Cognitive Distortions and the Problem of Good and Bad

Social work practice requires an understanding of whole persons and their context but also of their development. How people come to see and interpret their experiences and the world around them can have a significant impact on their mental and emotional health and choices. Developmentally, all people go through certain phases on their way to maturity. This is true physically as well as emotionally, and spiritually. This week you will consider the implications of the developmental process of sorting out good and bad and its effect on the self. You will also apply this idea to a video case vignette and discuss its application to engagement, assessment and intervention with clients.
• Text: Changes that Heal: How to Understand your Past to Ensure a Healthier Future
• Video: Case Study Clinical Example CBT: First Session with a Client with Symptoms of Depression (CBT Model):
Background Information
As illustrated in the case study video, there is a connection between distressing thoughts or behaviors and psychological well-being for many clients. Cognitive behavioral interventions aim to replace those distressing thoughts or behaviors with ones that are less distressing. Cognitive behavioral theory assumes that mental health disorders are the result of maladaptive cognitions, including beliefs or schemas about the world, self, and future that cause specific distressing thoughts in our clients’ day-to-day lives.
Cognitive behavioral interventions aim for symptom reduction, improvement of functioning in the activities of daily living, and replacement of maladaptive beliefs or schemas about the world, self, and future that keep our clients from leading happy, productive lives. After reading a chapter in your text, Changes that Heal, watch the assigned video and reflect in this week’s discussion on the idea of sorting out good and bad, and how it impacts cognitions, view of self and relationships. Then apply what you have learned to the video content.

  1. Read chapter 11 in part IV of Changes that Heal, “What is the Problem?”.
  2. Watch the video “Case Study Clinical Example CBT: First Session with a Client with Symptoms of Depression (CBT Model).” found on youtube (I was unable to download)
  3. Respond to the following discussion prompts in order:
    a. Give a general description of what the problem of good and bad is according to your text. Why is this important and how does can it affect a person’s well-being?
    b. Based on the knowledge you gained from the reading, discuss the difference between the ideal self and the real self and how they are impacted by the ability to sort out good and bad.
    c. Give two examples of how people respond to the challenge of trying to sort out good and bad. What cognitive distortions (wrong views of self, others or the world) can arise from a failure to sort these out effectively?
    d. After watching the video, describe how the ideas in the reading could be applied to working with this client. How might you approach engaging the client? What would you look for in assessing the client? What cognitive behavioral or other therapeutic interventions might you use to intervene? Briefly discuss each of these areas, referencing ideas from the reading and applying them to your thoughts on the woman in the video.

Sample Solution