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MCFT-004: Counselling and Family Therapy: Applied Aspects

MCFT-004: Counselling and Family Therapy: Applied Aspects

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MCFT-004 / TMA-4 / ASST-4 / 2022-23

Course Code: MCFT-004

Assignment Name: Counselling and Family Therapy: Applied Aspects

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Note: - (i) Answer all the questions in both sections.

(ii) Answers to questions of Section “A” should not exceed 300 words each.


Section A - Descriptive Questions (10x6=60 marks)


Q 1. Discuss, giving examples, issues and concerns for beginning counsellors and family therapists.

Ans) Starting a career as a counsellor or family therapist can bring both exciting opportunities and unique challenges. Here are some of the issues and concerns that beginning counsellors and family therapists may face:

  1. Self-care: Providing emotional support to clients can be emotionally taxing and can take a toll on the counsellor’s well-being. It is important for counsellors to prioritize their own self-care and seek support from colleagues or supervisors when needed.

  2. Boundary issues: Beginning counsellors may struggle with client boundaries and dual relationships. Ethical standards prevent conflicts of interest and protect clients.

  3. Cultural competency: Understanding and being sensitive to the diverse backgrounds and experiences of clients is crucial for providing effective therapy. Beginning counsellors need diversity education and cultural competence training.

  4. Case conceptualization: Developing a clear and accurate understanding of a client's presenting issues can be challenging for beginning counsellors. It is important to seek out supervision and training to develop the skills necessary to effectively conceptualize cases.

  5. Managing the therapeutic relationship: Building rapport and establishing a therapeutic relationship with clients can be difficult for beginning counsellors. It is important to understand the importance of the therapeutic relationship and to seek out supervision and training to develop these skills.

  6. Navigating ethical and legal concerns: Informed consent and confidentiality can be difficult for new counsellors to grasp. Get supervision and training to understand these complex issues.

  7. Balancing theoretical orientation and practical skills: For new counsellors, it can be hard to find the right balance between a theoretical focus and practical skills.


Overall, new counsellors and family therapists can handle these challenges and improve their skills and abilities as therapists by getting supervision, training, and support from more experienced colleagues.

Q 2. Explain any five basic ethical principles in counselling and family therapy.

Ans) Ethics play a critical role in the practice of counselling and family therapy, as they help ensure the safety, well-being, and autonomy of clients.


Here are five basic ethical principles in counselling and family therapy:


1. Beneficence

Kindness requires caring for others. Counselling means making the client feel better. Clients enrol in therapy hoping it will help. They should prioritise their clients' well-being. Personal interests should not be the most important thing. Financial transactions should always be professional. Therapists should protect clients and the profession.


2. Nonmaleficence

Nonmaleficence, which means "do no harm," means that practitioners will take care to avoid situations (like conflicts of interest) that have a high chance of hurting clients, even by accident. Therapists must be aware that they have a lot of social responsibility because they not only deal with people's bad behaviour, but also with their most private problems.


3. Autonomy

The client has autonomy over their life. Clients have the freedom to think and choose. Counsellors have an ethical responsibility to make clients less dependent on them and help them make decisions on their own. This principle says therapists cannot make client decisions. Instead, the counsellor helps the client think clearly and weigh the consequences of their actions.


4. Justice

Justice means counsellors treat all clients equally. This means doing everything possible to ensure that everyone has the same access to counselling services, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, disability, socioeconomic status, lifestyle preferences, or religion. This principle also states that a person's rights and needs should be balanced with those of others.


5. Fidelity

Fidelity means honesty and keeping promises to clients. The counsellor must be willing to do whatever it takes to foster trust and healing so clients can find their own solutions. This principle warns against deceiving customers. All therapists must maintain high professional standards for the public and profession. Therapists are responsible for their own continuing education and should realise that learning is lifelong.


As members of the profession, they should not violate ethical standards and when such violation comes to their notice, should take steps to correct it.


Q 3. Analyse factors which impact counselling/family therapy.

Ans) Some of these factors which have an impact on the counselling/family therapy are discussed below:


1. Age

The mental health issues and general life problems are different through the various life cycle stages like - young children, children in middle school, adolescents, young adults, middle adulthood and people in old age.


2. Disability

The type and intensity of disability, if present, needs to be kept in mind. Also, remember that any person can become disabled due to accidents or disease at any point of time in life.


3. Sexual Orientation

Counsellor/family therapist irrespective of her or his own sexual orientation should not look down on the client's sexual orientation.


4. Religion

Therapist, like the client, is free to worship, profess and propagate, her or his religious beliefs outside the therapy or counselling situation.


5. Client factors

The client's personal characteristics, such as age, cultural background, and mental health, can affect the outcome of therapy.


6. Family dynamic and communication patterns

The way family members interact and communicate with each other can greatly impact the success of family therapy.


7. Motivation and engagement

The level of motivation and engagement from all family members can greatly impact the success of therapy.


8. Therapeutic goals and expectations

The therapeutic goals and expectations of each family member must be clearly defined and discussed in order to ensure a successful therapy process.


9. Time and frequency of sessions

The frequency and duration of therapy sessions can impact the progress made in therapy.


10. Cost and availability of resources

The cost and availability of resources, such as therapy sessions, can impact access to therapy and overall progress.

Q 4. As a Counsellor, what are the strategies that you will use for restructuring your client’s self - perception.

Ans) A person's self-perception is an essential component of their mental health and well-being. As a counsellor, you have access to a variety of techniques that can assist your clients in reorganising their sense of themselves in order to improve their mental health and well-being. The following are examples of some of these strategies:


  1. Reframing: Reframing involves changing the client's perspective on a situation or thought to create a more positive view. This can be done by helping the client to focus on their strengths and accomplishments, and by highlighting positive aspects of the situation.

  2. Cognitive Restructuring: Cognitive restructuring involves helping the client to identify and challenge negative thought patterns and beliefs. This can be done by teaching the client to question the evidence for their beliefs, to look for alternative perspectives, and to develop more balanced thinking.

  3. Empowerment: Empowerment involves helping the client to gain control over their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. This can be done by teaching the client coping skills and self-care strategies, and by helping them to identify and set achievable goals.

  4. Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a mindfulness-based therapy that helps clients to be present in the moment and to observe their thoughts and feelings without judgment. This can help clients to develop a more accepting and compassionate view of themselves and to break free from negative self-perception patterns.

  5. Encouragement and validation: Encouragement and validation involve supporting the client in their journey towards self-awareness and self-acceptance. This can be done by acknowledging the client's experiences and feelings, and by encouraging them to be kind and compassionate towards themselves.


It is important to remember that the best way to change a client's view of themselves will depend on their needs and circumstances. It is important for a counsellor to be flexible and change their approach to counselling based on the needs of each client.


Q 5. Explain “Transference”. Discuss the development and resolution of transference relationship.

Ans) Transference is a psychological phenomenon that occurs in the therapeutic relationship, where the client unconsciously transfers feelings and emotions from past experiences onto the therapist. This can manifest as positive or negative feelings towards the therapist and can have a significant impact on the therapeutic relationship.


It is possible for the client to experience a range of emotions upon first making contact with the therapist as they enter the therapeutic environment. Step 0 is the phase in which the therapist and the client do not exchange any information with one another. In the very first session, which is considered the first step, the therapist will make the client feel at ease in the therapeutic environment in order to increase the likelihood that the client will disclose information. This paves the way for the client to freely express their feelings to the therapist and lays the groundwork for the establishment of a therapeutic relationship.


The relationship bridge will become increasingly broad during this stage, which is the second step in the process of the development of transference. The client makes it possible for her or his needs of affection or dependency to cloud her or his perception of the therapist in order to facilitate the transfer of these feelings related to early relationships. Establishing transference is the third step, and it involves doing the actual moving. Transference can sometimes be helpful to clients in terms of building their own actualizing strength by using the therapist's strength as a model.


The difference between psychotherapy and counselling is highlighted by the fourth stage of this procedure. It is common for counsellors to develop close personal relationships with their clients; however, intense transferences are discouraged in psychotherapy because close personal relationships with clients are not encouraged. The client moves away from the therapist and invests her or his feelings in other mature human relationships as part of the fifth step, which is the resolution of transference, also known as emotional detachment.


Q 6. Describe the steps of termination of therapy.

Ans) The termination phase of therapy incorporates the following steps:


1. Inform regarding planning of termination

The family therapist tells them they can terminate even though the sessions are tapering. The reasons for why the family therapist thinks so are shared with the family. Family therapists can tell families that their goals are mostly complete or that termination is planned because there has been little progress.


2. Summarize hypothesis, goals and what happened in therapy

The family's issues, goals, what happened in therapy, and what was learned are all summarised. Each member's family relationships are examined.


3. Examine changes

by Therapy participants reflect on changes in beliefs, behaviours, feelings, and family structure and functioning. The therapist examines and corrects each family member's confidence and ability to maintain those changes. The family can see changes and feel encouraged.


4. Identify Issues left out

Allow members to consider issues not covered in sessions. These can be goals the therapist thinks the family can achieve or unaddressed areas. Asking the family what they want to improve can reveal overlooked issues.

5. Anticipated problems

Helping the family identify future challenges and how to use their strengths and resources is useful. The family is prepared. It boosts their confidence and lets the family therapist know if the family is ready for termination.


6. Reinforcement and hope building

The family therapist can also summarise how family members have changed during therapy. Family and individual strengths help. by This also encourages family improvement.


7. Plans for follow-up

Family therapists plan follow-up. Schedule the follow-up session and explain its purpose to the family. The family is informed that they can consult the family therapist again after sessions end. by If new issues arise, family is informed about booster sessions. The therapist should be sensitive and supportive during termination. Following these steps can help therapists and clients end therapy on good terms.



Section B - Short Answer Type Questions (40 marks)


1. Write short notes (in about 150 words each) on the following: (5x8=40 marks)


i) Therapeutic relationship in CBT

Ans) In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), the therapeutic relationship is seen as a key factor in the treatment process. CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are interconnected and that changing negative patterns of thought can lead to changes in behaviour and emotion.


The therapeutic relationship in CBT is characterized by the following elements:


  1. Collaboration: The therapist and client work together as a team, with the therapist providing guidance and support, and the client actively participating in the treatment process.

  2. Empathy: The therapist is empathetic and understanding and works to establish a trusting and safe relationship with the client.

  3. Active Engagement: The therapist actively engages the client in the treatment process, providing support, feedback, and guidance as needed.

  4. Challenge: The therapist challenges the client's negative thought patterns and helps the client to identify and change irrational beliefs.

  5. Skill-Building: The therapist helps the client to develop new skills and strategies for managing emotions, thoughts, and behaviours.

  6. Homework: The therapist assigns homework assignments, such as journaling, role-playing, and exposure therapy, to reinforce the learning that occurs in therapy.


ii) Confrontation in a counselling session

Ans) Confrontation is a technique that counsellors use to help their clients question and change their negative ways of thinking and acting. In confrontation, the therapist points out to the client where their thoughts, feelings, and actions don't match up. This helps the client realise how unreasonable their beliefs are and start to see things in a different way.


But confrontation needs to be used carefully because it can be seen as rude or critical if it's not done right. The therapist should go into a confrontation with compassion, respect, and an open mind. The therapist should also make sure to give the client other ways to think and act, as well as support and encouragement.


Confrontation can be a helpful way to help clients understand their thought and behaviour patterns. It can be especially helpful when it comes to dealing with negative self-talk, resistance to change, and behaviours that help them avoid trouble. Confrontation can be a powerful way to help clients make positive changes in their lives if it is used in the right way.


iii) Concept of mediation

Ans) Mediation is a way for people who are fighting to find a solution with the help of a neutral third party, called a "mediator." The point of mediation is to help both sides find a solution that works for everyone.


Mediation is often used as an alternative to traditional legal processes like lawsuits because it is seen as a faster, less expensive, and less hostile way to settle disputes. Mediation is a voluntary process, so everyone involved must agree to do it. It is also private, so what is said during the mediation can't be used in court as proof.


The mediator's job is to help the two sides talk to each other, explore each other's points of view, and understand each other. The mediator doesn't make decisions for the parties, but helps them find a solution that works for everyone. Mediation is often used to settle disputes about divorce, child custody, property division, and problems at work, among other things.


Mediation can be a good way to settle disagreements because it helps keep relationships strong and gets both sides to take responsibility for their actions and decisions. Mediation can help make things better for everyone by getting people to work together and understand each other.


iv) Importance of life skills education

Ans) Life skills education is a type of education that teaches people the practical skills and information they need to get by in everyday life. People need these skills to deal with the challenges and responsibilities of adult life and to be successful in their personal and professional lives.


Life skills education is important because it gives people the tools, they need to take care of their feelings, relationships, finances, health, and well-being. This kind of education gives people the skills and knowledge they need to make good decisions, solve problems, and adjust to change.


Life skills education helps people understand and manage their emotions, improving relationships and mental health. Learning how to solve problems and make decisions helps people handle difficult situations and make good choices. Life skills education helps people budget, save, and invest wisely. People can build and maintain healthy relationships by learning to communicate and get along. Life skills education helps people exercise, eat well, and manage stress. It boosts their health.


v) Dangers of inadequate structuring

Ans) Inadequate structuring refers to the lack of clear boundaries, guidelines, and expectations in a particular situation or relationship. This can lead to confusion, frustration, and ineffective communication, which can have negative consequences for individuals and organizations.


Some of the dangers of inadequate structuring include:

  1. Lack of accountability: Without clear expectations and guidelines, it can be difficult to hold individuals responsible for their actions. This can lead to a lack of accountability and ineffective decision-making.

  2. Decreased productivity: Inadequate structuring can lead to confusion and misunderstandings, which can result in decreased productivity and efficiency.

  3. Poor communication: Without clear guidelines and expectations, communication can become ineffective, leading to confusion and misunderstandings.

  4. Increased conflict: Inadequate structuring can lead to conflicting expectations and misunderstandings, which can escalate into more serious conflicts and disputes.

  5. Decreased morale: When there is a lack of clarity and structure, individuals can feel unsure of their role and responsibilities, leading to decreased morale and motivation.


vi) Role of family therapist

Ans) A family therapist is a mental health professional who works with families to help them improve their relationships and resolve conflicts. Family therapists play a vital role in helping families to identify and address the underlying issues that are affecting their relationships. Family therapists carry out following tasks to help the family:

  1. Teach family members about how families function in general and in particular, how their own functions.

  2. Help the family focus less on the member who has been identified as ill and focus more on the family as a whole.

  3. Assist in identifying conflicts and anxieties and help the family develop strategies to resolve them.

  4. Strengthen all family members so they can work on their problems together. Teach ways to handle conflicts and changes within the family differently.  Sometimes the way family members handle problems makes them more likely to develop symptoms.


vii) Referral

Ans) Referral is usually the process of sending a client to a higher level for help or advice. In general, a lot of people who need services are sent from primary care centres to tertiary care centres. In the same way, couples or families who want help making their relationship work better or making changes in their lives are sent to relationship experts.


The first time a client talks to a counsellor, they will either send a letter or call to make an appointment. If there is a drop-in service or crisis service, they will talk to the counsellor in person. So, therapists need to be ready and pay attention to how clients react to this first communication. This could be a way to help in a crisis. Along with dealing with the problems that are happening right now, you can also make plans for more counselling sessions.


viii) Process goals

Ans) Process goals are the specific steps or actions that a client or patient takes to achieve their therapeutic or treatment objectives. These goals can be broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks. There are some goals that are short term, and they help the family in the process of achieving their own objectives, as well as the therapist's. These are also referred to as process goals in some circles.


The achievement of insight, the teaching of various interpersonal skills such as communication and problem-solving, and the disruption of problem-maintaining patterns of behaviour in order to enable family members to learn more adaptive responses are all common forms of such mediating or process goals. The goals of mediation can also be more general, and the therapist does not necessarily have to discuss them with the families involved.

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