SW: 8340 Application of Cognitive-Behavioral Theories to Interpersonal Practice I
I. COURSE DOMAIN AND BOUNDARIES
This course is the first in a two-semester sequence and builds on the ecological systems perspective of social work
practice presented in the core year and the BSW curriculum. The year-long course is designed to provide
advanced year social work students with a cognitive/behavioral (CBT) framework for the engagement, assessment
and treatment of clients. In the first semester, the CBT sections of this course focus on behavioral applications to
interpersonal practice including operant and classical conditioning, relaxation training, and cognitive-behavioral
therapy. Emphasis is given to how these approaches are applied to social work with adults, adolescents and
children, and diverse populations particularly oppressed and disenfranchised groups. The course of study will also
include, where possible, an explanation of the empirical basis for the applications, a rationale for their use, and
step-by-step guidelines to their application.
In the first semester, several contemporary behavioral and cognitive behavioral models that build on models
presented in the core year for understanding normal development and deviations from normal development in
infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood are presented and discussed. An assessment approach that
integrates behavioral analysis and other cognitive and behavioral assessment tools is presented. Childhood and
adult pathology will be explored and integrated into both the first and second semesters of this course. The first
semester will emphasize client engagement and assessment from a cognitive/behavioral perspective, and the
second semester will emphasize the intervention, evaluation, and termination phases of work with clients
from a cognitive/behavioral perspective, as well as the need for ongoing supervision and professional
development of the social worker.
This course is specifically designed to combine human behavior and advanced clinical social work interpersonal
practice methods, and actually achieves integration along five different axes: 1) there is an equal and consistent
focus on children, adolescents, and adults in readings, lectures, and clinical case review portions of the course; 2)
the focus on psychopathology/dysfunction is counterbalanced by a comparable emphasis on clinical diagnostic
skills, particularly those that facilitate the beginning stages of the treatment process; 3) the content on clinical
process dimensions is complimentary to content on clinical method and technique; 4) clinical case reviews permit
a useful integration of field experiences with didactic classroom learning; and 5) a model for research on aspects
of clinical process and tools useful for evaluation of practice and treatment outcomes are addressed.
Clinical illustrations of various child, adolescent, and adult disorders and treatment skills that facilitate practice
are used liberally throughout the course. Social work values and ethics are addressed as are the unique needs and
concerns (e.g., access to treatment, applicability, adaptations) of vulnerable and oppressed populations (e.g.
women, children, older adults, African Americans, Latinos, and gay and lesbian clients).Temporal issues and their
implications for interpersonal practice are identified and brief models of treatment are elucidated. Critiques of this
theoretical model are also introduced and assessed within the context of social work values and ethics. Finally, the
relationship between practice and research is seen as an integral aspect of the course and emphasized by means of
lecture and assignments.
SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL OBJECTIVES
By the end of the semester, students will demonstrate knowledge of:
Normal development, developmental tasks, protective and risks factors in childhood, adolescence, and
adulthood that contribute to stability and developmental derailments.
Specific psychopathologies affecting infants, children, adolescents, and adults; and cognitive/behavioral
approaches used to understand and assess them.
CBT interventions that facilitate assessment and the beginning stages of treatment.
Specific components in the diagnosis and assessment of children, adolescents, and adults, with special
attention paid to such phenomenon as: the individual’s learning history, impact of antecedents and
consequences, thought patterns, schemas and functional and dysfunctional cognitions, strengths, resources
such as applicable incentives, personal and environmental factors that impede or facilitate change, how
schemas develop through the life cycle, cognitive, intellectual, social, and physical capacities; character
and degree of involvement in relationships within the family and other social systems.
Psychopathology viewed within the context of an individual’s culture, race, gender, or sexual orientation;
the effects of hostile environment (e.g. poverty, discrimination, and oppression) on human functioning;
and how these factors shape human behavior and influence the therapeutic work.
Methods for evaluating both process and outcomes of interpersonal practice, and the relationship between
research and practice.
Social work ethics and values that guide clinical practice, as well as the impact of social policy on social
Basic overview of brief cognitive treatment.
By the end of the semester, students will demonstrate skill in:
The capacity for advanced understanding of normative development gleaned both from the clinical
descriptive literature and research-based reading, identification of risk and protective factors, and the
ability to apply this understanding, to ongoing clinical work.
Application of behavior analysis and cognitive/behavioral analysis to the student’s own
cases from their field work experience to help in the process of case conceptualization.
Recognizing and formulating client-centered treatment plans that are specifically linked to discrete
disorders of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood; the ability to utilize insights derived from research
investigations of such conditions.
Completing a comprehensive behavioral assessment or a cognitive/behavioral assessment of a child or
adolescent. This includes a person-in-environment view of the interrelationship of the individual with
systems in his/her life, and the impact of behavioral and cognitive factors on such relationships.
Applying knowledge of an individual’s culture, race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation to specific
diagnostic situations and identifying and analyzing environmental factors that contribute to or undermine
social and psychological functioning.
Identifying practice skills that further the development of the therapeutic alliance, particularly in the
beginning stages of treatment, and research-supported applications of CBT to various psychopathologies.
Clarifying the ethical and value dilemmas present in clinical work with clients during the beginning stage
of treatment and as they arise; understanding the impact of social policies on the social worker’s ability to
render effective treatment, and advocating for the alteration of oppressive policies that limit such ability.
Critical examination and assessment of behavioral and cognitive/behavioral theory and practice in regard
to female development, culture and the strengths perspective of social work practice.
Students will be expected to demonstrate their progress in basic comprehension and integration of the course
material through class attendance and participation, through assigned papers, presentations, and/or examinations.
By the end of the term, students should be able to describe and use the following behavioral procedures:
1.1 Behavioral assessment and cognitive/behavioral assessment procedures including ABC-S analysis, cognitive
conceptualization, resource analysis, selection of clients and behaviors, selecting intervention targets, selecting
alternative and incompatible behavior, base-lining, completing assessment forms and monitoring thoughts and
1.2 Behavioral treatment planning generated by the client’s stated goals, including setting objectives, and
determining the most effective approaches and behavioral contracting.
1.3 Engaging clients including establishing trust and rapport, socializing the client into cognitive therapy,
educating the client about presenting problem, the CBT model, and the therapy process; normalizing the client’s
difficulties and instilling hope; collaborating with client in developing expectations for therapy, information
gathering, and goal development.
1.4 Understanding the logical connection between assessment, goal setting, treatment planning, identification and
implementation of interventions, monitoring and evaluation of progress.
In addition the student will:
1. Apply the above procedures and techniques to social work with individuals.
2. Apply the above procedures to work with different groups (e.g., gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic level).
3. Discuss the research findings, practice wisdom, and theoretical underpinnings for the above approaches.
Several texts are required for this course and will be used in both the fall and winter semesters. A course pack is
A. Course Texts
Beck, J. S. (1995). Cognitive Therapy: Basics and Beyond. New York: Guilford Press.
Cormier, S., & Nurius, P. (2002). Interviewing and change strategies for helpers: Fundamental skills and
cognitive behavioral interventions (5th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Greenberger, D., & Padesky, C. A. (1995) Mind over mood: A cognitive therapy
treatment manual for clients. New York: Guilford Press.
Reinecke, M. A. & Clark, D. A. (Eds.). (2004). Cognitive therapy across the lifespan: Evidence and practice. New
York: Cambridge University Press.
Sadock, B. J., & Sadock, V. A. (2003). Kaplan and Sadock’s Synopsis of psychiatry: Behavioral
sciences/clinical psychiatry (9th ed.). Haggerstown, MD: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.
Sundel, M. & Sundel S. (2004). Behavior change in the human services (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Other readings from the professional literature, identified in the course content section of the syllabus, are
available for purchase as a course packet:
González-Prendes, A. A., Koonter, P., & Vanderwill, W. (2005). SW 8340 Applications of cognitive behavior
therapy to interpersonal practice: Course readings. Rochester, NY: Wiley.
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
Although students will not be required to purchase the Publication Manual of the American Psychological
Association (APA), all students are required to follow the citation, reference, reference page, and writing
guidelines provided by the APA. Therefore, it is recommended that students either purchase this manual or
arrange to have easy access to the most recent edition of the manual.
ORGANIZATION OF THE COURSE
Via weekly class sessions, assigned readings, and written assignments this course will present cognitive and
behavioral approaches to practice with individuals (children, adolescents, and adults), and a cognitive and
behavioral understanding of normal development and child and adult psychopathology. Students will become
familiar with the historical origins, theoretical underpinnings, and empirical findings associated with the
approaches discussed. As noted, the fall semester will emphasize engagement and assessment and the winter
semester will emphasize intervention, evaluation, and termination phases of work with clients.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS, ASSIGNMENTS, ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE
Classes will follow a lecture, discussion, experiential learning format with the inclusion of audio-visual materials
to facilitate the learning process. Each student’s ideas, questions, and opinions are valued and needed in order to
maximize learning. Therefore, class participation is required and class attendance is expected. In order to enhance
individual learning and to be a productive contributor to each class, each student is required to complete readings
and assignments by the due dates. Students may meet individually with the instructor by appointment.
Use of on-line and electronic technology:
In order to retrieve information and facilitate communication all students are required to activate their Wayne
State Access IDs at the beginning of the semester. Students will be expected to regularly check their e-mail and
to utilize the class group e-mail for e-mail questions and discussion purposes. Students also will be expected to
utilize Blackboard to check for relevant course material that may be posted by the instructor. Students will be
required to use PowerPoint technology for all class presentations. In addition, students will be expected to access
and read assigned articles available on-line.
For additional information see University Statement of Obligation of students and faculty Members of the
teaching-learning process as revised July 14, 1997.
This paper will compare and contrast cognitive models with behavioral
models of treatment, as well as discuss the blending of the two
approaches. Detailed instructions will be provided in class.
2. Group Research
For this assignment, students will work in groups of 4-5 students. This assignment will
focus on the students’ ability to apply research concepts and strategies to guide social
work practice. Each group will be responsible for
Each group will be responsible for conducting a class presentation of 40-45 minutes
on the empirical research addressing the effectiveness of CBT with a discrete
psychopathology. Include a detailed description of the psychopathology, the CBT
intervention used, research protocol and methodology of the study, and treatment
outcomes. Also, you must address socio-economic, age, gender and culture/ethnicity
dimensions as they relate to the disorder and impact on vulnerable groups. Each
student will submit a 3-5 page paper summarizing his/her findings and contribution to
the project. The group will be expected to follow its presentation with a question and
answer period. Detailed instructions will be provided in class.
3. Behavioral or
A written behavioral or cognitive-behavioral assessment of a child,
adolescent or adult case emphasizing a person-in-environment perspective;
how such conditions contribute to the client’s thinking/behavior; and current
conditions that maintaining such thinking/behavior. All relevant readings for this
assignment will be included in the texts and course packets.
Five (5) quizzes (multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, true or false, and short essay
answers) will be given throughout the course based on the assigned readings and class
discussions. The four (4) highest grades will count towards the overall course grade,
and the lowest grade will be dropped. There will not be make-up quizzes given
regardless of the reason the quiz was missed. If a student misses a quiz, that will be
the grade that the student will drop.
Additional Course Requirements
All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the assigned due date. Unless approved by the instructor in
advance late assignments will be graded down by 2 points for each day late. Any student experiencing difficulty
with an assignment and anticipating that an extension may be needed must contact the instructor in advance in
order to discuss the problem. Extensions will considered by the instructor only in extreme cases (life events
beyond one’s control) and on an individual basis.
All written assignments will be graded on content and style. The style must conform to APA standards for
citations, references, headings and subheadings. Written assignments must be typed, double-spaced, and carefully
checked for sentence structure, grammatical, typographical, and spelling errors. All assignments must
demonstrate good use of critical thinking skills and logic. A demonstration of a good command of the English
language is expected.
Plagiarism will result in a failing evaluation for the course as will any other forms of academic dishonesty.
Students are expected to attend all class sessions. Attendance will count for 10% of the final grade. After the first
two missed classes, additional absences will lower the course grade on a percentage basis according to the number
of sessions remaining after the first two. Excessive tardiness is disruptive to the class and could also result in a
lowering the final grade.
Theoretical/conceptual paper = 20 %
Group research presentation and paper = 30 %
Behavioral/Cognitive-Behavioral Assessment = 20 %
Quizzes = 10 %
Learning activity, post-evaluation, and Mind Over Mood manual exercises = 10%
Attendance = 10%
All unexcused late assignments will be downgraded by 5% of the total grade for the assignment
Please notice that there is no “A+” grade. A grade of “B-” or lower is below graduate standards. For more
on graduate school grades and marks see Wayne State University’s Graduate Bulletin
VII. COURSE OUTLINE AND READINGS
Course overview and expectations. Introduction to cognitive-behavioral theories and basic
Classical and Operant conditioning, Social Learning Theory, Cognitive therapy (CT), Rational
Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Self Instructional Training (SIT), role of cognitions in
Cognitive-behavior theory (automatic thoughts, intermediate beliefs & core beliefs), functional
vs. dysfunctional thinking, externalizing and externalizing disorders, and the empirical base for
BT and CBT and psychiatric disorders. The behavioral and cognitive behavioral framework in
social work practice: history and trends.
Beck, J. S:
Chapter 1(pp. 1-12): “Introduction”
Sundel & Sundel: Introduction (pp. 1-8).
Reinecke & Clark: Ch. #1 (pp. 1-11). “Cognitive therapy across the lifespan: Conceptual horizons”
Lantz, J. (1996). Cognitive theory and social work treatment. In F. J. Turner (Ed.), Interlocking theoretical
approaches: Social work treatment (pp. 94 -115). New York: Free Press. Course pack pg.205
Thomlison, B. & Thomlison, R. (1996). Behavior theory and social work treatment. In F. J. Turner (Ed.),
Interlocking theoretical approaches: Social work treatment (pp. 39 – 68). New York: Free Press. Course
pack pg. 285
Burns, D.D. & Auerbach, A. (1996). Therapeutic empathy in cognitive-behavioral
therapy: Does it really make a difference? In P.M. Salkovskis (Ed.), Frontiers of cognitive therapy (pp. 135-
164). New York: Guilford Press.
Dobson, K. S. & Block, L. (1988). Historical and philosophical basis of cognitive behavioral therapy. In K. S.
Dobson (Ed.), Handbook of cognitive-behavioral
therapies. (Chapter 1). New York: Guilford Press.
Kanfer, F. H. & Goldstein, A. P. ( 1991). Helping people change. New York:
Pergamon Press. (Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9)
Meichenbaum, D. (1979). Cognitive-behavior modification. New York: Plenum Press. (Ch. 1)
Skinner, B. F, (1974). About behaviorism. New York: Knopf. (Chapters 1 and 2)
Session 2 Normative development in childhood, adolescence, and adult.
Review of basic skills in social work practice.
Worksheets 1.1 and 2.1: Mind over Mood workbook
Sadock & Sadock:
Ch. #2. “Human development throughout the life cycle”.
Cormier & Nurius:
Ch #1: “About this book”
Ch #3: “Understanding non-verbal behaviors”
Greenberger & Padesky: Ch #1: “Understanding your problem”
Ch #2: “It’s the thought that counts”
Concalves, O. F. & Ivey, A. (1998). Developmental therapy: Clinical applications. In K. T. Kuehlwein & H.
Rosen (Eds.), Cognitive therapies in action: Evolving innovative practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Dobson, K. S. (1988). Handbook of cognitive-behavioral therapies. New York, Guilford. (Ch. 1)
Freeman, A. (1993). A psychosocial approach for conceptualizing schematic development for cognitive therapy.
In K. T. Kuehlwein & H. Rosen (Eds.), Cognitive therapies in action: Evolving innovative practice (pp.
54-87). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Miltonberger, R. G. (1997). Behavior modification: Principles and procedures. New York: Brooks/Cole. (Ch. 1)
Reinecke, M. A., Datitilio, F. M., & Freeman, A. (1996) Cognitive therapy with children and adolescents. New
York: Guilford Press. (Chs. 1 & 2)
Wenar, C. & Kerig, P. (1999). Developmental psychopathology. Boston: Allyn Bacon. (Ch 2 & 9)
Basic skills for engagement and relationship building: Facilitative conditions and listening
Behavioral basics: Specifying and rating behaviors & moods
Worksheets 3.1 & 3.2: Mind over Mood workbook
Cormier & Nurius:
Ch #4: “Ingredients of an effective helping relationship”
Ch #5: “Listening responses”
Sundel & Sundel:
Ch #1: “Specifying behavior”
Greenberger & Padesky: Ch #3 “Identifying and rating moods”
Martin, G. & Pear, J. (1992). Behavior modification:What it is and how to do it (5th ed.) Englewood Cliffs, N, J.:
Prentice Hall. (Chapter 29)
Segal, Z. V. & Shaw, B. F. (1988). Cognitive assessment: Issues and methods. In K. S. Dobson (Ed.), Handbook
of cognitive-behavioral therapies (pp. 39 – 84). New York: Guilford.
Wilson, G. T. (1981). Behavior therapy as a short term therapeutic approach. In S. H. Budman (Ed.), Forms of
brief therapy (pp. 131-166). New York: Guilford Press.
The first session in CBT: Agenda setting and building a collaborative relationship
Elements of a bio-psychosocial assessment: A person-in environment approach
Cognitive-behavioral assessment elements: Automatic thoughts
Worksheets 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, & 5.3: Mind over mood workbook
“Structure of the first therapy session”
Cormier & Nurius:
Ch #6: “Relationship enhancing variables and interpersonal influence”
Ch #7: “Influencing responses”
Ch #8: “Conceptualizing and assessing client’s issues, concerns, context”
Greenberger & Padesky: Ch #4: “Situations, moods, and thoughts”
Ch #5: “Automatic Thoughts”
Goldstein A. P. & Higgenbotham, H. N. (1991). Relationship-enhancement methods. In F. H. Kanfer & A. P.
Goldstein (Eds.). Helping people change (pp. 20-69). New York: Pergamon.
Schaap, C., Bennun, I, Schindler, L., & Hoogduin, K. (1993). The therapeutic relationship in behavioral
psychotherapy. New York: Wiley and Sons. (Ch. 4)
Cognitive behavioral assessment of children, adolescents and adults (cont.)
Working with automatic thoughts (cont.)
Worksheets 6.1 (pp. 80-87), 7.1 & 7.2: Mind over Mood workbook
Ch. 8 Post evaluation (pp. 203 & 204): Cormier & Nurius
Ch. 9 Postevaluation parts 1 & 3 (p. 247): Cormier & Nurius
Beck: Ch #4: “Session two and beyond: Structure and format”
Ch #5: “Problems with structuring the therapy session”
Ch #6: “Identifying automatic thoughts”
Ch #7: “Identifying emotions”
Ch #8: “Evaluating automatic thoughts”
Braswell L. & Kendall P. (1988). Cognitive-behavioral methods with children. In K. Dobson (Ed.), Handbook of
cognitive therapies (pp. 167-213). New York: Guilford Press. Course pack pg. 75
Cormier & Nurius:
Ch #9: “Conducting an interview assessment with clients”
Greenberger & Padesky: Ch #6: “Where is the evidence?”
Ch #7: “Alternative or balanced thinking”
Sundel & Sundel:
Ch 13: “Behavioral assessment”
Intermediate beliefs (assumptions & rules) and Core beliefs
Treatment Goals and Treatment Planning
Worksheets 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4: Mind over Mood workbook
Learning activity 10.2, p. 267: Cormier & Nurius. (Write your responses and be prepared to
discuss them in class)
Group presentations begin***
Ch #9: “Responding to automatic thoughts”
Ch #10: “Identifying and modifying intermediate beliefs”
Ch #11: “Core beliefs”
Cormier & Nurius:
Ch #10: “Identifying, defining and evaluating outcome goals”
Ch #11: “Treatment planning and selection”
Grennberger & Padesky:
Ch #9: “Assumptions and core beliefs”
Sundel & Sundel:
Ch. 14: “Goal setting, intervention planning and evaluation”
Kendall, P. C. & Siqueland, L. (1989). Child and adolescent therapy. In A. M. Nezu & C. M. Nezu (Eds.),
Clinical decision making in behavior: A problem solving perspective (pp. 1-19). Champaign, IL: Research
Press, Pergamon, Press.
Meichenbaum, D. (1979). Cognitive-behavior modification. New York: Plenum Press. (Ch 1, 2, 3, & 9)
Socio-cultural and ethical issues in social work practice
Impact of social policy on disenfranchised populations (e.g. elderly, people of color, poor,
women, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals).
Worksheets: 9.5, 9.6, 9.7, 9.8, 9.9: Mind over Mood workbook
Cormier & Nurius.
Ch #2: “Building your foundation as a helper” (values, diversity, multi-cultural
competence, ethical issues).
Hyer, L., Kramer, D., & Sohnle, Steven (2004). CBT with older people: Alterations and the value of the
therapeutic alliance. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 41, 276-291. (Text available
on-line through Wayne State Libraries’ PsycInfo database. Use “advanced search” using key words
“CBT” and “older people”. When citation appears click on “see more details for locating this item”. On
the next page click on the “SFX” icon and follow the prompts).
Iwamsa, G. Y. (1997). Behavior therapy and a culturally diverse society: Forging an alliance. Behavior Therapy,
28, 347-358. Course pack pg. 195
Perez, J. E. (1999). Integration of cognitive behavioral therapies for Latinos: An argument for technical
eclecticism. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 29, 169-183. (Article available on-line at
www.springeronline.com. Click on “psychology” and on the next page click on “journals”, look for the
journal title and follow the prompts.
Safren, S. A., & Rogers, T. (2001). Cognitive-behavioral therapy with gay, lesbian, and bisexual clients. Journal
of Clinical Psychology, 57, 629-643. (article available on-line through Wayne State Libraries’s PsycInfo
database. Do an “advanced search” using keywords “Cognitive-behavioral therapy” and “Gay, Lesbian