The Dodo Bird Is Extinct


Address correspondence to Larry E. Beutler, Counseling/Clinical/School Psychology Program, Department of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106. E-mail:


It may be quite inaccurate and certainly it is premature to identify the dodo bird as the mascot for psychotherapy research. The dodo bird is not as alive and well as some may wish. The complexity of determining the presence of specific effects has been underestimated and, more importantly, the evidence of specific effects in treatments have been largely ignored by those who adopt a dodo bird's perspective. The article by Lubor-sky et al. in this issue illustrates these misperceptions and exclusions. Here I review some of the evidence for the premature ascendance of the dodo bird and raise questions about the nature of current research methodologies for assessing the presence of specific effects and especially for disclosing differential treatment contributors to treatment outcome.