Evidence in the Psychological Therapies: A Critical Guide for Practitioners

Evidence in the Psychological Therapies: A Critical Guide for Practitioners

Evidence in the Psychological Therapies: A Critical Guide for Practitioners

Evidence in the Psychological Therapies: A Critical Guide for Practitioners


Evidence-based practice is likely to determine standards for publicly and insurance-funded psychotherapies in the near future. How should practitioners prepare themselves for this?Evidence in the Psychological Therapies takes a critical look at the meaning of evidence. It examines which kinds of evidence are most relevant to psychological therapies, and Mow the quality of evidence can be assessed.The potential impact of evidence on practice is illustrated across a range of clinical settings and therapeutic models.The contributors include distinguished academics in law and philosophy, clinical researchers who have contributed to the evidence base for psychological therapies, and prominent therapists who have put research into practice and pioneered effective methods of audit.This accessible discussion of a topic no practitioner can ignore is recommended to all psychotherapists, including psychoanalysts, CBT therapists, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, counsellors and those in training.


Evidence in psychotherapy

A delicate balance

Chris Mace and Stirling Moorey

'Evidence in the Balance' was the title of a conference organised by the Psychotherapy Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the University Psychotherapy Association and the Association of University Teachers of Psychiatry. the discussions that took place of why and how psychotherapeutic services might be more 'evidence based' deserve a wider audience. Since the meeting, ways in which 'evidence' is likely to impinge on everyday practice have been clarified within the National Health Service's programme of 'clinical governance'. This strategy, and the wholesale reform of the service's institutions that it entails, has been a cornerstone of the drive to include quality assurance within the responsibilities of nhs providers (cf. Mace, 1999). Evidence-based practice is no longer a movement that any clinician can ignore.

The psychotherapies, given their respect for the uniqueness of the individual, the complexity of the questions with which they deal, and attitudes towards scientific method that range from willing borrowing to deep distrust, pose particular problems for this movement. the contents of this book should ensure that a psychotherapist, whatever his or her interests, is not only better informed about the clinical implications of evidence-based practice, but better able to recognise its strengths and weaknesses, and able to meet its requirements at the level of service organisation.

Science and psychotherapy

The relationship of systematic research to clinical practice has varied according to individual interests and the history of different psychotherapeutic schools. Cognitive-behavioural psychotherapies, with their past association with learning theories derived from animal experiment and laboratory studies of human cognition, have been seen as intrinsically

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