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Psychotherapy and the Treatment issues and Therapeutic Concerns when Counselling Someone who has been Sexually Abused.

Psychotherapy and the Treatment issues and Therapeutic Concerns when Counselling Someone who has been Sexually Abused.

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Hazel Beirne. Originally submitted for Bachelor of Arts in Applied Social Studies in Social Care at Athlone Institute of Technololgy, with lecturer Karen Leonard in the category of Social Studies
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Hazel Beirne. Originally submitted for Bachelor of Arts in Applied Social Studies in Social Care at Athlone Institute of Technololgy, with lecturer Karen Leonard in the category of Social Studies

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The aim of this psychotherapy paper was to critically evaluate the school of psychotherapywhich hold the most appeal to the author, namely Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and the lattersection aimed to discuss the treatment issues and therapeutic concerns when counsellingsomeone who has been sexually abused.In order to fulfil the objectives of this study, it was necessary for the author to research CognitiveBehavioural Therapy as a school of psychotherapy. The author justified the reason for choosingthis school of psychotherapy as opposed to the many other types of therapy which now exist.This paper highlights the rapid growth in the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in recentyears and the author makes reference to other schools of psychotherapy also. The authorrecognises that the type of therapy used is not as significant as the relationship between thetherapist and client in terms of the success of treatment. The paper also discusses some of thecriticisms of Cognitive Behavioural therapy, for example it has been described as a quick fixtherapy.The latter section of this paper discusses the treatment issues and therapeutic concerns whencounselling someone who has been sexually abused. The sensitive nature of this topic isacknowledged by the author as well as the importance of being aware of these issues whencounselling or indeed just working in a caring role with people who have been a victim of suchbetrayal. Some of the issues which are discussed in this paper are the gender of the therapist, theestablishment of trust between the therapist and client and the client feeling a sense of a safeplace during the counselling sessions. Many other issues and concerns are discussed by theauthor in relation to this.
SECTION AIntroduction
This paper aims to critically evaluate the model of psychotherapy which holds the most appeal tothe author, as a future social care practitioner. The model of psychotherapy which will beevaluated is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Justifications will be given for this choice byreference to lecture notes, academic material and other models of psychotherapy. Strengths andweaknesses of the approach will be noted in comparison to other schools of psychotherapy.
Evaluation of cognitive behavioural therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, more commonly referred to as CBT is a therapy which focuseson the link between negative beliefs and behaviours, and the subsequent development of psychological difficulties (Ladley, Marx & Heimberg, 2010). CBT aims to change the thoughtsof the clients to help them overcome problems such as addiction, anger, anxiety, chronic pain,depression, personality disorders, relationship problems and many more (Branch & Wilson,2010).CBT shows clients how to challenge negative thoughts and beliefs in order to improve theirgeneral outlook on their personal and professional life (Joseph, 2011). The fundamental belief of 
cognitive therapy is that the people‟s actual experiences are less significant than the way they
feel about them (Joseph, 2011). This implies that if the beliefs of the person are altered in apositive manner, the behaviour will subsequently be altered in such a manner.The behavioural approach to psychotherapy has generated much research and reasoning for thedevelopment of abnormalities as well as treatment methods for such disorders (Kendall &Hammen,
1998). This approach is particularly sensitive to the client‟s social and cultural background due to its focus on the person‟s environment (Kendall & Hammen, 1998). As s
tatedby Branch & Wilson (2010), the success of the use of CBT for many psychological problems hasbeen researched more widely than any other psychotherapeutic form of therapy. Many studieshave shown that CBT is more successful for the treatment of anxiety and depression, thanmedicine alone (Branch & Wilson, 2010). The above findings lend reasoning to
the author‟s
choice of exploring CBT as a school of psychotherapy.
Furthermore, cognitive therapy shows patients that some of the mechanisms they are using tocope with their emotional problems are actually maintaining those problems (Branch & Wilson,2010). Like psychodynamic therapists, behavioural therapists believe that our actions are greatlyinfluenced by our life experiences. However, behavioural theorists focus on the behaviour, ratherthan the reason for the behaviour (Kendall & Hammen, 1998).Stern & Drummond (1991) and Kendall & Hammen (1998) stated that one of the characteristicsof CBT is that the client and therapist work together to evaluate and solve problems byattempting plans of action and evaluating the effects. This idea could be applied to social care, inthat a social care practitioner working with young people may be required at some point, todevise a care plan to help a young person to reduce their intake of and dependency on alcohol.The social care practitioner in this case could apply the theory of CBT by encouraging the youngperson to participate in devising the plan. The social care worker however, must remember theirroles do not involve psychotherapy, and so the young person in this case would need additionaltreatment from other professionals.CBT has been widely used for the treatment of psychological problems for over four decades(Ladley et al., 2010). The greater acceptance of CBT as opposed to alternative forms of psychotherapy is evident in the significant number of health care professionals who refer tothemselves as cognitive behavioural therapists (Kendall & Hammen, 1998). CBT is also usedextensively for
 phobias and depression, whereby Beck‟s theories in particular have been provenvery effective for the treatment of depression (O‟ Brien, 2011).
Whitfield and Williams (2003) noted that some studies have started to focus on the use of CBTfor specific treatment of residual depressive symptoms. The largest of these studies involved atrial of 158 patients with such symptoms following an episode of major depressive disorder. Allparticipants continued on medication but some of these were given CBT also. Those who werereceiving both medication and CBT had a relapse rate of 29%, in contrast to 47% for those whowere not receiving CBT (Whitfield & Williams, 2003). In contrast to this, psychodynamictherapists are not supported at the moment by good quality research evidence (Whitfield &Williams, 2003).

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