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CBT VS. Existential-Humanistic Therapy
AH is a 39-year-old African American female who lives with her husband and four children. Her children’s ages are 16, 11, 5, and 7 months old. She has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The client had a two-week-old son that died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) two years ago. The client’s symptomology includes tearful episodes, anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, depression, hopelessness, decreased concentration, and poor sleep. The client is taking Cognitive behavioral therapy and as the provider thinking about starting extrinsic -humanistic treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been proven by research to help clients with PTSD (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2019). This paper will explore the strengths and challenges of CBT and existential-humanistic therapy for a client with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a first-line treatment choice for clients with depression. CBT has a tone of evidence-based practice for treating a wide variety of mental health disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on changing the client’s attitudes and behavior to change behaviors, ultimately, attitudes toward self, and improve emotional reaction. CBT is a broader therapy and offers the client coping skills to deal with life events. Existential-humanistic treatment is a more focused therapy that focuses the clients on self-awareness and individual goal (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2019)s. This type of therapy does not focus on the disease but decreases symptoms by increasing the client’s self-worth. Both therapy options would be great for AH. I would use CBT first to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and nightmares. Existential-humanistic therapy would be offered later to increase the client’s self-worth. As a provider, it is essential to understand when to introduce new treatment. According to Wheeler (2014), the humanistic-existential approach has long served as a foundation for psychiatric nursing, emphasizing self-actualization, facilitative communication, and the therapeutic relationship (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2019). Existential-humanistic therapy can be beneficial when a therapeutic relationship is and the idea that achieving wellness is a process (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2019).
ReferencesCenter for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2019). Brief Interventions and Brief Therapies for Substance Abuse. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration US. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 34. Chapter 6 – Brief Humanistic and Existential Therapies. K. (Ed.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
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In treating AH, a 39-year-old African American female diagnosed with major depressive disorder and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the choice of therapy is crucial. This paper will discuss the strengths and challenges of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and existential-humanistic therapy for AH’s conditions. CBT is an evidence-based therapy known to effectively treat various mental health disorders. On the other hand, existential-humanistic therapy focuses on self-awareness and individual goals. Both approaches have their unique benefits and can be used in a sequence to address AH’s symptoms.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an established first-line treatment choice for clients with depression. Its evidence-based nature makes it highly effective in addressing a wide range of mental health disorders (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2019). CBT works by targeting the client’s attitudes and behaviors, leading to behavior change, improved emotional reactions, and ultimately, positive attitudes towards oneself. By providing clients with coping skills, CBT equips them to deal with life events more effectively.
Existential-humanistic therapy, in contrast, offers a more focused approach that emphasizes self-awareness and individual goals (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2019). This therapy does not solely focus on the disease but aims to reduce symptoms by enhancing the client’s self-worth. According to Wheeler (2014), the humanistic-existential approach has long served as a foundation for psychiatric nursing, with a core focus on self-actualization, facilitative communication, and the therapeutic relationship.
Considering AH’s condition, it would be beneficial to start with CBT to address symptoms of depression, anxiety, and nightmares. CBT’s structured approach and coping skill-building can effectively reduce these symptoms and provide AH with a sense of control over her mental health. Once her symptoms have improved, introducing existential-humanistic therapy can further enhance her self-worth, self-actualization, and overall well-being.
Understanding when to introduce new treatments is crucial for providers. In AH’s case, starting with CBT allows for symptom reduction and provides her with practical skills to navigate life events. Existential-humanistic therapy can then be introduced to foster self-awareness and a deeper sense of self-worth. By doing so, the therapeutic relationship and the belief that achieving wellness is an ongoing process can be reinforced (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2019).
In conclusion, both CBT and existential-humanistic therapy are suitable options for AH’s treatment. Starting with CBT to address symptoms and then transitioning to existential-humanistic therapy to enhance self-worth can provide a comprehensive approach to AH’s mental health. It is essential for healthcare providers to consider the unique strengths and challenges of each therapy and tailor the treatment plan accordingly.