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- Identify a practice theory which they think is relevant to this particular case study. Students must use one of the four practice theories explored in the text (psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, post-modern or humannistic). Briefly outline the practice theory and argue its relevance to this particular case study.
- Identify a brief treatment/therepy which emerger from your chosen practice theory. Briefly outline the brief treatment/therepy, and argue its relevance to this particular case study.
- Describe how you would apply this brief treatment/therepy in this particular case. What are the particular strategies and techniques that you would use in this case, and how would you apply them in practice?
The theory most relevant to the understanding and treatment of Leah Smith's case is the Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT). The application of this theory to Leah Smith’s home situation, as well as health problems, will yield positive and maximum results. (CBT) has a framework that gives importance to the learning process where the social environment influences behaviour (Kendall, 2006). (CBT) also accepts the importance of the mediating process and the emotions experienced in the process of treatment (Kendall, 2006). (CBT) makes a fundamental assumption that cognitive activity and behaviour are totally different (Hupp, Reitman, & Jewell, 2008), and therefore by changing cognitive activity that is accomplished through the chosen intervention, behaviour can be modified. This assumption is the most practical to find a theory-practice nexus, and for this reason, (CBT) is the most suitable for understanding and planning an intervention in Leah Smith's case. Leah Smith herself experiences an obvious need to change her behaviour towards her children in her home situation, and since we are looking for a specific behaviour change (CBT) is seen to be the right approach here.
The history of (CBT) is said to include three generations – the first generation was traditional behaviour therapy which was later refined to include cognitive methods and called (CBT), and now the third generation has added a further refinement in the form of 'contextualistic' approaches (Kazantzis, Reinecke, & Freeman, 2009). This third-generation contextualistic approach focuses on the function of behaviour rather than the form (Kazantzis, Reinecke, & Freeman, 2009). In Leah Smith’s case, the application of this third-generation approach – acceptance and commitment therapy is very relevant. Leah herself accepts that although she loves her children and wants to be a better mother, she is not able to accept their behaviour in their everyday daily life and is often impatient and angry with them. The main advantage of treatments that use third-generation (CBT) is the openness to the older clinical traditions and a focus on contextual change, and a flexible repertoire that aims to be effective at the same time (Hayes, 2004).
Behaviour theories generally seek to change people’s unwanted feelings and emotions. But (ACT) uses acceptance and mindfulness as interventions and seeks to cultivate psychological flexibility (Flaxman, Blackledge, & Bond, 2010). The individual under treatment is able to be in the present moment when he or she experiences unwanted thoughts and emotions and can choose to persist with his or her unwanted feelings and behaviour or change the behaviour according to the demands of the situation based on the individual’s personal values (Flaxman, Blackledge, & Bond, 2010). Because of these features, I find Cognitive Behavioral theory the most suitable for creating the intervention strategy for improving Leah Smith's mental and health.
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