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Theoretical and practical barriers to practitioners' willingness to seek training in empirically supported treatments


  • This article was supported by a National Research Service Award (1F31MH084486 - 01A1) to the first author (RES) from the National Institute of Health.

    We are grateful to Amber Calloway and David Stewart for their assistance with data entry and management and Alyson Zalta for statistical consultation.


To identify barriers to the dissemination of empirically supported treatments (ESTs), a random sample of psychologists in independent practice (N=1291) was asked to complete measures of attitudes towards ESTs and willingness to attend a 3-hour, 1-day, or 3-day workshop in an EST of their choice. The strongest predictor of unwillingness to obtain EST training was the amount of time and cost required for the workshop, followed by objections to the need for EST training. Psychodynamic (compared to cognitive-behavioral) and more experienced practitioners agreed more strongly with the objections to ESTs overall, as did those whose graduate schools had not emphasized psychotherapy research. Results suggest that both practical and theoretical barriers are significant obstacles to EST dissemination. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 67:1–16, 2011.