How Effective is Therapy?
Have you ever wondered whether mental health counseling was really effective? Here is some research and documentation that shows the effectiveness of what we do here at Viewpoint Psychological Services:
- Research on the effectiveness of counseling clearly shows that counseling is effective in relation to no-treatment and placebo control conditions. The effects of counseling, attained in relatively brief time periods, seem to be relatively lasting.(Journal of Counseling & Development, v74 n6 p601-08 Jul-Aug 1996)
- For a wide range of types of psychological distress, both subjective client reports and more objective measurements indicate that counselling and psychotherapy are effective, both in the short term and over longer time periods. (Evaluating Therapeutic Effectiveness in Counselling And Psychotherapy,Dr Greg Mulhauser, Counsellingresource.com 2010)
- High success rates in counseling appear to consistently appear in meta-analysis of the literature. Lipsey & Wilson document a strong tendency, in their meta-analysis, of the positive effects of counseling above the placebo effect threshold.(Lipsey, M. W. & Wilson, D. B. 1993. The efficacy of psychological, educational, and behavioral treatment: Confirmation from meta-analysis. American Psychologist, 48, 1181- 1209)
- An imaging study by neuroscientists in Canada has found that patients who recover from depression with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) show a pattern of brain changes that is distinct from patients who recover with drug therapy.It's an important finding because it shows -- for the first time with definitive imaging evidence -- that the depressed brain responds 'differently' to different treatments. Principal investigator Dr. Helen Mayberg, a senior scientist at The Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest and the Sandra A. Rotman Chair in Neuropsychiatry at the University of Toronto says, 'Our imaging study shows that you can correct the depression network along a variety of pathways. Anti-depressant drugs change the chemical balance in the brain through effects at very specific target sites. Cognitive behavioral therapy also changes brain activity, it's just tapping into a different component of the same depression circuit board.' (Medical News Today, 1/6/2004)
- Consumer Reports published an article which concluded that patients benefited very substantially from psychotherapy, that long-term treatment did considerably better than short-term treatment, and that psychotherapy alone did not differ in effectiveness from medication plus psychotherapy. Furthermore, no specific modality of psychotherapy did better than any other for any disorder; psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers did not differ in their effectiveness as treaters... (Consumer Reports , 11/95.)
- Patients who receive psychotherapy seem to be better off than controls who do not receive any treatment. P. Cuijpers, PhD.D., from the Department of Clinical Psychology in Amsterdam, conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies examining the effects of psychological treatments on depression. He included 7 studies with over 700 subjects, and found that psychotherapy decreased depression symptoms in most subjects and may even have prevented the onset of a major depression. (Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica”; Psychological treatments of subthreshold depression: a meta-analytic review; Cuijpers P; Jun 2007.)