The myth of evidence-based psychotherapy

John Marzillier argues against ‘outcome research’.
Evidence-based psychotherapy seems a reasonable aspiration. There are many weird and wonderful treatments in the field; surely it makes sense to know whether or not they work? This was the rationale behind the Department of Health’s Task Force on the Psychotherapies, which I was briefly part of. It led to an impressively documented book by Fonagy and Roth (1996) in which the research supporting various psychotherapies was presented and thoroughly analysed, and conclusions were drawn about specific treatments for specific conditions. Yet I want to argue that evidence-based psychotherapy is a myth.

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