Psychotherapy and Psychological Treatments: The Future


Address correspondence to David H. Barlow, Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Boston University, 648 Beacon Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02215. E-mail:


Over the past 40 years the term psychotherapy has lost its ability to communicate the heterogeneous nature of our activities. There are at least two (and undoubtedly more) clearly delineated activities currently covered by this term. Going forward, it would resolve ambiguity and clarify objectives to delineate “psychological treatments” that are clearly compatible with the objectives of healthcare systems and “psychotherapy,” an equally valuable undertaking that primarily addresses problems in adjustment or growth. These two activities would not be distinguished on theory, technique, or even evidence, but on the problems addressed.