Sunday, December 13, 2009

Does evidence based therapy matter?

To apply science to psychotherapy generally evokes reactions such as therapy is more an art than a science. The reality for many practitioners is that scientific evidence seems too far removed from the daily realities of helping patients cope and most use an eclectic set of techniques. In addition, other significant hurdles to the scientific approach of psychotherapy exist, such as the variance that exists among patients, therapists and the way treatments occur during a session. Further more, there are many issues surrounding standards for measuring and collecting accurate and uniform data.

With that being said, many treatments that are used in therapy today do have empirical support from researchers. These treatments and their application to various diagnoses have been researched over many years. Keep in mind that the training curriculum of current and future therapists is usually highly influenced by the available research and trends for that treatment.

Both patient and therapist should care about evidence based therapy for the simple fact that we have access to treatment modalities today because of contributions by many practitioners, researchers and patients in the past. Both patient and practitioner have immediate influence over the outcome of their own therapy sessions. Evidence based therapy is the means to communicate and contribute to the effectiveness of therapy for others now and in the future.

Raymond Bokenkamp

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Useful Links

Evidence Based Psychotherapy Review

APA Emperically Supported Treatments : Publications

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