CNL 500 GCU Application of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Case Study

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CNL 500

Grand Canyon University



Read the “Case Study Analysis.”

Select one of the following theories that you feel best applies to treating the client in the case study:


Cognitive behavioral

  • Rational emotive behavior therapy
  • Reality therapy
  • Write a 1,000-1,500-word analysis of the case study using the theory you chose. Include the following in your analysis.
  • What will be the goals of counseling and what intervention strategies are used to accomplish those goals?

Describe the process of treatment using this theory. This should include a description of the length of treatment, the role of the counselor, and the experience of the client as they work from beginning to termination of therapy.

How does this theory address the social and cultural needs of the client? (Cite specific research findings)

  • Describe the role of choice and decision making within the theory you chose regarding the efficacy of treatment. How can a counselor assist their client in using these concepts more effectively?
  • How can a counselor implement cognitive processes in counseling without undue risk to the client or the counseling relationship?
  • This assignment is informed by the following CACREP Standard: 2.F.5.a. Theories and models of counseling.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

CNL-500 Case Study Analysis Client Name: Ana Client age: 24 Gender: F Presenting Problem Client states, “I recently lost my job and feel hopeless. I can’t sleep and don’t feel like eating.” Client also reports she has lost 10 pounds during the last two months. Client states that she is a solo parent and is worried about becoming homeless. Client states, “I worry all the time. I can’t get my brain to shut off. My husband is in the military and currently serving in an overseas combat zone for the next eight months. I worry about him all the time.” Behavioral Observations Client arrived 30 minutes early for her appointment. Client stated that she had never been in counseling before. Client depressed and anxious, as evidenced by shaking hands and tearfulness as she filled out her intake paperwork. Ana made little eye contact as she described what brought her into treatment. Client speech was halting. Client affect flat. Client appeared willing to commit to eight sessions of treatment authorized by her insurance company. General Background Client is a 24-year-old first-generation immigrant from Guatemala. Ana was furloughed from her job as a loan officer at local bank three months ago. Client reported that she was from a wealthy family in Guatemala, but does not want to ask for help. Client speaks fluent Spanish. Education Client has completed one year of college with a major in business. Client states that she left college after her son was born as she found it difficult to manage a baby, college, and a full-time job. Family Background Client is the middle of four siblings. Client has two older brothers and one younger sister. Client’s parents have been married for 27 years. Client states that she has had a “close” relationship with her family, although she states that her father is a “heavy drinker.” Client states that all her brothers and sisters have graduated from college and have professional careers. Client states that her father is a banker and her mother is an educator. Client states that she has not seen her family for 1 year. Client has a 1-year-old son and states that she is sometimes “overwhelmed” by raising him alone. Major Stressors • Lack of family and supportive friends • Financial problems due to job loss • Husband deployed overseas • Raising a baby by herself © 2017. Grand Canyon University. All Rights Reserved.
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Explanation & Answer

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Case Study Analysis: Application of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Case Study Analysis: Application of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Goals of Counselling and Intervention Strategies
In cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the main goal of counseling is to identify and
change destructive thought processes that negatively influence behavior and emotions.
Generally, CBT challenges the disturbing thoughts and replaces them with more realistic and
objective thoughts (Kaczkurkin & Foa, 2015). First, it is important to understand how negative
thoughts result in maladaptive behaviors. In the case at hand, feelings of hopelessness have
affected Ana's sleeping and eating behavior. She says she does not feel like eating even after
admitting that she has lost more than 10 pounds in just two months. Identifying the negative
thoughts will assist in self-discovery and provide insights that will be essential in the treatment
Problem-solving is the other goal of CBT. It is crucial to determine Ana's major stressors
in order to reduce their negative physical and psychological impacts. After identifying the
problems, it is necessary to examine a list of possible solutions. The solution with the most
strengths is then implemented. A solution might involve practicing new skills that can be adapted
to avoid negative thoughts when dealing with challenging situations.
In addition to identifying problems and solutions, self-monitoring is an important goal of
CBT. Self-monitoring involves tracking experiences and behavior over time and sharing the
observations with the therapist (Kaczkurkin & Foa, 2015). The process gives the therapist the
information needed to plan and implement treatment. In addition, a client identifies triggers of
negative thoughts and strategies that help with coping.

The Process of Treatment Using CBT
Treatment using CBT involves three major steps characterized by close collaboration
between the therapist and the patient. Ana has agreed to commit to eight sessions as authorized
by her insurer. The first step of the treatment process is to identify troubling situations in the
client’s life (Hofmann et al., 2012). Ana's main issues include losing her job, financial issues,
and inability to ask for help from her rich relatives and friends. Ana is also troubled by her
husband's deployment in a far country and worries that she might have to raise her son alone.
After identifying the troubling situations, the client becomes aware of her thoughts and beliefs
towards the problems (Kaczkurkin & Foa, 2015). At this point, the therapist asks the client to
describe her thoughts and emotions regarding the problems. Ana says she feels worried about her
inability to raise her son and her husband's deployment overseas. She is also hopeless due to the
loss of her job and worries that she might become homeless. In addition, considering that she
was raised in a complete and loving family, she is worried that she might not enjoy such a
setting. To keep track, the therapist might ask Ana to keep a journal of her thoughts and
After identifying troubling situations and the resulting negative and inaccurate thinking,
treatment focuses on reshaping the negative thought process. At this point, the therapist asks the
client to rethink whether her view of a situation is guided by facts or by perceptions of what is
happening. Hofmann et al. (2012) note that the step can be quite difficult as clients are usually
overwhelmed by negative thoughts about situations. Ana is worried about becoming a solo
parent, yet she has a husband who is just away for military work. She is also afraid of becoming
homeless because of losing a job recently. If she would find a new job and the husband return
from the military, then she would have nothing to worry about. As such, Ana is not worried

because of what is happening in her life but because of what could happen. Therefore, the
therapist will help Ana practice helpful thinking and establish behavior patterns in her daily life
that will reduce anxiety.
How CBT Addresses the Social and Cultural Needs ...

Great study resource, helped me a lot.