Who will benefit from this blog? Any adult or parent who wants to know what the state-of-the-art behavioral health/behavioral science techniques are OR ANY PERSON who may not be happy with their current therapist/behavioral science professional.
One of the saddest and yet most common scenarios in my practice is when I talk with adults or families who have seen countless therapists, counselors, etc., and yet have felt like they have not gotten help they or their child needs.
I believe one key reason the field of behavioral science lets people down is some practitioners in my field – as well as the parents or adults looking to utilize behavioral health services – are not aware that there is a large body of scientific techniques that can offer very powerful results—Life changing results.
The gold standard best practices in my field require a therapist to reference over 50 scientifically supported treatments for conditions like ADHD, anxiety, depression, and even schizophrenia. This list of treatment is here: https://www.div12.org/psychological-treatments/treatments/
What does this really mean for you? You need to be aware of what the best practices are that can truly help you or your child. That is the reason for my blog– to give this science away!
The problem is that the field of behavioral health is still too heavily viewed and/or based on a few mythological beliefs:
— that “talk therapy” represents the best of what behavioral science offers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, while many view behavioral science as a “soft science”, the reality is it is one of the “hardest” sciences because of the complexity of the human brain, and the treatments discussed in this blog represent some monumental advancements in the field of Science.
–the idea that with enough love and caring the client or patient will naturally get better (possibly through the charisma of the treatment professional) regardless of the technical expertise of the professional.
— that there is no REAL science behind behavioral health treatment and you or the parent of a child should select a therapist or counselor based on how much they like them without serious consideration of whether that practitioner is using evidence-based treatments: https://www.div12.org/psychological-treatments/treatments/
I am dumbfounded by how poorly the field of behavioral science has informed the public that there is a list of empirically (I.E., SCIENTIFICALLY) supported treatments for many different kinds of conditions.
It is critical that whether you are seeking treatment for yourself or for your child, you be aware of those treatments that have been rigorously examined and placed on the list of Empirically Supported Treatments.
Here is a link to one place where that list is presented: https://www.div12.org/psychological-treatments/treatments/
For your information, at this link, there are currently evidence-based treatments listed for the following conditions (and the list keeps growing!): https://www.div12.org/psychological-treatments/disorders/
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Adults)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Child and Adolescent Disorders
- Chronic or Persistent Pain
- Eating Disorders and Obesity
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Mixed Anxiety
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
- Schizophrenia and Other Severe Mental Illnesses
- Social Phobia and Public Speaking Anxiety
- Specific Phobias (e.g., animals, heights, blood, needles, dental)
- Substance and Alcohol Use Disorders
Please feel free to forward this list to any adult or parent you know who may be looking for the most effective behavioral science professional, or may not be happy with their current behavioral science professional.
This DOES NOT mean that a practitioner must use these, as based on the clinical judgment they may recognize there are key factors indicating there are other evidence-based treatments they should use that would be as effective. As the old scientific adage goes: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
But even innovative practitioners who use techniques that are not on this list can tie what they are doing to Evidence-Based Principles that are recognized in the social science literature, even if their chosen treatment is not on that list, to the body of knowledge in the field such that they are following best practices.
To listen to me discuss the advantages and possible blind spots of the growing Evidence Based Practices Movement, you can click here: http://www.strugglingteens.com/audio/Interviews/2015/DrTomBrunner-GettingTreatmentRight150429.mp3
A few more user-friendly tidbits:
— For a holistic context, here is a link to the American Psychological Association overview policy statement on Evidence Based Practice in Psychology: http://www.apa.org/practice/guidelines/evidence-based-statement.aspx
–Link to a recent blog I wrote that helps people understand what questions they can ask any professional in the behavioral health field to help navigate through the muddy complexity of behavioral health: https://www.doctorbrunner.com/the-best-questions-you-can-ask-to-interview-and-choose-a-counselor-therapist-or-personal-consultantcoach/