Evidence-Based Treatment

Tessa Murray • Aug 01, 2019

Evidence-Based Treatment

As an aspiring future psychologist, I am soaking up some knowledge regarding the different types of psychological treatments available. If you look around other sections of our website (which we encourage you to to!) you will notice that the SJPC Psychologists emphasize the fact that they provide evidence-based treatment (EBT) for psychological disorders. The following blog post will provide some information about what they mean by EBT and why this is important to consider when choosing a therapist.

What is Evidence-based Treatment?

EBT is defined as treatment that is back up by scientific evidence. What does that mean? It means that rigorous (i.e.,good quality) research studies have been conducted on a particular treatment methodology and has supported its effectiveness for a particular disorder. Psychologists are particularly skilled at conducting and interpreting research studies, which means at the SJPC you can be guaranteed to be provided well-supported treatment.

What are some goals and benefits to EBT?

Our goal at the SJPC is to help clients meet their needs - whether that is coping with a psychological disorder such as depression or anxiety, or simply improving their life with skill development (i.e., assertive communication, setting appropriate boundaries). EBT ensures that the treatment clients are paying for have been shown not only to be effective but also not harmful for the clients (i.e., causes significant distress, results in no improvement in symptoms which might lead clients to believe therapy doesn't work). Another benefit of EBT is that clients undergoing this type of treatment will likely spend less time getting treatment than clients who are undergoing treatment plans which have not been proven.

So, is EBT guaranteed to cure my psychological difficulties?

There are many types of EBT available and what a psychologist offers will vary according to the clinical issue, their training, and the client's needs. Psychotherapy is never 'one size fits all', and what works best for one person will not necessarily work for everyone (even if it is evidence-based). Also, keep in mind that other factors also play a role in therapeutic success - including the relationship between the client and therapist, client motivation and/or the readiness to change, and the amount of work done in and outside of session.

What is an example of EBT?

An example of EBT is Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), which is a form of psychotherapy that helps clients manage their emotional distress by identifying and challenging unhelpful and/or unhealthy thinking styles (cognitive) and by encouraging more adaptive and/or healthier behaviours (behavioural). CBT has shown that by changing the way you think and act, you can also change how you feel. As opposed to other type of treatment that may focus on looking into the past to acquire a better understanding of current feeling, CBT focuses on the present thoughts and beliefs.

**CBT is just one example of EBT and is one style used by all psychologists on the SJPC staff.

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