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CCMH 558- Week 1 – Theories to Support Crisis Paper

Sep 19, 2023

Week 1 – Theories to Support Crisis Paper

Theories are used to inform counselors of ethical and evidence-based practices. To ensure optimal support for clients, counselors should know when and how to apply theories that have been proven to be effective with intervention. Counselors improve in their practice when they understand their clients and the theories that they can use to interpret clients’ situations and guide them toward treatment.

For this assignment, choose 1 of these theories from the textbook that you might use to counsel individuals in crisis:

  • CBT
  • Existential
  • Psychoanalytic
  • Humanistic

Write a 525- to 700-word paper in which you: 

  • Explain how you would use this theory in your counseling practice to support individuals in crisis.
  • Support your ethical use of the theory with academic research to justify your explanation. 

Week 1 – Theories to Support Crisis Paper

Choosing selected theories from textbooks that might be used to counsel individuals in crisis:

There are generally six main types of theories that can be effectively used in the process of counseling. These theories are cognitive theory, psychoanalytic theory, humanistic theory, behavioral theory, systematic theory, and constructionist theory. For this assignment, I would like to choose CBT or cognitive behavioral theory from the textbook that might be efficiently used in the counseling process.

CBT or cognitive behavioral theory is considered to be very effective for a wide range of treatment or crisis interventions related to mental as well as emotional health problems like depression, and anxiety. The major aim of this therapy is to assist individuals in determining the principal cause and associated unhelpful thoughts and then provide suggestions such as helpful strategies on how to cope with those thoughts (Leahy et al., 2022, p. 151). This is a therapy of a combination of cognitive and behavioral therapy. It helps to identify the root cause of any psychological crisis. Cognitive therapy helps to figure out the cognitive cause of the problem and try to solve it by using critical strategies and changing negative thoughts into positive ones. On the other hand, behavior therapy helps to identify the cause of such behavior or belief that can be the root cause of the issue and then helps to alter that behavior by using easy techniques.

Explanation of how we would use CBT theory in counseling practice to support individuals in crisis:

Cognitive behavioral theory or CBT is diversely used in counseling practice in order to provide support to clients in their crisis. In a variety of crises, this therapy is popularly used to handle situations effectively including anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorder, depression, marriage problems, substance abuse like smoking, alcohol or drugs, insomnia, etc. by counselors. In today’s world, most people feel anxious as well as depressed at some point in their lives, but some individuals face this problem more severely. This therapy helps to cope with those thought as well as belief by changing their pattern into positive one.

Basically, cognitive behavioral theory acts upon the feelings, thoughts, and beliefs of an individual as these are the main things to influence an individual’s behavior and life quality. Fear from gathering and social communication can create a number of complications in an individual like sweating, trembling, increase of heart rate, etc. (Leahy et al., 2022, p. 151).  The theory of CBT helps to teach the individual that control over their own thoughts, beliefs, and behavior is possible by following some easy strategies.      

There are some steps involved in the treatment process using cognitive theory. From first to last the steps are assessment, personal study, setting of goal, practice of suggestive strategies, and assigned homework.

Assessment: This is the initial stage of the therapy. It involves filling out the questionnaires in order to describe the problem specifically. Counselors asked patients to fill out the form in a particular interval of time to track the issues of patients and properly identify the symptoms.

Personal study: In this section, the counselor gives the patient some written notes or material or even books to learn. This reading will help the client to understand their problems in brief and can assist them in controlling their thoughts, and behaviors.

The setting of goals: In this part, the counselor sets some goals for the clients that have to achieve within a time. The counselor commonly supports the client to reach the goal.

Practice of suggestive strategies: In this part, clients start to practice with the various strategies that are suggested to them by the counselor. Counselors also help the patient in their practice and properly guide them.

Assigned homework: This is the last part of the therapy and one of the crucial too as the client has to participate in the practice strategy. Counsellor always encourages the patient to handle such situations. Daily results of participating in strategies should be sent to the counselor so that he or she can assess the progress. 

Supporting the ethical use of theory in counseling practice in order to support individuals in crisis:

Cognitive behavioral theory also positively serves on possible causes that affect individual mood. Using the therapy counselors also help to teach clients how to avoid negative thoughts and convert them into positive thoughts. Although it is the most popular theory used to treat various crises, there are some ethical considerations associated with this theory (Ratnayake & Poppe, 2019, p. 65). Nevertheless, this theory has fewer ethical complications than the others. The client has every chance to quit the session if he or she feels uncomfortable based on the four ethical complications including autonomy, justice, non-maleficence, and beneficence. Like all other theories, counselors have to avoid any kind of violence associated with clients.


Leahy, R. L., Clark, D. A., & Dozois, D. J. (2022). Cognitive-Behavioral Theories. Gabbard’s Textbook of Psychotherapeutic Treatments, 151.

Ratnayake, S., & Poppe, C. (2019). Ethical Issues in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

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