According to the APA guidelines, when are psychological treatments considered efficacious?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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In the 1990s, The American Psychological Association’s Division 12 Task Force on Promotion and Dissemination of Psychological Procedures [100, 101] developed criteria for evaluating the empirical support for psychological treatments. Chambless and Hollon [102] refined these guidelines such that a therapy is considered efficacious and specific if there is evidence from high-quality studies in two or more settings indicating that it is superior to a pill or psychological placebo or to another bonafide treatment. A treatment is considered efficacious if there is evidence from two or more settings that it is superior to no treatment. A therapy is considered to be possibly efficacious if there is research support from one or more studies in a single setting. It is recommended that individuals seeking psychotherapy for depression receive one with empirical support (see below).

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