1. Cognitive therapists believe that it is important to socialize the client to therapy. What are some examples of this goal in the session? How effective do you believe this technique was? Would you have done anything differently?
Socialization involves teaching the client the cognitive model of therapy and informing the client about how sessions will be structured, what kinds of exercises will be done, and the nature of homework assignments (Murdock, 2013). Cognitive therapists desire that the client learn how to perform cognitive therapy on herself.
There are several examples of socialization in Helen’s therapy session. Based on how active the therapist is in teaching Helen, it appears it is still early in the counseling relationship. The therapist reminds Helen that the sessions will be highly structured in order to be maximally efficient. She also explains that the Beck depression inventory will be taken every week to measure progress, while the session-bridging worksheet will help to ensure that important topics discussed in one session are not forgotten in the next session. Finally, the therapist uses guided discovery to help Helen examine one of her automatic thoughts, learning to refute it with more realistic and adaptive thoughts (Murdock, 2013). By guiding Helen through this process, the therapist reinforces the techniques of cognitive therapy, which she has explained in a previous session. To conclude, the therapist suggests an idea for homework, and asks Helen if she agrees to the assignment. Then, she explains that, in their next session, they will explore any feelings and automatic thoughts she had in relation to the homework.
If this was Helen’s tenth therapy session, I would say the therapist’s techniques weren’t very effective because Helen is still very hesitant and unsure about how to diagnose her thoughts. The therapist very much guides Helen as they work through her automatic thought, and has to redirect her a few times from improper assessments. When the therapist asks her at the beginning to explain the cognitive method, all she is able to remember is a vague idea about thoughts that “pop into your head.” However, it appears that this is early on in Helen’s time in therapy, so there is promise that socialization will work. She is at least open to discussing her thoughts and seems by the end of the session to have hope that she will be able to “change the radio station” in her mind. This represents a functional, adaptive thought. Time will tell if she learns the method. I would have socialized her similarly, the therapist explained everything well.
Murdock, N.L. (2013). Theories of counseling and psychotherapy: A case approach (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle Creek, NJ: Pearson Custom.