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Beyond ESTs Problematic assumptions in the pursuit of evidence based practice


There has been much confusion in the literature of psychotherapy between the broad concept of evidence-based practice and the narrower set of criteria that have been employed in designating certain treatments as “empirically validated” or “empirically supported.” In contrast to the appropriate concern with examining the evidence for the efficacy of various approaches to therapy and for the theoretical assumptions that underlie them, the “empirically supported treatments” movement has been characterized more by ideology and faulty assumptions than by good science. This paper examines in detail the scientific and logical limitations of the “EST” movement and aims to place the empirical investigation of theory and practice in psychotherapy on a sounder basis.


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