We live in a world today where professionals compete to be the best in their fields, constantly. They want to produce the best product. This is just as true in healthcare.
Healthcare professionals are always trying to think of the best way to treat the patient. We see a lot of research supporting many medical treatments, but this is not the same for mental healthcare.
So let me introduce you to the way of the future, Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) or sometimes known as Evidence-Supported treatments (EST). These types of treatments have successfully integrated three things, extensive research and evidence, clinical expertise, and client preferences. This means that the treatments have been tested in a laboratory setting for years before being used on people in the real world, in a real clinical setting.
It seems pretty logical that the best treatments are the one’s that have been tested first before being used on the general population. I mean that is how they test makeup, medical drugs, and vaccinations. EBPs are even starting to find their way into nursing and education.
So why haven’t professionals moved to this system with treatments for mental illness?
Well, the short answer is they are working on it.
The process from formation of the research question to applying the treatment to the general population takes about 17 years. Humans and their minds are very complex and trying to fit the complexity with a treatment can be a tall task.
However, do not be too discouraged. Psychology has already produced a few ESTs. Some of these treatments are used to help with depression, anxiety, bipolar, and many other disorders.
As science progresses, evidence-based practices will gain more footing. As we see more success with the EBPs already implemented, we will see more professionals wanting to use them.
Photo: Aran Balogh|freeimages.com