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What is cognitive behavioural family therapy?

  • Posted on- Feb 18, 2016
  • 3613 Views

One's attitude, expectations and beliefs, control how a person functions in their lives and how they address problems within it. Many families have their highs and lows, where the effects of a negative environment affect the kids, and create strains between married couples. Children, over time, turn aggressive and rebellious, mimicking the ways of their parents, after years of being subjected to it. Kids at a young age or those that fall into the teen and young adult bracket, are easily influenced by what happens at home, before anything else. Education and moral upbringing starts from home, before other people take over in schools and universities. Friends and the media then become an influence, with kids not knowing what is wrong or right, and many falling prey to the ills of society, because of how things are at home.

If parents don't get along and if bickering and abusive fights are the highlight of the day, every day - children will tend to hold that within themselves and resent others as well as their own parents. After a long while, parents thankfully then realize that they need to go seek counselling, in what is known as CBFT or cognitive behavioural family therapy. Counsellors and psychologists provide help to families by pinpointing areas like their emotions, individual perceptions of the situation, what they need from their spouses/children, or things they have trouble coping with. Each of these are evaluated and then helped accordingly, following sessions that last either in 8 sittings only, or 20 in some cases. Sessions usually last an hour, once a week. A program is designed according to each family's needs, which are subsequently dealt with over time. Cognitive behavioural therapy techniques can work wonders for families who are on the verge of calling it quits.

How does cognitive behavioural therapy technique work?

We take a look now at how the therapy works and what families are put through to help their current scenarios. A lot of studies have been done to see things the way parents and kids do, thus forming theories on how they function and perceive things through their take of the situation.

  • Viewing Family as a System: Each member of the family has his own views of the situation, knowing that they are experiencing life within it, differently. Evaluating the methods used while bringing up the children, are then taken into consideration, since this can greatly influence behaviour and emotional/mental outcomes. Depending on how the kids are with their parents and how the parents are with each other and their individual children, brings on a case where everything from perception to emotions is affected. Thus, behaviour takes a hold, where over time it becomes a unique entity to deal with, seeing that it is deep-set because of years of being subjected to the influence.
  • Individual Meetings: The married couple is first met individually, as is the kids. Each one is asked about an assessment of the situation, where psychologists then form an understanding of what each member is enduring. It is recorded and taken note of, where they then work out ways on how to get through to the parents and kids. They help them better their communication skills by bringing to light what each member of the family expects out of the other.
  • Tests and Findings: The family is then asked to go through a series of personality tests and questionnaires to help understand where the behaviour stems from, and what happens as a consequence of it. Once psychologists know exactly what they're dealing with, they are easily given the chance to work on those areas that the family themselves will shed light on eventually.
  • Assignments and Sessions: The sessions can last anywhere from 8 to 20 sessions over the span of a couple of months, for one hour every week. Once the family shows progress, the number of sessions decline where weekly assignments are given to the family to do at home. These will consist of ways on how to approach a situation and how to handle a scene in a mature, less intense manner. A lot of time is spent working it out at home (under psychologist guidance), where parents try to be what their children expect them to be and likewise. This can greatly help families get through times of tribulation and conflict. That way, families stay bonded and can get through anything if handled the right way, in the best frame of mind.

Cognitive behavioural therapy technique can save marriages and keep children together without the fear of being separated from either parent. Going in for therapy could make a lot of changes within households, if they are willing to come forward and seek help. It is important for them to realize that they need the counselling, before they can even imagine surviving their problems.