Evidence-Based Practice in Psychotherapy – The Pros and Cons
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Wydział Psychologii Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Centrum Pomocy Psychologicznej UW
Szymon Krzysztof Chrząstowski   

Uniwersytet Warszawski, Wydział Psychologii
Submission date: 2019-04-27
Acceptance date: 2019-05-13
Publication date: 2019-09-07
Psychoter 2019;189(2):45–57
The article addresses controversies raised by evidence-based practice in psychotherapy (EBP). In the first part of the paper, the key assumptions of EBP are presented, which concern clinical decision-making that is based on three integrated components: 1. clinical research data, 2. taking the patient’s value system into account, and 3. the clinical skills and experience of the therapist. The second part of the article focuses on the merits and limitations of EBP. Proponents of the EBP approach believe that it facilitates choosing the best kind of assistance for a patient with specific problems. In addition, the therapist sidesteps the traps associated with appealing to their own intuition. Critics of EBP point out that EBP favours a certain type of research. Moreover, the results of these studies are difficult to put into practice. They also believe that EBP is underpinned by hidden values (despite the ideological neutrality of this approach declared by proponents of EBP). In the conclusion of the article, the author argues that scientific research on psychotherapy cannot determine all clinical decisions, due to various methodological limitations and a still insufficient number of studies. However, the rejection of research results by psychotherapists can easily lead to the implementation of ineffective or even harmful interventions. The EBP proposes, among other things, criteria to verify the effectiveness of new, promoted approaches to psychotherapy.