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Task Centred Practice And Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Social Work Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Social Work
Wordcount: 1953 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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This assignment will focus on two approaches of intervention: Task-Centred Practice (TCP) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Along the theories interventions’ description, it will take note on any issues of anti- discrimination practice. It will also point out, the similarities and differences; the advantages and disadvantages of the approaches and finally bring a conclusion.

Accordingly to Marsh (2002, p.106) cited in Trevithick (2005), task-centred is a practice approach given that it does not have knowledge based unlike other approaches. However, Doel alleges that t is a practice with knowledge based and one of models of problem – solving emerged from both “system and learning theory” (Trevithick, 2005, p276).

Trevithick (2005) states TCP originated from the study done by Reid and Shyne (1969) and Reid & Epstein (1972) who allege task-centred practice undertake within the time-limits is effective compare to long-term interventions.

TCP deals with problems recognised by service users; problems clients can solve outside hours of sessions; obviously defined problems; problems result from life issues that clients want to change and finally; problems from unacceptable desires by service users (Payne, 2005)

It is a most effective practice that tackles individuals and families’ problems with the process based on the empowerment and partnership work between practitioner and clients who have to work on the agreed tasks based on one task at a time, achievable goals and objective task that can successfully be completed within time-limited (Parker and Bradley 2007).

However, task-centred practice has five stages which in relating to scenario one; first, professional, Tom, Mary and Matt have to identify their behaviours’ problems. Second, they have to agree on the specific tasks with expected changes. For example Tom and Matt, have to agree tasks that will help to modify their anxieties. Mary also needs to agree tasks to help to lessen her fear so that she re-engages with her friends and families. In addition, Mary needs parenting skills to enable her to handle Matt’s unwanted behaviour. Third, they have to devise tasks based on the agreed goals. Fourth, signed contract on the achievable tasks and lastly, end tasks (Coulshed 2006).

Moreover, task-centred practice required social worker in addition to the selective agreed targets within time-limited; to use tasks to improve obvious problems; re-assess tasks and finally negotiate with clients (Stepney 2000).

Hence, professional has to work with Mary, Tom and Matt within time schedule to identify their obvious maladaptive behaviour and to review and continue negotiation them to realise what changes have been made.

Stepney & Ford (2000) cited in Howe (2009) describe task-centred as a method that can be easily modified to use in the various circumstances to solve individuals’ problems but it doesn’t focus on the clients’ unconscious mind.

However, Reid & Epstein (1972) argue that Task-centre model is “effective to a particular problems of interpersonal conflict within families; disaffection in social relationship; problems in dealing with formal organisations; difficulties in role performance; problems of social transition; reactive emotional distress and problems in securing adequate material resources including behavioural problems” (Stepney & Ford, 2000, P.52)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy was emerged in 1950 & 1960 to counter the primacy of the psychoanalytic practice however; it was originated from social psychology (Coulshed 2006). It is also an approach that deals with human’s thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that human have and how human’s behaviour are impacted by and influenced these (Lindsay, 2009).

Moreover, Cognitive Behaviour practice focuses on modifying individuals’ environment whereby behaviours arise, cause, prompt, provoke and its consequences (Parker & Bradley, 2007) as well as describing and pointing out clients’ behavioural problems of social phobias, anxiety and depression (Payne, 2005).

According to Coulshed and Orme (2006) behaviour is learnt and can be unlearned then new one can be learned to replace an existing behaviour therefore, they state four types of learning: respondent conditioning whereby human’s unconscious behaviour can be controlled; operant conditioning whereby behaviour is modified as a result of its consequences for instance the reward. Next, observational learning in which human being can adapt new attitude by learning from other people. This could be a case of Matt with Tom who is a father’s figure in the family. Finally, cognitive learning whereby human’s attitudes are controlled by the environment as their feeling and thoughts are attached to an event (Coulshed 2006).

Moreover, CBT is a model that deals with “anger, depression, anxiety, conduct disorders such as phobias” as well as helping the individuals to manage their anxiety and offending behaviour by challenging the unacceptable behaviour and negative thoughts (Howe 2009 P.70).

Coulshed & Orme (2006) suggest eight stages in CBT. Stage one: is the engagement whereby clients and professional have to explore expectations and be clear about roles and who should do; stage two: is problem focus whereby worker is required to identify and clarify problems that troubled clients and dealing with it in the chronological order; stage three: is problem assessment whereby practitioner have to ask open question to enable clients to openly discuss his behaviour, feeling and thoughts on event so that worker find out how clients would behave differently; stage four: required professional to equip clients with cognitive therapy skills and then make observation whether clients have understood and responded positively to the thoughts; stage five: target and challenge the associated assumptions; stage six: use of questions to motivate clients to recognise oneself in order to change their personal negative view; stage seven: setting behavioural homework task for clients whereby worker have to keep records of the positive progress; stage eight: ending task by enhancing clients’ skills so that he is able to handle future problem (Coulshed, 2006)

Moreover, CBT helps clients to manage their anxieties and to realise when they are getting angry by teaching them the relaxation methods as well as requiring practitioner at the same time to identify problems in order to make an accurate evaluation in detail by “taking notes of when, with whom and how often it occurs” (Howe 2009 P.70)

[According to Scott and Dryden (2003), CBT “is underpinned by knowledge about how we learn and it is divided into four main areas of increasing coping skills, problem solving, cognitive restructuring and structural cognitive therapy (Lindsay 2009, p.68)]

There some similarities between two models, they focused on the specific problems, follow particular structures and they are experimental to problems and practice within time-limits (Coulshed, 2006). Both approaches have problem-solving characteristics and their practices are based on partnership and agreed tasks between worker and clients to plan and implement achievable goals; they also use motivation to encourage clients so that they obviously and precisely detail the disturbed experiences (Payne, 2005).

Moreover, Nezu et al. (1989) allege, TCP and CBT as problem-solving; they motivate clients to recognise their existing problems in order to describe it and find alternative solutions and by choosing most successful solution to plan and implement it and then re-examine their progress (Lindsay 2009)

However, they are some differences. TCP was initiated and developed on its own merit for particular work in social work whereas CBT was originated from psychological approach (Lindsay 2009)

In CBT, the support offer to clients can go beyond intervention schedule whereby client has setback but TCP, is more structured and practice within set time-limits. Moreover, in CBT practitioner make use of observations, assessments and evaluations to weigh up the level of the problem by relying on the behavioural learning theory and techniques whereas in TCP; client is requested to describe and discuss their problems on their own (………………….)

Task-centred model has numerous advantages making it to be very popular in most social work practices. It is a practice that encourages partnership work between worker and clients which contributes to solve other parts of clients’ problem (Parker & Bradley 2007)

As a problem-solving practice, its intervention is based on short-term; clear distinct tasks and dealt with problems in the chronological order; clients are motivated to help to boost their self-esteem and strengths to succeed goals (Lindsay 2009]

In addition, Task-centred model has more power to deal with anti-discriminatory because of its acknowledgement of the environment demands; clients are empowered and; it also deals with oppression issue Ahmad (1990) and O’Hagan (1994) cited in (Payne, 2005).

Furthermore, Task-centred approach elicits a series of problems and tempts to enhance clients’ capability to handle their difficulties and focuses on the practical achievable tasks to help bring solution to the problems in order to assist clients’ emotions. Payne 2005)

Task-centred practice is disadvantaged because it also deals with reluctant clients and those who have inability to consent or sign contract given that this practice is based on collaboration between practitioner and clients who both have to discuss and agreed specific tasks to be done (Payne, 2005).

This is shows an anti-discrimination practice as Thompson (2006 argues that, discrimination practice leads to oppression in the way that people with prominent position can in their roles or relation with powerless people discriminate against them.

The intervention of the task-centres model based on the time-limits and partnership between worker and clients constitutes barriers as professional might not evidenced client’s full recovery as tasks success are rely on the relationship between worker and client (Payne 2005).

Moreover, the results of the task-centred practice intervention might bring clients to accept a certain standard or norms of behaviour and at its worst time; the practice might be seen as the behaviour modification and also the need of the organisation’s management and performance to meet their targets might also hindered clients’ needs (Coulshed, 2005).

Disadvantages of CBT:

The application of CBT has ethical issue grounds given that service users do not take control of behaviour other than worker controlling clients’ behaviour which could lead practitioner to impose his desires on service users who might not prior consented as this is in the favour of social or political policies. This can sometimes lead to excess of power of control and particularly when techniques are badly applied by other practitioners (Payne 2005 p.129) that can be oppressive and anti-discriminatory.

It is also a practice that deal with individuals because its procedures omits the feelings of clients and doesn’t recognise clients’ past events as well as denying human its integral part (Parker & Bradley 2007).


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