You will develop a proposal for a specific type of treatment…

You will develop a proposal for a specific type of treatment group that you anticipate implementing in your field placement or prospective place of employment. You will demonstrate knowledge of treatment group dynamics for the particular client population of interest and develop consistent and logical links across the different sections of the proposal. There are several components to this assignment including a grid, Kaltura video, paragraph and reference list.

Proposal for a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Group for Individuals with Generalized Anxiety Disorder in a Community Mental Health Setting

Introduction

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a chronic condition that affects approximately 3-5% of the general population (Craske et al., 2017). Individuals with GAD experience excessive and uncontrollable worry, accompanied by multiple physiological symptoms such as restlessness, irritability, and sleep disturbances (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been recognized as an effective treatment for GAD, with substantial empirical support (Newman et al., 2019). This proposal outlines the development and implementation of a CBT group for individuals with GAD in a community mental health setting, with the goal of reducing anxiety symptoms and improving overall functioning.

Target Population

The target population for this treatment group is adults (aged 18 and above) diagnosed with GAD. Participants may have a range of severity in their symptoms, from mild to severe. Inclusion criteria for the group will include a formal diagnosis of GAD as determined by a mental health professional, as well as a willingness and ability to engage in group therapy. Exclusion criteria will include individuals with active substance use disorders, severe cognitive impairments, or active suicidal ideation requiring immediate intervention. The group will be open to individuals of all genders and cultural backgrounds, aiming for diversity and inclusivity.

Group Size and Composition

The proposed group will consist of eight to ten participants. This size allows for sufficient interaction and support among group members while maintaining a manageable group dynamic. A co-facilitated group will comprise two therapists, both trained in CBT and experienced in working with individuals with anxiety disorders. The co-facilitation model ensures that both therapists can effectively manage the group process, provide individualized support, and facilitate skill-building exercises. This duo will bring complementary skills and perspectives to enhance the therapeutic experience for group members.

Group Structure and Duration

The CBT group for individuals with GAD will be structured as a closed group, meaning that participants will start and finish together over a predetermined duration of 12 weekly sessions. This closed format allows for the development of cohesion and trust among group members, promoting a sense of safety and support necessary for effective therapeutic work. Each session will last approximately 90 minutes, providing sufficient time for group discussions, psychoeducation, and practice of CBT techniques.

Therapeutic Goals and Objectives

The primary goal of the CBT group for GAD is to reduce anxiety symptoms and improve overall functioning. To achieve this goal, the group will have several specific objectives:

1. Psychoeducation: To increase participants’ understanding of the nature and causes of GAD, as well as the principles and strategies of CBT.

2. Symptom Management: To teach participants techniques and skills for managing and reducing anxiety symptoms, such as cognitive restructuring, relaxation exercises, and problem-solving skills.

3. Identifying and Challenging Maladaptive Beliefs: To help participants identify and challenge unhelpful beliefs and cognitive distortions that contribute to their anxiety.

4. Exposure and Response Prevention: To gradually expose participants to anxiety-provoking situations, facilitating habituation and reducing avoidance behaviors.

5. Relapse Prevention: To provide participants with strategies and skills to prevent relapse and maintain gains achieved during the group.

Therapeutic Approach

The CBT group for individuals with GAD will adopt a cognitive-behavioral approach that integrates both cognitive and behavioral techniques. The cognitive component will focus on identifying and modifying maladaptive beliefs and cognitive distortions, emphasizing cognitive restructuring and reframing. The behavioral component will include exposure-based practices aimed at reducing avoidance behaviors and enabling participants to confront anxiety-provoking situations. Group members will be encouraged to engage in homework assignments between sessions to reinforce and practice the skills learned in therapy.