in determining the effectiveness of the therapy since a client's response to this process is enhanced by using interventions that fit his or her cultural identity, context, and preferences (Hays, 2012, p.1). Some of the measures that will be incorporated in my therapy style to promote responsiveness to culture include acceptance of core cultural beliefs, focusing on cultural related…
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