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SOCW 6456 Walden University Applying Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Paper

SOCW 6456 Walden University Applying Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Paper


Video Choice: Given the information you’ve shared, let’s say you’ve chosen the video “Couples Therapy for Addictions: A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach” from Psychotherapy.net.

1. Define the Problem:

The problem in this scenario could be a couple struggling with addiction-related issues. Addiction often places immense strain on relationships, leading to communication breakdown, trust issues, and emotional distance. It’s important to consider both the cognitive and emotional aspects of this problem.

2. Formulate a Theory-Based Treatment Plan:

Short-Term Goals:

  • Improve communication between the couple.
  • Enhance their ability to manage triggers and cravings.
  • Develop coping skills for dealing with stress and emotions.

Long-Term Goals:

  • Rebuild trust and emotional connection.
  • Develop a healthier, more satisfying relationship.
  • Maintain sobriety and prevent relapse.

3. Theory-Based Interventions:

Intervention 1: Behavioral Contracting

  • Justification: Behavioral contracting is a core CBT technique that can be adapted for couples. The couple can create a contract outlining specific behaviors they agree to work on, such as avoiding substance use, practicing open communication, and engaging in shared activities.
  • Anticipated Outcome: This intervention can help establish clear expectations, accountability, and a sense of collaboration between the couple. As they adhere to the contract, they build a foundation of trust and commitment.

Intervention 2: Cognitive Restructuring for Relapse Prevention

  • Justification: This intervention targets distorted thinking patterns that contribute to relapse. By identifying and challenging negative thought patterns related to substance use, couples can develop healthier ways of coping with cravings and triggers.
  • Anticipated Outcome: Cognitive restructuring can empower the couple to respond to cravings with greater resilience. They’ll learn to recognize triggers, dispute irrational beliefs, and replace them with more adaptive thoughts. This can contribute to improved emotional regulation and reduced risk of relapse.

4. Anticipated Outcomes:

Outcome of Intervention 1: Behavioral Contracting

  • Anticipated Outcome: As the couple adheres to the behavioral contract, they will likely experience increased trust and cooperation. The structured approach can help them rebuild a sense of reliability and shared goals, fostering a sense of security in the relationship.

Outcome of Intervention 2: Cognitive Restructuring

  • Anticipated Outcome: By mastering cognitive restructuring techniques, the couple can develop a greater sense of control over their impulses and emotional reactions. This will lead to reduced stress and more effective communication, as they’re better equipped to address challenges without resorting to substance use.

Remember, CBT can be highly effective for couples and families when adapted to their specific needs. Integrating cognitive and behavioral techniques while also addressing emotional dynamics can create a comprehensive approach that promotes lasting positive change in relationships.

SOCW 6456 Walden University Applying Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Paper



Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, focuses on patterns of thinking, with decreased attention on patterns of behavior and emotional components of relationships. Researchers have given an enormous amount of attention to CBT and its application to a variety of individual mental health concerns, but they also have appropriated it for working with couples and families. Many systems purists argue that CBT is an individual-oriented theory that lacks systemic concepts necessary to conceptualize family or couple issues. In the end, you will have to make the decision as a couples and family helping professional as to whether CBT can address the relational demands of practitioner work with couples and families.

Choose one media resource from this week’s resources to review. As you begin to formulate a theory-based treatment plan, consider how you would maintain focus on the cognitive-behavioral realm of the couples and/or families, yet attend to the emotional dynamics present in the video.

The Assignment (2–3 pages)

Based on the theory demonstrated in the video you chose (CBT with either a couple or family):

Define the problem.

Formulate a theory-based treatment plan including short- and long-term goals for the couples and/or families.

Describe two theory-based interventions you would use and justify your selection.

Explain one anticipated outcome of each.


  • Gurman, A. S., Lebow, J. L., Snyder, D. K. (2015). Clinical handbook of couple therapy. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
  • oChapter 2, “Cognitive Behavioral Couple Therapy”
  • oChapter 3, “Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy”
  • oChapter 5, “Gottman Couple Therapy”

Gottman, J. M., & Driver, J. L. (2005). Dysfunctional marital conflict and everyday marital interactionLinks to an external site.Journal of Divorce & Remarriage43(3/4), 63–77.

Gottman, J. (2017). CouplesLinks to an external site.Psychotherapy Networker Magazine41(1), 35–37.

Required Media Gottman, J. M., & Gottman, J. S. (Producers). (2009a). Gottman couples therapy: A new research-based approach: Our research methods [Video file].

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 10 minutes.

Gottman, J. M., & Gottman, J. S. (Producers). (2009a). Gottman couples therapy: A new research-based approach: The sound relationship house [Video file].
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 30 minutes.

Psychotherapy.net. (Producer). (2002a). Cognitive-behavioral child therapyLinks to an external site. [Video file]. United States: Author.

Psychotherapy.net. (Producer). (2000). Couples therapy for addictions: A cognitive-behavioral approachLinks to an external site. [Video file]. United States: Author

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