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…show more content…
In fact, to stay relevant in the modern health care climate, “evidence-based clinical practice will become essential” (Sanderson 2003). Empirically supported treatments provide a higher standard of care for patients. Opponents of EPBB argue, though, that this data-backed plan removes the psychologist from the process of treating the patient. Mahrer (2005) argues that “[t]here is almost no wiggle room left for psychotherapists who try to cling to their own preferred ways of doing psychotherapy. The good old days are over.” Perhaps to Maher, unsupported therapies from past times are good, but most psychologists and patients would disagree. Even so, the second facet of EBPP ensures that the clinician plays an active role. As the APA Taskforce states, there is a large difference between an expert in a field and a novice (book1). An analogy can be drawn to chess. A novice chess player feels overwhelmed by the number of options presented to him. He may be a very slow player, trying to analyze every detail of the board, yet he still does not make good moves. An expert chess player can, on the other hand, look at a chess board and immediately understand what is happening, identifying threats to his pieces, and offensive opportunities. Still, even the best chess player can make a mistake. In a way, he is quite similar to a psychologist, who must analyze complex patterns
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