Psychotherapy practice and research: Repairing a strained relationship.

Goldfried, Marvin R.; Wolfe, Barry E.

American Psychologist, Vol 51(10), Oct 1996, 1007-1016.


Although the gap between psychotherapy practice and research has been present for some time, recent pressures for accountability from outside the systemmanaged health care and biological psychiatry—necessitate that we take steps to close this gap. One such step has been for psychotherapy researchers to specify a list of empirically validated therapy. However, as researchers who also have a strong alliance to clinical practice, we are concerned that the conceptual and methodological constraints associated with outcome research may become clinical constraints for the practicing therapist. We firmly believe that, more than ever before, the time is ripe for us to develop a new outcome research paradigm that involves an active collaboration between researcher and practicing clinician.


This article was published in 1996 and the authors took measures to say there was “pressure” to be accountable for the psychotherapy they were selling, Their concern is that research will place constraints on clinical practice?

What do you think that actually means? While the authors thought, in 1996, that the time was “ripe” to do so what happened that it didn’t get done?


Leave a comment


  1. Sallie, emotional injury & sexual inappropriateness is a concern of mine as well

    In looking back on the behavior of my former psychiatrist, I find him to be a sexual predator as do many people who know my story. He still practices. While I was in treatment, there was a psychiatrist on the hospital payroll who married one of his multiple personality disorder patients. At least he was dismissed as far as I know.

    I don’t think we can get psychotherapists out of therapy rooms for their behavior at this time unless a patient reports it and sticks to it for the long haul. But there is the credibility issue – mental health patients do not received the benefit of the doubt as others without a documented mental health issue. They are often not believed when they complain or make such reports.

    Do you have specific examples in mind?


  2. I agree, but am also very concerned about extreme emotional abuse & sexual abuse in psychotherapy & how difficult it is to get rid of such predators.



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