Efficacy of Psychotherapy: Asking the Right Questions

Stanley I. Greenspan, Steven S. Sharfstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Economic pressures and “value” judgments both compel and contaminate the current debate on the efficacy of psychotherapy. Too often, complex clinical trial outcome studies ignore the clinical or treatment process, as well as personality or contextual variables. Thus, they fail to build the foundations of a clinical science that makes possible the development of individually tailored treatment approaches and outcome predictions for specific patients with unique personalities, symptoms, and life circumstances. The real challenge, therefore, is for each psychotherapeutic approach to delineate its “process steps” and relate these steps to different outcomes. The “process” is the “final common pathway” for a number of patient, therapist, technique, and contextual variables. The capacity to predict the relationship between process and outcome at each stage in a therapeutic procedure is the relevant clinical test of “efficacy”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1213-1219
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of General Psychiatry
Volume38
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

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Psychotherapy
Personality
Economics
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Clinical Trials
Pressure
Therapeutics
Efficacy
Contextual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Efficacy of Psychotherapy : Asking the Right Questions. / Greenspan, Stanley I.; Sharfstein, Steven S.

In: Archives of General Psychiatry, Vol. 38, No. 11, 1981, p. 1213-1219.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Greenspan, Stanley I. ; Sharfstein, Steven S. / Efficacy of Psychotherapy : Asking the Right Questions. In: Archives of General Psychiatry. 1981 ; Vol. 38, No. 11. pp. 1213-1219.
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