Science & Pseudoscience

This  page is currently under construction and will continue to be updated over the next few months (Last update: 11/4/05). Understanding and making informed opinions of all the different types of therapy available is very difficult.  This page is to help both potential clients, the public, policy makers, and mental health professionals find the resources needed to make that informed opinion.  This page is currently under construction and is not exhaustive.  As some of the topics this webpage covers are controversial, we try to make both sides of the debate available.  However, in general, members of the TRAPT Center support using empirically supported treatments. If there is some information that we have not included or you think is incorrect, or if you would like more information, please email us. We will try to incorporate any suggestions you may have.

For those who are new to this discussion, here are a few basic key points:

Mental health professionals, in general, are people who “like to help other people.”  As the science of psychology advances we are learning that some types of therapy and techniques work very well, some don’t seem to have much effect, and some may actually be harmful  The only way to figure out if a specific treatment does help people is to do research on that treatment.  In other words, anecdotal evidence (clients stating a treatment helped them) should not be the only evidence psychologists use to decide if a treatment is beneficial, although it can be the first step.  Instead, using research techniques psychology has been refining for years can be used to better assess if treatments can be helpful, does nothing, or is harmful.  A discussion of those techniques are far beyond the scope of this webpage.  However, if you would like more information, please read the Chambless et. al. (1998) article or email us.

Empirically Supported Treatments (ESTs):

A few years ago the American Psychological Association formed a task force to closely examine the research behind many of the treatments available to consumers (clients) by psychologists.  The end result was the Chambless et. al. (1998) article.  In short, the article lists the treatments supported by research that seem to help clients with a specific mental disorder. Under Construction!!! (but still available)

Web Sites:

Here are some good links to other websites that deal with this issue:


(most of the following are PDF files)