A March 25, 2013, article in The New York Times identifies a problem called “therapist drift”: that many therapists use “a kind of dim-sum approach” derived more from the therapists’ “biases and training” than from the latest research. “A large number of people with mental health problems that could be straightforwardly addressed are getting therapies that have very little chance of being effective,” one researcher told the Times. According to the article, experts recommend asking prospective therapists about their training; the professional associations they belong to (so that, for instance, if you are interested in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), you can find out if the therapist belongs to the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, to which most top CBT researchers belong, according to the Times); how they keep up with research for treating the condition in question; how they know that their treatment works; whether they consider their approach eclectic (because therapists with an eclectic approach are “less likely to adhere to evidence-based treatments”); what manuals they use; and what data they can provide about their outcomes. “A clinician who can’t tell you how many patients get well isn’t going to care that much if you get well,” the researcher told The Times.
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