The Cognitive Behavioral Approach
The Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is one of the models of the Cognitive Behavioral Approach for group psychotherapy.The thrust of the Cognitive Behavioral Approach applied to group psychotherapy is to understand cognitive and behavioral patterns in order to determine how to modify them.The modification of cognitive and behavioral patterns is instrumental in changing dysfunctional and maladaptive behaviors.
(Young, 2005) Moreover, CBT considers the cognitive schema and the ruling beliefs, which dictate how people lead their daily lives. This shall be the secondary basis for conducting group psychotherapy. (Beck, Freeman, & Davis, 2004) The REBT is a likely model patterned after Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) because it supports the objectives of CBT.
The REBT is considered a model of Cognitive Behavioral Approach in group psychotherapy because it focuses on understanding cognitive and behavioral patterns by teaching the concepts of REBT to group members and learning how to apply it to themselves and other members of the group. The model works such that there are three factors (ABC model) that influence the understanding of an individual’s way of thinking and behavioral patterns. These three factors include determining a particular event or scenario (A), identifying the feelings or way of thinking of the individual regarding the particular event or scenario (B), and evaluating the manifestation of the individual’s way of thinking in his behavior (C). (Jacobs, Mason & Harvill, 2006, & Ellis, 2002)
The application of REBT to group psychotherapy is conducted by informing participants of the group about the theories and concepts underlying REBT. The ABC model is then applied to the personal experiences of the participants. Using personal examples is instrumental in having them understand the true meaning of REBT. If they get to apply the ABC model of REBT to their personal experiences and the experiences of other members of the group, then they get to understand the concept that way of thinking has something to do with how they act. Therefore, they get the idea that their maladaptive behaviors are caused by how they think about certain things and situations and not by other people or other external factors. From this, they are able to understand that in order to behave accordingly, they should be able to think correspondingly. (Jacobs, Mason & Harvill, 2006)
In a research study, the CBT was applied to young children with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Before exploring the employment of CBT to OCD in young children, the influence of REBT to the particular situation shall be studied. OCD is diagnosed in children as young as 3 years of age. Applying REBT in group psychotherapy for early childhood OCD, the concept of REBT is taught to the members of the group, such that the way of thinking has something to do with how individuals behave. This shall be accomplished by teaching the ABC model. In this case, OCD surfaces when individuals think of extreme fears and anxieties regarding a particular thing or event.
Once the group understands the ABC model, the leader asks a volunteer from the group to share a particular situation wherein OCD manifests. For instance, one member will share his fear of holding other people’s things, and this is because he is afraid of contracting bacteria or diseases from touching unclean objects. From this way of thinking, he washes his hands too often and excessively. From this experience, other members of the group are able to think about how OCD manifests in their behavior and thinks about what they think when it does.
Moreover, they are able to understand that OCD surfaces because of how they think. From the example aforementioned, perhaps, the individual is able to understand that it is his way of thinking that hinders him from becoming more open to other people and his surroundings, and not the other way around. He observes that other people who do what he fears do not experience what he thinks will happen. Through continued therapy, they are able to conquer their fears and anxieties.
The group involved in psychotherapy is developed in such a way that it will affect positive outcomes to the behavior of the group members. Therefore, leaders that are assigned to particular groups should have in depth knowledge about counseling, the issues behind counseling, and the knowledge regarding the characteristics of a specific group. Group psychotherapy is done simultaneously with each member of the group. (Jacobs, Mason & Harvill, 2006)
Beck, A. T., Freeman, A., Davis. D. D. (2004). “Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders.”
Retrieved April 21, 2008, from Questia Media America. Website: https://www.questia.com/read/119384443/cognitive-therapy-of-personality-disorders
Ellis, A. (2002). “Overcoming Resistance: A Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Integrated
Approach.” Retrieved April 21, 2008, from Questia Media America. Website: https://www.questia.com/read/111729203
Jacobs, E. E., Mason, R. L., & Harvill, R. L. (2006) “Counseling.” Belmont: Thomson Brooks Cole.
Young, B. H. (2005). “Intentional Behavioral Change: A Cognitive-Behavioral Model.”