Monday, October 05, 2009

Why indeed

A new article in Newsweek charges psychologists with ignoring evidence-based practice -- i.e., treatment that has been demonstrated effective -- in favor of "chaotic meditation therapy, facilitated communication, dolphin-assisted therapy, eye-movement desensitization" and more than 1,000 therapies that have not been demonstrated effective. The article goes on to state:

When confronted with evidence that treatments they offer are not supported by science, clinicians argue that they know better than some study what works. In surveys, they admit they value personal experience over research evidence, and a 2006 Presidential Task Force of the American Psychological Association—the 150,000-strong group dominated by clinicians—gave equal weight to the personal experiences of the clinician and to scientific evidence, a stance they defend as a way to avoid "cookbook medicine."

My social work program rigorously trained us in evidence-based practice; in addition, I participated in a statewide mental health education project. We did not study dolphins. We did learn how to apply proven techniques to unique individuals -- what the abovementioned clinicians deride as "cookbook medicine."
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Ummm, never met a psychologist who studied dolphins.

    And studies like that come from "the only ones who know how to treat properly are trained in cognitive behavioral therapy and no other therapy could possibly be effective because its applications are not easily studied under contrived uni-diagnosed populations who are not on medication" folks.