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)
- A list of the Supported (Efficacious) Treatments
- A list of Promising (Probably Efficacious) Treatments
- A list of Possibly Harmful Treatments
- A list of Unknown Treatments
Here are some good links to other websites that deal with this issue:
- Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy – this website concerns itself with how ESTs came about and gives both sides of the argument
- The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice – the website for the journal that focuses on reviewing scientifically-reported claims
- Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology – established through APA to affirm and continue to promote the integration of the scientist and the practitioner in training, research, and applied endeavors – has lots of links to interesting information
- Scott Lilienfeld – Presentation by one of psychology’s leading proponents for separating science from pseudoscience
- Hawaiian State Department of Health – A great website for evidence-based practice for children and adolescents.
(most of the following are PDF files)
- Chambless et. al. (1998). Update on Empirically Validated Therapies, II. Clinical Psychologist, 51, 3 – 16.
- Ollendick, T.H. & Kin, N.J.(2004). Empirically Supported Treatments for Children and Adolescents: Evidence Toward Evidence-Based Practice, The Handbook of Interventions That Work with Children and Adolescents: Prevention and treatment (P.M. Barret and T.H. Ollendick, Eds.). West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons.
- Woody, S.R. & Sanderson, W.C. (1998). Manuals for Empirically Supported Treatments: 1998 Update. Clinical Psychologist, 51, 17 – 21.
- Beutler, L.E. (1998). Identifying Empirically Supported Treatments: What if We Didn’t? Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychologist, 66, 113-120.