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Behavioral, Feminist, and Family Theories


Behavioral, Feminist, and Family Theories Goals, Limitations, and Applications Catherine Pritchard Salem College Theories of Comparison Behaviorism/ Behavioral ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Behavioral, Feminist, and Family Theories

Behavioral, Feminist, and Family Theories
Goals, Limitations, and Applications
  • Catherine Pritchard
  • Salem College

Theories of Comparison
  • Behaviorism/
  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Cognitive-Behavioral
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Theory
  • Feminist Theory
  • Family Theory

  • Attempts to understand how the client
    experiences the world and determine the behaviors
    that will be the target for therapeutic change
    (Rochlen, 2007, p.148)
  • Change a Clients Behavior (Capuzzi Gross,
  • Find Control over Behavior (Capuzzi Gross,
  • Connect Emotions to Behavior (Capuzzi Gross,
  • Use short term goals to achieve long term goals
    (Rochlen, 2007)
  • Increase quality of life through helping a client
    learn to experience their emotions and solve
    problems with changes in behavior (Capuzzi
    Gross, 2011)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • A combination of behavioral and cognitive
    theories that works to change both thoughts and
    behaviors in the therapeutic setting. (Capuzzi
    Gross, 2011).
  • Goals as outlined by Capuzzi Gross (2011).
  • Assess presenting problem through behavioral,
    cognitive, affective, and social perspectives
  • Examine environmental factors that support
    clients thoughts and behaviors
  • Plan with client in measuring progress
  • Determine which interventions are appropriate and

Rational Emotive and Dialectical Behavior
  • Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT)
    created by Albert Ellis
  • Utilizes cognitive, emotive, and behavioral
    interventions to challenge irrational thoughts
    (Capuzzi Gross, 2011)
  • Reducing Emotional Disturbance (Rochlen, 2007)
  • Humanistic Approach that serves to Empower
  • Helps clients identify activating events, belief
    systems, and consequences that occur (Rochlen,
  • Dialectical Behavior Theory created by Marsha M.
  • Primarily utilized in the treatment of Borderline
    Personality Disorder (BPD)
  • Capuzzi Gross (2011) Outline Goals of DBT
  • Validates clients experiences
  • Organizes treatment into specific, rigid goals
    and timelines Moves clients from out of control
    to into control of their behavior
  • Reduces and/or eliminates harmful behaviors
  • Provides new skill set to clients

Feminist Theory
  • Considers the client within a larger social
    context (Rochlen, 2007)
  • Goals as outlined by Capuzzi Gross (2011)
  • Emerged during the civil rights/feminist
    movement during the 1960s
  • Promotes change, equality, balancing
    independence and interdependence, empowerment,
    self-nurturance, and valuing diversity (p. 328)
  • Acknowledges patriarchy as one of the oppressive
    external forces which is the root of problems for
    those who are marginalized
  • Began with a focus on gender issues and
    transformed into a theory that encompasses
    equality for all people

Family Theory/Therapy
  • Rochlen (2007) addresses the following goals of
    family therapy
  • Acknowledges the individual is part of a larger
    family system Bowen theory focuses on personal
    identity and relationships, using constructs of
    differentiation, multigenerational transmission,
    and triangulation
  • Major goal is differentiation of the client in
    the family
  • Can work short term to reduce chaos, solve
    immediate stressors
  • Family therapy aims to change the whole family
    system rather than only an individual (Capuzzi
    Gross, 2011)

  • Behaviorists
  • REBT associations with founder A. Ellis have
    limited applications of the theory
  • Strict behaviorist methods are often unethical by
    modern standards
  • DBT has been proven efficacious only with BPD in
    limited research/limited trained professionals
  • CBT is limited by the combination of the two
  • Client resistance or reluctance may not allow for
    change with any of these theories
  • Family and Feminists
  • Limited access to services
  • Rely on larger systems to achieve change
  • Limitations to cross-cultural applicability/
    Failure to consider socialization differences of
    genders and varying ethnicities
  • Potential Maleficence
  • Feminist Theory has limited techniques and
    training is viewed as political rather than

Strengths and Values
  • Behaviorists
  • CBT is applicable cross-culturally and with
    multiple mental health issues
  • The behaviorist model is well evidenced and has
    transformed into a universally efficacious model
  • DBT has been able to treat BPD, a debilitating
    disorder while validating clients experiences
  • REBT can be applied short term, cross-culturally,
    and with multiple diagnoses
  • Family and Feminists
  • Both theories expand beyond medical, pathological
  • Family theory strengthens and treats more than
    one individual
  • Feminism seeks social justice and equality for
    subjugated clients
  • Both are applicable with many mental health
  • Both require longer term commitments to be

In Summary
  • Behaviorists, Feminists, and Family theories
    have contributed a meaningful breadth to the
    field of counseling. From the individual focus of
    the behaviorist movement to the outward view of
    the individual through social and family
    contexts, much of the therapeutic work done today
    incorporates tenets of each of these theories.
    Despite some limitations within each theory, they
    remain influential, effective, and encourage
    providers to grow, increasing focus on the
    clients needs and well-being.

  • Bordeau, W.C., Briggs, M.K., Staton, A.R.,
    Wasik, S.Z. (2008). Feminism lives on
    Incorporating contemporary feminism into
    counseling practice with families and youth.
    Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and
    Development, 47, 42-55.
  • Capuzzi, D. Gross, D.R. (5th Ed.).  (2011).
    Counseling and psychotherapy Theories and
    interventions. Alexandria, VA American
    Counseling Association.
  • Crethar, H.C., Torres Rivera, E., Nash, S.
    (2008). In search of common threads Linking
    multicultural, feminist, and social justice
    counseling paradigms. Journal of Counseling
    Development, 86, 269-278.
  • Datti, P. A. (2009). Applying social learning
    theory of career decision making to gay, lesbian,
    bisexual, transgender, and questioning young
    adults. The Career Development Quarterly, 58,

  • Grey, E. (2010). Use your brain A
    neurologically driven application of REBT with
    children. Journal of Creativity in Mental
    Health, 5, 5564.
  • Newman, M.G., Castonguay, L.G., Borkovec, T.D.,
    Fisher, A.J., Boswell, J.F., Szkodny, L.E.,
    Nordberg, S.S. (2011). A randomized controlled
    trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy for
    generalized anxiety disorder with integrated
    techniques from emotion-focused and interpersonal
    therapies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical
    Psychology, 79, 171181. doi 10.1037/a0022489
  • Olin, S.S., Hoagwood, K.E., Rodriguez, J.,
    Ramos, B., Burton, G., Penn, M., Crowe, M.,
    Radigan, M., Jensen, P.S. (2010). The
    application of behavior change theory to
    family-based services Improving parent
    empowerment in childrens mental health.
    Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19,
    462- 470. doi 10.1007/s10826-009-9317-3
  • Rochlen A.B. (2007). Applying counseling
    theories An online, case-based approach. Upper
    Saddle River, NJ Pearson Education, Inc.
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