ASSIGNMENT 3 DCP TUTORIAL-
Do remember in this assignment one is no longer focusing on the general formulation (nomothetic) although one could explain the general model for CBT with anxiety disorders. Instead, we are interested in the specific formulation for this individual (idiographic formulation). That is what specific avoidance or safety behaviour is this person engaging in, in their context? What kind of automatic thoughts arise habitually for this individual which reinforce avoidance / behaviour which sustains the problem etc?
This is the first or second session so one may need to fill in some blanks or flag areas for further explanation.
· In the past, some students have made the mistake of focusing too much (i.e., excessive word count / focus not aligned with the marking rubric) on the first part of the task (commentary on the therapeutic rapport strategies in the video). Please keep in mind this is just 1 part of a 4 part task. Ensure you divide your word count in accordance with the marking rubric and ensure sufficient scope of coverage across each area.
· Some students have also been very harsh / overly critical of the therapist – remember this is your opportunity to showcase your understanding of therapeutic rapport and the techniques used to build and maintain it. Aim to make that the focus rather than 'trashing' the therapist. It may also be of benefit to consider the purpose of these techniques in relation to therapeutic rapport and how they advance the session (or negatively impact the session), how the client responds etc. Aim for a good depth of discussion to communicate your understanding.
· For some students also in the past there has been a lack of connection between the formulation and the treatment plan – ideally the treatment plan and specific recommendations will flow from the formulation. In the treatment plan also, remember this task is asking for a focus on perpetuating factors (those factors that maintain the problem once established) so aim to identify the perpetuating factors as part of the formulation and target your treatments towards these key areas.
· A lack of citation has also been problematic in the past. This has resulted in a rather 'surface level' discussion of the therapeutic rapport strategies in the video and largely an 'opinion piece' for the formulation and treatment plan. Remember to integrate academic literature into the discussion whereever possible. Provide a rationale/justification for your treatment plan (i.e., recommendations based on evidence in the literature) and discuss in relation to effectiveness for social anxiety.
· Some students in the past have reported a challenge progressing from Assignment 2 to Assignment 3 in this course. In Assignment 2 you have the option to be much more broad (i.e., writing in general terms) for the assignment whereas in this assignment (i.e., Assignment 3) you need to focus more on application to the specific case. Consider the client as the central focus and how rapport techniques assist the individual settle into therapy and how the recommended treatments will benefit this specific individual.
· There has also been a tendancy to be quite overwhelming with the treatment plan – i.e., recommending two or three different forms of psychotherapy to be run concurrently, homework activities, group therapy, mindfulness, exercise, nutrition and more. While yes, it is great to be thorough, do also consider some practical elements such as knowledge the client is currently participating in CBT and general constraints such as time and financial resources. Put together a selection of therapeutic activities, techniques or interventions that you believe (based on evidence in the literature) will be beneficial for the client and state why you believe it will be beneficial and what you expect the outcomes to be. You may also wish to consider specific goals, or goal setting in general. You are welcome to draw from concepts right across the course to assist here (there are some good resources in Weeks 2 and 6 for example that may be of benefit) and can develop any set of recommendations you like based on your research.