Cognitive-Behavioral Approaches

Discussion Question 1:
An adolescent girl and her family come to your counselling practice because she has been restricting her food intake, and her parents are worried.  They have been monitoring what she eats, and they realize she ingests far too few calories each day.  The mother has begun to spend mealtimes begging, pleading, and cajoling her daughter to eat, with very little success; the father has become increasingly frustrated and withdrawn from the situation.  How might you conceptualize this family, using a cognitive-behavioural approach?  What positive and/or negative reinforcements do you think may be maintaining the girl’s restrictive eating behaviour?  What positive and/or negative reinforcements do you think may be maintaining each parent’s behaviour?  How might you educate the family regarding these concerns and your treatment approach?

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Discussion Question 2:
How do you see yourself incorporating some of the theories we have covered in this course?  For example, can you imagine using some of the Gottman Model by itself, and/or integrated into another theory?  How might you use specific couple/family therapy interventions in your future practice?  Even for those who do not plan to practice couple or family therapy, how will you incorporate an understanding of family systems thinking into your individual work?

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