Referring to relevant scientific literature, discuss critically on the benefits and limitations of CBT assessment in working with children, young people and families. The use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with children and adolescents has increased; Clark (2005) states treatments once designed for use on adults have now been adapted to be used with children and adolescents. Therapists believe that this is the best approach as it directly addresses a child’s thoughts and behaviour and teaches them to challenge those that are unhelpful (Geldard and Geldard, 2008). In doing this, it allows children and adolescents to practise techniques for behavioural change in the safety of a therapy environment, which they can then transfer to other fields (Kendall, as cited by Kaplan, Thompson and Searson 1995). When undertaking CBT with a child or adolescent their developmental stage needs to be taken into consideration as it may have an influence on the effectiveness of the therapy (Durlak as cited by Kaplan et al., 1995) and also create limitations to what they can do. Grave and Blissett (2004) suggests that between the ages of 5 and 8 developmental immaturity occurs. Harrington (2003) states that some techniques within CBT require the patient to possess certain cognitions to carry out tasks and if the patient is at a developmental stage where they cannot complete the tasks then a barrier is formed. Clark (2005) proposes that sessions need to be ‘developmentally appropriate’ and engage the child; adolescents are more able to participate in more adult sessions, whereas younger children may benefit from treatment centered around play. This is demonstrated by Grave and Blissett (2004) who state that combining CBT and play is an “effective way of communicating with young children” (pg. 414) The child’s developmental stage may also govern how much adult involvement there will be in the therapy; Clark (2005) highlights that “the younger the child, the more likely it is...
References: Clark, C.C. (2005). Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. In J. Kay, & M. Klykylo (Eds.), Clinical child psychiatry. Retrieved From: https://www.dawsonera.com/readonline/9780470022108/startPage/143
Geldard, K., & Geldard, D. (2008) Counselling children: A practical introduction (3rd ed.) London: Sage Publications Ltd.
Harrington, R. (2003). Cognitive Behavioural Therapies. In M.E. Garralda & C. Hyde (Eds.) Managing Children with psychiatric problems (2nd ed.) (pp. 45-54) London: BMJ Publishing Group
Grave, J., & Blisset, J. Is cognitive behaviour therapy developmentally appropriate for young children? A critical review of the evidence Clinical Psychology Review. Volume 24, (4), August 2004, Pages 399–420 Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272735804000388
Kaplan, C.A., Thompson, A. E., & Searson, S. M. Cognitive behaviour therapy in children and adolescents. Archives of Disease in Childhood. Volume 73, (5),November 1995 Pages 472-475 Retrieved from: http://adc.bmj.com/content/73/5/472
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