The paper, published Thursday, was led by UVic’s social psychologist John Sakaluk (pictured) and University of Kansas clinical psychologist Alexander Williams and questions the ‘gold standard’ of treatments. (Provided by UVic)

UVic researcher questions effectiveness of ‘gold standard’ psychotherapies

Paper published Aug. 1 looked at treatments for conditions such as depression, insomnia and PTSD

A new paper out of the University of Victoria is calling into question some of the statistics that support psychotherapies that treat a wide range of conditions such as depression, insomnia, PTSD and borderline personality disorder.

The paper, published Aug. 1, was led by UVic’s social psychologist John Sakaluk and University of Kansas clinical psychologist Alexander Williams and questions the ‘gold standard’ of treatments.

A master list of 78 empirically supported treatments (ESTs) — maintained by the American Psychological Association’s Division 12, the arm of the association that develops guidelines — shows that all 78 ESTs have been clinically tested and are used by psychologists in Canada and the U.S. based on empirical measures of scientific success which inform everything from clinical training to research funding.

READ ALSO: UVic Properties charts ambitious course for off-campus holdings

According to Sakaluk, more than half of the ESTs fared poorly across their metrics.

“Increasing peer-reviewer attention to the metrics we evaluated would therefore complement the ongoing efforts of Division 12 to increase the quality of EST research and evaluation,” he stated in a press release.

Concerns are growing that many research findings in psychology cannot be replicated by independent research teams using the same or similar scientific procedures, which Sakaluk and Williams have dubbed the ‘replication crisis.’ They say there’s a need to re-evaluate existing systems that rely on the empirical measures examined in their study.

READ ALSO: Evicted UVic student questions Saanich’s housing bylaw

Over the last year, Sakaluk, Williams and their coauthors conducted a meta-scientific review of approximately 450 articles and re-analyzed more than 3,000 tests of the effectiveness of all 78 ESTs.

In the first study of its kind to encompass such a large sample, the researchers found that many of the earlier studies claiming the efficacy of ESTs contained ‘statistical typos,’ imprecise research designs and weak evidence that the therapies worked.

The paper, “Evaluating the evidential value of empirically supported psychological treatments (ESTs),” was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Speculation tax forces sale of Oak Bay’s ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

Three Vancouver Island fires, three failed smoke detectors

Fire chief urges residents to check smoke detectors following structure fires in Campbell River

Too many puppies! Victoria Humane Society needs foster care help

Pregnant cats, dogs and their litters are in need of foster care

VAUGHAN: Elections Canada grossly limiting free speech by limiting climate charities

Climate issues and confirmed science must have a seat at the table regardless of personal views

UPDATE: Father on trial for murder describes being ‘tackled’ and ‘stabbed’ in Oak Bay apartment

Oak Bay father takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Vancouver Island students won’t let names of the fallen be forgotten

Pair navigate maps and scour archives over three years to give nameplates to nameless deceased

Taking risks: Victoria theatre expert and author gains traction for his new model of tragedy

Edwin Wong releases Risk Theatre book, hosts successful global playwriting competition

$5-million lotto ticket sold in Nanaimo

Someone matched all six numbers in Wednesday’s 6/49 draw

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Man at centre of dropped HIV-disclosure case sues province and 10 cops

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford says Mission RCMP defamed him and were ‘negligent’ in their investigation

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Most Read