Evidence-Based Treatment

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A debate rages in psychology, but it is not one of the usual kind, dwelling on a specific aspect of the mind or a new drug, but a controversy dealing with the very foundations of psychology. The main issue is in determining what treatments for patients are valid. Some feel that they must be empirically- supported treatments, treatments backed by hard data and scientifically supported. Others feel that this standard for treatments is much too confining for the complex field of psychology. The American Psychological Association President Task Force on Evidence-Based Treatment came out with a plan for psychology that effectively maintains a high scientific standard but allows for a variety of research designs to be used in determining how to treat a patient. This plan of evidence-based practice in psychology (EBPP) is good because it allows patients to receive personalized science-backed treatment.

EBPP “is the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture, and preferences” (book essay 1). The first major facet of EBPP is the use of the best available research. Opponents have argued that randomized clinical trials are too narrow a type of study for psychology. A very valid point, this had been addressed in the new EBPP standard. Multiple types of research are included, ranging from public health and ethnographic research, to systematic case studies, to qualitative research, to meta-analyses (book 1). Using research-backed treatments cuts down on bias in treatment. Some psychologists argue that their experience is enough to know what works (Kendall 1998). Unfortunately, a human can be biased on incorrect without any knowledge of it. Data-backed tre...

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...s as a whole. Clients will know that they are going to receive help that is proven to be beneficial. These treatments will take a wide variety of factors in to account to be as effective as possible. These include using the best research available, taking the patient’s characteristics and background in to account, and utilizing the psychologist’s expertise. Evidence-based practice in psychology is a strong plan to advance psychology as a whole.

Works Cited

Mahrer, Alvin R (03/01/2005). "Empirically Supported Therapies and Therapy Relationships: What are the Serious Problems and Plausible Alternatives?". Journal of contemporary psychotherapy (0022-0116), 35 (1), p. 3.

Kendall, P C (02/28/1998). "Empirically Supported Psychological Therapies". Journal of consulting and clinical psychology (0022-006X), 66 (1), p. 3.

DOI: 10.1037/0022-006X.66.1.3
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