Mclean Hospital

Video: Examining the Evidence for ‘Evidence-Based’ Therapy

Available with English captions.

Jonathan Shedler, PhD, University of California San Francisco – The Adam Corneel Major Teachers in Psychotherapy Lecture

Is there any truth to the term “evidence-based therapy”?

“Evidence-based therapy” is often code word for brief, manualized therapy. Evidence-based therapies are widely promoted as scientifically proven and the gold standard of care. However, much scientific research demonstrates most patients who receive these therapies do not get well. Dr. Shedler explores the gap between the rhetoric and the reality of “evidence-based” therapy and discusses strategies for making psychotherapy research more clinically relevant.

Presentation Highlights

In this lecture, Dr. Shedler:

  • Explains why research on “evidence-based therapy” and “empirically supported therapy” (e.g., manualized CBT) actually demonstrates that these therapies are ineffective for most patients
  • Analyzes biases in psychotherapy research that may render findings inapplicable to real-world practice
  • Points out the role of publication of bias and research design problems in inflating the reported benefits of evidence-based therapies
February 4, 2021

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