Research-Tested Approaches to Therapy
What is Evidence-Based Practice?
Just as medical researchers use science to develop and test their treatments, mental health professionals see the value in research. Evidence-based practice (EBP) is an approach to integrating scientific evidence into clinical care. Evidence-based practice involves the integration of 3 things:
- Client perspective
- Clinical expertise and opinion
- External scientific evidence
Why Should You Care?
If you are suffering from a problem like anxiety, you have a wide range of treatment options: Psychotherapy, medication, hypnosis, acupuncture, massage therapy, to name a few.
Even within psychotherapy, you can choose from many different approaches, which can be based on divergent theoretical models of behavior.
Just as the medical treatments are tested for their effectiveness, psychological treatments are subject to research scrutiny. Over the past several decades, hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested into the development of effective treatments. (At present, the National Institutes of Mental Health are currently funding over 200 rigorous studies of anxiety treatments).
For some problems, there is little consensus about what works best. But for problems like anxiety, depression, ADHD, psychological therapies have undergone rigorous scientific testing at the world's top universities.
Because we work with a wide variety of clients and issues, we need to have a number of approaches. Whenever possible, we try to use approaches that are grounded in research evidence. the degree to which this is possible varies from case to case.
In some cases, we may use evidence-based approaches that hue strictly to clinical protocols (for example, when treating insomnia). In other cases, use approaches that are based on evidence-based principles, but are individually tailored.
How can I Learn More about Evidence-Based Practices?
There are many online resources available