Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy the Gold Standard for Psychotherapy? The Need for Plurality in Treatment & Research

In the ‘Viewpoint’ section of the JAMA (Journals of the American Medical Association) Network, Falk Leichsenring and Christiane Steinert write:

“Mental disorders are common and associated with severe impairments and high societal costs, thus representing a significant public health concern. About 75% of patients prefer psychotherapy over medication.¹ For psychotherapy of mental disorders, several approaches are available such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, or psychodynamic therapy. Pointing to the available evidence, CBT is usually considered the gold standard for the psychotherapeutic treatment of many or even most mental disorders.²,³ For example, the American Psychological Association’s Division 12 Task Force on Psychological Interventions currently lists CBT as the only treatment with “strong research support” in almost 80% of all mental disorders included in its listing.²

For a treatment to be considered the gold standard requires that substantial supporting evidence exists. Recently, however, additional research findings have emerged that question the prominent status of CBT. In this Viewpoint, we review some of the most important findings …”

Read the remainder of this article here.

  1. Cuijpers  P, Cristea  IA, Karyotaki  E, Reijnders  M, Huibers  MJ.  How effective are cognitive behavior therapies for major depression and anxiety disorders? a meta-analytic update of the evidence.  World Psychiatry. 2016;15(3):245-258.
  2. Society of Clinical Psychology. About this resource. Accessed June 6, 2017.
  3. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.  Common Mental Health Disorders. London, England: The British Psychological Society and The Royal College of Psychiatrists; 2011.

Any reply would be very welcome


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