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Introduction to the Special Section

The writer agrees with the article’s observations wherein cognitive approaches are usually treated warily because of its emphasis on micro-level intervention and simple, linear causations (Dattillio & Epstein, 2005). Developing changes in the field of Social Work as well are tending to shy away from such a traditional view as the cognitive-behavioral, what with the advent of feminist and postmodernist approaches.

The strengths perspective, which may be seen as part of empowerment theory would want to move away from traditional and narrow models and theories that would somehow ‘constrict practicioners from a larger view of families’ and client’s problems and needs. For the writer, the inherent problem with including and even focusing on cognition and behavior especially in family couple settings is the emphasis it places too much on negative behavior which is often highlighted in using that approach.

Thus the writer agrees that this approach must be used with caution and in good measure when dealing with families and couples. Though positive behaviors and aspects are still part of cognitive-behavioral techniques and strategies, it is often seen in practice that dealing with these negatives will often form moments wherein the strengths fade and the problems are highlighted, and families and couples are seen to fall back on the dysfunctional patterns that are being discouraged.

However, the author agrees with this approach’s versatility and how applicable it is in family and couple settings. Practicioners must be aware and have appropriate listening and assessment skills to be able to utilize this approach. Also, the writer posits that this approach must only be used in conjunction and perhaps only in supplement with other approaches that are wholly different from traditional, problem and individual-oriented approaches.

Instead of what the article posited as including other models’ interventions and techniques to develop a better cognitive-behavioral approach, perhaps it would be better to integrate cognitive-behavioral techniques and approaches to existing and emerging models.


Dattillio, F. , & Epstein, N. (2005). Intorduction to the Special Section: The Role of Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions in Couple and Family Therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy , 7-13.

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