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The Unintended Consequences Of Progress In Treatment

760 words - 4 pages

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is hard work and part of that has to do with the distress progress can sometimes create in a family system.

Yeah, that's right. We're going to look at how CBT can potentially impact a family from a systems perspective.

Why?

Because I'm to therapy what Ninjas are to martial arts.

Actually, that's not true - I feel really guilty about neglecting the blog since getting a PS4 and Killzone Shadowfall, so I forced myself to write today.

CBT is also a short-er term modality, involves homework and the idea of concrete change is on the table a lot sooner than folks may expect. It is not uncommon for clients to get angry at themselves, me, their family members, God, ...view middle of the document...

Other times, family members may feel and express disappointment after a lapse because they were, for a time, noticing progress in a loved one. This can feel disappointing to a client who is being asked, in therapy, to focus more on process in defining success. Family members may also fall back on their old patterns of dealing with their loved one which can not only engender frustration but may create an environment that makes it easy for their loved one to slip back into old patterns longer term.

This isn't to say that family members want their loved one to remain stuck, it's really the product of habit. Family members, like clients, develop workarounds to symptoms in ways they can live with and sometimes these workarounds are time consuming, intricate and exact.

Therapists should always leave the option of family involvement on the table for clients. It's even appropriate to make it a condition of treatment sometimes. With adolescents or young adults who do not wish to have family members involved, therapists will sometimes wait until the client feels distressed enough about the family's "push back" to bring the matter of family...

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