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11Behavioral and Cognitive- Behavioral Theories: Approaches and Applications Marvarene Oliver and Yvonne Castillo Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi

Behavioral and cognitive-behavioral couple and family therapy are currently generally conceptualized under the broad domain of the cognitive-behavioral approach. Arising initially from behaviorism and later adding information from cognitive psychology and systems thinking, specific frameworks within the broad domain of cognitive-behavioral couple and family therapy (CBC/FT) vary, some- times significantly. Cognitive-behavioral theorists, scholars, and clinicians give greater or lesser emphasis to variables addressed in theory and practice, depending in part on where they fall on a continuum between a more behavioral or a more cognitive orientation. In addition, specific models vary about how much and in what way systems thinking is considered. While most behavioral and cognitive- behavioral approaches are not strictly considered systemic approaches to working with families, they do share with systems theory an emphasis on rules and communication processes, as well as attention to the reciprocal impact of each family member’s behaviors and attitudes on others. Some leading figures in CBC/ FT argue that the attention to mutual impact of family members’ thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, as well as attention to the context in which families operate, provide a systemic overlay for this approach (Baucom, Epstein, Kirby, & LaTaillade, 2010; Dattilio, 2010). Some approaches (e.g., functional family ther- apy, integrative behavioral therapy, and some forms of cognitive-behavioral therapy) strongly stress a systemic perspective that cannot easily be dismissed by critics.

However, all cognitive-behavioral approaches share an emphasis on research and clearly outlined goals, ongoing assessment, and treatment interventions. Because of this commitment to a scientific approach, as well as the relative ease


Foundations of Couples, Marriage, and Family Counseling, edited by David Capuzzi, and Mark D. Stauffer, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/waldenu/detail.action?docID=1913918. Created from waldenu on 2021-04-28 16:21:55.

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