A Novel Group Therapeutic Format in Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Clients with Social Phobia in a Training Setting: A Case Study of One Treatment Group with Nine Clients
Keywords:social phobia, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), group therapy, case study, training in psychotherapy
AbstractThis case study pilot-tests a novel, cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) program for social phobic clients in an Anxiety Clinic run by the Department of Psychology of the University of Aarhus, Denmark. The core of the program was an intensive therapy group lasting for 5 consecutive days during one week, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm each day. The group was composed of 9 clients and 8 student therapists in training, who were present throughout the total 25 hours, and two supervising psychologists, who were present during the first 2 hours of each day. Each client was also assigned to one of the student therapists, seeing the therapist for 2-4 individual sessions before the intensive group-week, and 6 weekly 2-hour group sessions after the intensive group experience. The groups were composed of 4 (or 5) clients and 4 students with the students on their own in charge of the therapy. Individual therapy was also provided when clinically indicated after the end of the group therapy. Treatment was evaluated within an embedded case study design with one group and 9 clients via both qualitative information and quantitative measures that assessed the clients’ presenting problems and therapeutic progress over the entire course of therapy and at follow-up. The results show that the intensive group treatment was therapeutically valuable for the clients. Specifically, almost all the clients appreciated the intensive group treatment format, and most achieved fast symptomatic declines over the week. Outcomes of the full treatment program for the whole group were in line with results from studies on psychotherapy for social phobia provided by experienced therapists. The educational value of the program is commented on in the discussion.
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