Posted: June 28th, 2022

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

When first introduced, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was unlike any other therapeutic approach. For years, psychotherapeutic techniques were driven by psychoanalytic theories. These techniques were time consuming, leaving many therapists frustrated with the length of time involved in helping their patients achieve a sense of relief. With the development of CBT, however, therapists were able to help their patients heal more quickly. This poses the questions: If CBT is more efficient than other techniques, why isn’t it used with all patients? How do you know when CBT is an appropriate therapeutic approach?

This week, you examine CBT and its use across individual, family, and group modalities.

Required reading

Nichols, M., & Davis, S. D. (2020). The essentials of family therapy (7th ed.). Pearson.

Chapter 9, “Cognitive Behavioral Family Therapy”
Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2020). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (3rd ed.). Springer Publishing.

Chapter 8, “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy”
Chapter 21, “Psychotherapeutic Approaches with Children and Adolescents”
pp. 793–802 only
Chapter 22, “Psychotherapy with Older Adults”
pp. 840–844 only
Discussion: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Comparing Group, Family, and Individual Settings
Photo Credit: Getty Images

There are significant differences in the applications of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for families and individuals. The same is true for CBT in group settings and CBT in family settings. In your role, it is essential to understand these differences to appropriately apply this therapeutic approach across multiple settings. For this Discussion, as you compare the use of CBT in individual, group, and family settings, consider challenges of using this approach with groups you may lead, as well as strategies for overcoming those challenges.

To prepare:

Review the videos in this week’s Learning Resources and consider the insights provided on CBT in various settings.
Post an explanation of how the use of CBT in groups compares to its use in family or individual settings. Explain at least two challenges PMHNPs might encounter when using CBT in one of these settings. Support your response with specific examples from this week’s media and at least three peer-reviewed, evidence-based sources. Explain why each of your supporting sources is considered scholarly and attach the PDFs of your sources.


Cognitive behavior therapy has been one of the most popular ways to help people who are having problems with their mental health. This kind of therapy can be used with one person, with a family, or with a group. Even though cognitive behavior therapy can be used in all of these places, there are some differences in the techniques and sessions that are used.

One thing that group therapy, family therapy, and individual therapy all have in common is that they all add the core components. According to research, the five parts of cognitive behavior therapy are psychoeducation, developing a fear hierarchy, preventing exposure and response, cognitive strategies, and preventing generalization and relapse (Kose et al., 2017). No matter where you are, the main parts will be used. Cost is a big difference between sessions with a group and sessions with just one person. Research suggests that group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may be cheaper than individual CBT because it can be given to more than one person at once (Olmstead et al., 2019). Changes can be made in individual cognitive behavior therapy, which is another difference. Kose et al. (2017) say that CBT systems are different for each person. Several studies have shown that a customized version of CBT can be effective in treating symptoms like anxiety and other problems. Because there are more people in a group setting, cognitive behavior therapy may not be as easy to change. Also, unlike individual therapy, everyone in a family therapy session takes part. For instance, when treating children with mental health problems, the parents are also involved. Parents have been involved in more than just clinics. Parents are also responsible for doing homework with their children to help the benefits of treatment spread, make it easier on the family, and help the child understand the problem (Kose et al., 2017).

Even though group cognitive behavior therapy has a lot of benefits, it also has some problems. When looking at the news from this week, there were several examples of problems or difficulties. Some people may think that people with the same condition will have the same needs, but that may not be the case, according to PsychExamReview (2019). Specific signs of a certain disorder in a person could be missed because the therapist’s attention will be less focused on each client because they will have less time to be detailed. The PsychExamReview (2019) also talked about how symptoms can be normalized or how members can be compared to each other. Anorexia nervosa, for example, can be hard to deal with in a group setting. According to research, anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which a person restricts their energy intake, which causes them to lose weight, has a strong fear of gaining weight or acts in a way that keeps them from gaining weight, and has trouble understanding their body shape (Saure et al., 2022). A member might try to compare himself or herself to someone else who looks smaller or in worse shape. This might not help them get where they want to go. This could also make them less likely to change because they might not take their own problems seriously if they think that other people have it worse.


Each source presented is considered scholarly. The sources were utilized from the school library database as well as google scholar. The sources were also peer-reviewed. The authors were compliant with ethical standards as well as had an extensive educational background on the topics presented.



Kose, L. K., Fox, L., & Storch, E. A. (2017). Effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and comorbid obsessive-compulsive disorder: A review of the research. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 30(1), 69–87.

Olmstead, T. A., Graff, F. S., Ames-Sikora, A., McCrady, B. S., Gaba, A., & Epstein, E. E. (2019). Cost-effectiveness of individual versus group female-specific cognitive behavioral therapy for alcohol use disorder. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 100, 1–7.

PsychExamReview. (2019). Cognitive therapy, CBT, & and group approaches (intro psych tutorial #241) [Video]. YouTube.

Saure, E., Ålgars, M., Laasonen, M., & Raevuori, A. (2022). Cognitive behavioral and cognitive remediation strategies for managing co-occurring anorexia nervosa and elevated autism spectrum traits. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, Volume 15, 1005–1016.

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