Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): A Literature Review

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Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that is often used to treat a plethora of mental, emotional and behavioral issues with individuals who have traumatic experiences. Though the implementation of CBT differs with the issue being addressed, the basis of the therapy remains assisting individuals to recognize maladaptive thoughts and beliefs, and re-train them to adopt more productive practices and coping skills (Thomlison & Thomlison, 2011). CBT interventions in schools have historically been designed and utilized to address the needs of adolescents who exhibit symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression related to experienced violence by implementing sessions spanning between eight to sixteen
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Only one of the studies included in this review used a form of supportive therapy as an intervention (Durà-Vilà et. al., 2013). This study involved 102 refugee and asylee adolescents ages three to seventeen who were referred to a community-based intervention. The students were assessed by both their teachers and parents using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) before and after the sessions conducted at school. Out of the 102 participants, 45 were from the Middle East region, 27 from Africa, 23 were from Europe and the remaining 7 were from other parts of the world. Services were delivered in a variety of forms including individual and family counseling and supportive therapy where students met over a period of six years. Only forty-eight of those participants had been assessed by the SDQ prior to the study, twenty-four of which ended up completing the post assessment at the conclusion of the intervention. Despite this low number of completed pre and post assessments, the researchers saw a significant improvement in the overall rating. Eighteen of those participants had lowing SDQ scores by the end of the intervention. This suggests an improvement in overall mental health after therapy. While this study suggests that community-based mental health services are very effective for refugee adolescents, it failed to address prevalent mental health issues such as PTSD and depression specifically in the study. Further investigation of mental health interventions surrounding refugee adolescents with PTSD and depression is needed to justify the effectiveness of this specific community-based health

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