October 19, 2009

Nordal Response to Newsweek on Quality in Psychotherapy

Katherine C. Nordal, PhD responds to Newsweek's Sharon Begley regarding evidence-based practices.

'Ignoring the Evidence'

The assertions by Sharon Begley ['Ignoring the Evidence'] that many psychologists are not trained in, nor do they use, evidence-based practices are not only untrue, but may also discourage the 57 million Americans with a mental-health disorder from seeking needed treatment. The American Psychological Association ethics code dictates that psychologists base their clinical judgments on scientific and professional knowledge. The APA's policy on evidence-based psychological practices mirrors the Institute of Medicine's definition as "the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values." Clinical guidelines for physicians recognize the psychotherapy we provide as an effective first-line treatment for depression due to a substantial body of supporting research. These guidelines reflect what millions of Americans have experienced: psychotherapy works!

Katherine C. Nordal, Ph.D.
Executive Director for Professional Practice American Psychological Association Washington, D.C.