When people look for mental health treatment for themselves or a loved one, it is common to search for a psychotherapy provider who may have availability in their schedule, desired
fees, or is covered by a specific insurance plan. However, it is essential that people in search of treatment also get specific information about the type of treatment that a mental health care
provider will offer.
Not all mental health treatments are equally efficacious, and consumers must be educated when searching for a therapist. Some therapies may work better than others.
Mental health care providers (i.e., psychotherapists, such as psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists) may subscribe to different 'schools of thought,' or philosophies on how to effectively reduce
psychological symptoms. Some of these philosophies are based directly on scientific evidence that indicates the best routes to symptom relief. However, other mental health care providers may offer
treatment that is not based on strong scientific evidence, or for which no evidence is available to date. Adherence to psychological approaches and techniques that are based on scientific evidence is
referred to as "Evidence-based Practice" (EBP).
Unfortunately, many members of the public are unaware that evidence-based practices exist. Consequently, patients may remain in long-term psychotherapy for months, or even years, without
realizing that evidence-based options are available. Note that EBP therapies are listed as 'Best Practice' and 'preferred' approaches for psychological symptom treatment both the American Psychiatric
Association and the American Psychological Association
What are EBPs ?
EBPs are treatments that are based directly on scientific evidence suggesting that strongest contributors and risk factors for psychological symptoms.
Most EBPs have been studied in several large-scale clinical trials, involving thousands of patients and careful comparison of the effects of EBPs vs. other types of psychological treatments.
Dozens of multi-year studies have shown that EBPs can reduce symptoms significantly for many years following the end of psychological treatment - similar evidence for other types
of therapies is not available to date.
The most commonly used evidence-based practice approaches for the treatment of psychological symptoms involve cognitive and behavior therapies (CBT).
The efficacy of CBT has been demonstrated for a wide-range of symptoms in adults, adolescents, and children.
Click here to learn more about CBT.
You can also see more about EBP by visiting www.ebbp.org/skillsBasedResources.html