Competing Models of Evidence and Corroborating Research Strategies: Shaping the Landscape of Psychotherapy Research in the Era of Evidence-Based Practice
S. Iwakabe
Empirically supported treatments have brought much enthusiasm for establishing a firm empirical basis for clinical practice. However controversies about what constitutes evidence in psychotherapy and what research methodologies qualify as sufficiently rigorous to produce such evidence also abound. Although most psychotherapy researchers are in agreement with the underlying rationale that psychotherapy should be based on rigorous scientific research, many are in disagreement as to what constitutes ideal scientific practice in evidence-based psychotherapy; alternative frameworks of evidence have been proposed. This paper first reviews different models of evidence, namely empirically supported treatments, empirically supported psychotherapy relationships, research informed principles of therapeutic change, and evidence-based practice in psychology, and discusses their relative strengths and limitations. Secondly, it illustrates three research topics and corresponding strategies that both supplement these evidence models and deepen an understanding of process and outcome in psychotherapy. These three areas are: mechanisms of change, systematic case studies, and researcher-practitioner collaboration.

Key words: evidence-based practice, psychotherapy research, empirically supported treatments