Why We Need Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Practice Guidelines

William C. Sanderson, PhD


Medscape General Medicine. 2002;4(4) 

In This Article

The Implications of Failing to Provide EBTs

I have written elsewhere about the implications of not being able to meet this need.[11] The poor record of disseminating EBTs from research settings to clinical practitioners in the field has resulted in the lack of availability of many of these treatments. This may ultimately have a disastrous impact on the viability of psychotherapy as the healthcare system evolves. The increasing penetration of managed care and the development and proliferation of clinical practice guidelines and treatment consensus statements have raised the stakes for accountability. The failure to train practitioners in EBTs may lead to the fall of psychotherapy as a first-line effective treatment despite considerable data supporting its efficacy. Since managed care organizations and federal guidelines cannot rely on the delivery of treatments that are not widely available, these treatments are often given secondary status, despite their equivalent efficacy.[12] If psychotherapy providers are not trained to provide EBTs, where do they fall in this new healthcare scheme? All psychotherapists should be concerned with this issue, as it is paramount to the survival of psychotherapy as a viable treatment.