The Scientific Status of Psychotherapies: A New Evaluative Framework for Evidence-Based Psychosocial Interventions
Article first published online: 9 JUN 2011
© 2011 American Psychological Association. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the American Psychological Association
Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice
Volume 18, Issue 2, pages 89–99, June 2011
How to Cite
David, D. and Montgomery, G. H. (2011), The Scientific Status of Psychotherapies: A New Evaluative Framework for Evidence-Based Psychosocial Interventions. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 18: 89–99. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2850.2011.01239.x
- Issue published online: 9 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 9 JUN 2011
- Received January 8, 2010; revised July 31, 2010; accepted August 10, 2010.
- classification framework of psychosocial/psychological interventions/treatments;
- evidence-based psychotherapies
[Clin Psychol Sci Prac 18: 89–99, 2011]
The meaning of the term evidence-based psychotherapy (EBP) is a moving target and is inconsistent among international organizations. To clarify the meaning of EBP and to provide guidelines for evaluating psychosocial interventions (i.e., psychological treatments), we propose that psychotherapies should be first classified into nine categories, defined by two factors: (a) theory (mechanisms of psychological change) and (b) therapeutic package derived from that theory, each factor organized by three levels: (a) empirically well supported; (b) equivocal data [(a) no, (b) preliminary data less than minimum standards, or (c) mixed data]; and (c) strong contradictory evidence. As compared to the previous classification systems, and building on them, we add the requirement that there should also be a clear relationship between a guiding theoretical base and the empirical data collected. The proposed categories are not static systems; depending on the progress of research, a form of psychotherapy could move from one category to another.