A new article in Newsweek magazine titled Ignoring the Evidence documents how most psychologists ignore scientific evidence about treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy which have been proven to be effective.
A two-year study which is going to be published in November in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, found that most psychologists “give more weight to their personal experiences then to science.”
The Newsweek article has a wonderful quote,
The article documents how most psychologists fail to provide empirically proven treatment approaches and instead use methods which are often ineffective. The truth is there is very little evidence for most of the types of therapy commonly performed in private practices by psychologists and by Masters level therapists. If you are shopping for the most effective types of therapy you need to find a practitioner who is skilled at cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which is one of the few psychotherapy approaches that has been proven to work on a variety of problems.
Another interesting article in Newsweek about evidence-based treatment discussed bulimia. Here’s the summary:
So the bottom line is this:
1. Most psychologists who don’t practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are just winging it, using treatments that haven’t been shown to work by scientific studies. It’s as if you went to a regular physician and got treatment with leaches!
2. Many psychologists claim to use CBT but haven’t really trained in the use of CBT, or have taken a weekend workshop. Unless they prescribe weekly homework that involves writing down thoughts, and learning skills to analyze and change your thoughts, then they aren’t really doing CBT, and I recommend you find someone else.
3. If you have an anxiety disorder, depression, bulimia, or obsessive compulsive disorder, and haven’t been offered CBT, then you are not receiving state of the art treatment.
Copyright © 2009 Andrew Gottlieb, Ph.D. /The Psychology Lounge/TPL Productions
Dr. Andrew Gottlieb is a clinical psychologist in Palo Alto, California. His practice serves the greater Silicon Valley area, including the towns of San Jose, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Los Altos, Menlo Park, San Carlos, Redwood City, Belmont, and San Mateo. Dr. Gottlieb specializes in treating anxiety, depression, relationship problems, OCD, and other difficulties using evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a modern no-drug therapy approach that is targeted, skill-based, and proven effective by many research studies. Visit his website at CambridgeTherapy.com or watch Dr. Gottlieb on YouTube. He can be reached by phone at (650) 324-2666 and email at: Dr. Gottlieb Email.