Best Evidence-based Psychotherapies

Best Evidence-Based Psychotherapies

World of Psychotherapies

Well over 140 psychotherapies are listed on Wikipedia. A lot many of them are new and have not garnered enough evidence to justify their use by evidence-based therapy practitioners. We discuss here the therapies that are supported by evidence to justify them being recommended by APS in Australia.

Evidence-pool of Psychotherapies

Not all psychotherapies are scientifically supported by evidence. Additionally, the older and established therapies have been systematised and psychologists developed a code of ethics, professional associations, training programs around it.  The newer ones are still being researched for effectiveness and have limited number of practitioners vouching for their effectiveness.

Therapies are being continuously developed and their list is increasing as time passes by. To ensure rigorousness of treatments and their outcomes, National Health Agencies are funding studies to ensure psychologists only use evidence supported therapies in treating their clients.

In Australia, Australian Psychological Society has produced a listing of evidence supported therapies through a literature review with funding from Australian Governments Department of Health. They selected the following therapies  based on directions from the government and identification of interventions with a large or increasing evidence base:

  1. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
  2. Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT)
  3. Narrative therapy
  4. Family therapy and family-based interventions
  5. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
  6. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  7. Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT)
  8. Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)
  9. Schema-focused therapy
  10. Psychodynamic psychotherapy
  11. Emotion-focused therapy
  12. Hypnotherapy
  13. Self-help
  14. Psychoeducation

Some of these therapies have already been discussed on our website and on our YouTube and Facebook Account. For others, we are still working on developing informative articles and videos.

The detailed study came of with extensive recommendations about the effectiveness of these therapies in different mental health disorders. Based on those recommendations we developed a number of infographics for each cluster of mental health disorders.

These infographics are reproduced below.

CBT has great effectiveness in treating all kinds of Anxiety Disorders whether they be phobias, social anxiety, OCD, PTSD. Self-help and psycho-education are also effective in many disorders as the infographic below for Anxiety Disorder illustrates.

For depression we find that CBT, IPT, Psycho-dynamic, Self-help, DBT, SFBT, Psycho-education are highly effective. CBT, IPT, Family Therapy, MBCT and Psycho-education are somewhat effective for Bipolar Disorder which needs concomitant treatment with mood stabilisers.

We also find CBT to be very effective in case of Substance Use Disorders, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating. It is somewhat effective for Anorexia cases. Family therapy and psychodynamic therapy are more effective for Anorexia. DBT and self-help have been found to be effective for Bulimia and Binge Eating. IPT can help in Bulimia as it can in substance use disorders. Psychodynamic therapy is also somewhat effective in Substance Use disorders. Therapies that work quite well in substance use disorders are DBT, SFBT and Self-help.

CBT is highly effective for Psychotic Disorders and effective for Attention Deficit Disorders. It is somewhat effective for Dissociative Disorders. Family therapy is useful in Psychotic Disorders. MBCT and DBT are beneficial for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity.

CBT proves to be very useful in all Somatoform disorders except for Borderline Personality Disorder. A few other therapies such as DBT, Self-help, psychoeducation, schema-focussed and psychodynamic  are also useful in many Somatoform disorders.

CBT, Self-help and MBCT can help when patients present with Sleep Disorders. When they are experiencing sexual disorders, the psychotherapists can choose between CBT, IPT and Self-help. In Adjustment Disorders, therapists would choose between CBT and MBCT.

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