In this essay, I will look at an intervention used tohelp young people who suffer from mental health issues such as, lowself-esteem, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder andpost–traumatic stress disorder.
The intervention I have chosen to focus on isCognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). I will explain both what an interventionis and what cognitive behavioural therapy is. I will briefly describe how cognitive behaviouraltherapy works and provide both the positives and negatives ofthis intervention.
I will also use a variety of sources to back up thesefindings. The term “intervention” refers to the actions taken inorder to interfere with an ongoing process and modify for the better. (Reber etal, 2009, p. 397) Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a psycho-socialintervention that focuses on changing our thought and behavioural patterns. (O’Brien, 2011) Cognitive behavioural therapy summarises manyof Albert Ellis and Aaron T. Becks ideas.
“Macleod (2003) relates that cognitive behavioural therapy is the mostrecent of the major therapy orientations with new elements being added to it,including strategies for cognitive intervention.” (O’ Brien 2011 p. 163) Cognitivebehavioural therapy is based on theideology that our thinking process, our feelings and our behaviour, are all connectedtogether.
It is that our thoughts and feelings can decide how we behave. The aim of cognitive behavioural therapy is to help peoplegain an awareness of when they are making negative judgments, and to learn toidentify behavioural sequences that emphasise the negative thinking. Cognitive behavioural therapy helps people to form differentways of thinking and acting, which aims to decrease the psychological afflictionthey are going through.
This approach is known as cognitive reconstructing. Theoverall aim is for the individual to try and improve their problems by makingtheir own efforts, alongside the therapist. This therapy tries to addressissues in a straight forward way.
It concentrates on finding understanding, usinga psycho-educational approach. Its effectiveness as a model is shown by itscontinual and increasing use and acquired recommendation by a range ofevidence-based guidelines.(Roth & Fonagy, 2005) This theory allowsfor the young people to evaluate their own situation, become aware of whattheir issue is and find where it is coming from. Once they know where theproblem comes from, the young person can take appropriate actions to slowlywork towards resolving the issue.
Once the young person has the problemresolved, they will see the benefits of cognitive behavioural therapy.An advantage of cognitive behaviouraltherapy is that it is usually short, only needing from five to ten months for nearlymost emotional problems. The young people go to one session per week and eachsession lasts roughly 50 minutes.
During the session, the young person andtherapist will work together to understand what the problems are and developnew ways to help deal with them. Cognitivebehavioural therapy introduces young people to aset of principles that they can then use whenever they need to, and they willhave them for a lifetime. (Martin, B, 2016) The effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy is supported by evidence from randomisedcontrolled trials, uncontrolled trials, case series and case studies. Cognitive behavioural therapy has been widelytested since the first outcome study was published in 1977 (Rush et al, 1977).
By this stage, there has been more than 500 outcome studies that have shown theeffectiveness of cognitive behaviour therapy used for a wide range of psychiatricdisorders, psychological problems and medical problems with psychologicalcomponents. This book by Beck (2011, P.4) went on to list a variety of disorders that had been successfully treatedby cognitive behavioural therapy such as,obsessive-compulsive disorder, bi-polar disorder, family issues, insomnia andsevere anxiety. This evidence was provided to demonstrate how the treatment isextremely beneficial.
From the book CognitiveTherapy and Emotional Disorders by Beck (1979) it quoted Allport (1968)referring to cognitive behavioural therapy as “a significant revolution”. Allportwent on to refer to this approach as an “attitudinal” therapy, he identifiedsimilar points of agreement in the theories of such different writers such asAdler, Erikson, Horney, Maslow and Rogers. He stated that the work of AlbertEllis should be added to this list of great writers. To further provethat cognitive behavioural therapy has its strengths, Butler and Beck (2000) decidedto review 14 meta-analyses, to examine the efficiency of Beck’s cognitivetherapy and they found that around 80% of the participants had benefited fromthe therapy. This suggests that having an awareness of thecognitive explanation can in fact improve the quality of a young person’s life. Also agreeing with Butler andBeck, that cognitive behavioural therapy is aneffective treatment is Hoffman & Smits (2017).
They stated in their bookthat as cognitive behavioural therapy is problem-focused, it makes it exceedingly productive in the treatment of an array ofmental health and adaption issues, as the therapists have a variety ofstrategic interventions to implement based on each patient’s clinicalpresentation, their treatment goals and their preferences. However, even though there aremany sources in favour of cognitive behavioural therapy because of all thebenefits that can be gained from it, there are others that oppose. Driessien& Hollon (2011) say that Motivational Interviewing can make cognitive behavioural therapy work better by specifyingstrategies to build clients’ own motivation to do the hard work.
Although cognitive behavioural therapy has evidence proving itsstrengths, LeBeau et al (2013) states that many individuals do not respond totreatment or adhere to treatment tasks, discontinue treatment and are unable tomaintain change after initial success. (Naar & Safren, 2017). Driessien& Hollon are not completely against the idea of cognitive behaviouraltherapy, but just feel that it can be enhanced greatly, if it were to be linkedwith motivational interviewing. To conclude, the overallaim of cognitive behavioural therapy isfor the individual to try and improve their problems by making their ownefforts, alongside the therapist. This essay has analysed the CognitiveBehavioural Therapy intervention used to help young people who suffer frommental health issues such as, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety,obsessive-compulsive disorder and post–traumatic stress disorder. The sourceshave proven through their studies that there are positive effectives to be gotten from part taking in cognitivebehavioural therapy.
The research done has provided information to show thatcognitive behavioural therapy can have both positives and negatives as anintervention. However, the sources have proven it to be mostly successful and afavourable intervention to use when working with young people.