Thursday, August 22, 2013

Psychotherapy Lags as Evidence Goes Unheeded

Psychotherapy has issues. Evidence shows that some psychosocial treatments work well for common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression and that consumers often prefer them to medication. Yet the use of psychotherapy is on a clear decline in the United States. In a set of research review papers in the November issue of the journal Clinical Psychology Review, psychologists put psychotherapy on the proverbial couch to examine why it’s foundering. Their diagnosis? Much as in many human patients, psychotherapy has a combination of problems. Some of them are of its own making while some come from outside the field itself. Fundamentally, argue Brandon Gaudiano and Ivan Miller, Brown University professors of psychiatry and human behavior whose review paper introduces the section they edited, the psychotherapy community hasn’t defined, embraced, and articulated the ample evidence base clarifying their practice, while drug makers and prescribers have done so for medications. In a system of medicine and health insurance that rewards evidence-based practice and looks upon biology as a more rigorous science, psychotherapy has lost ground among physicians, insurers and policymakers...“We haven’t been holding ourselves to evidence-based practice,” Gaudiano said of fellow psychologists. “Because of that we’ve had other groups who are more medication-focused define practice standards.” more

No comments: