Psychiatric Clinics of North America

Where Is the Evidence for “Evidence-Based” Therapy?

Jonathan Shedler
PsychotherapyResearchExpert opinionEnglish
Journal Article - Paid access


The term evidence-based therapy is a de facto code word for manualized therapy, most often brief cognitive behavior therapy and its variants. It is widely asserted that "evidence-based" therapy is scientifically proven, superior to other forms of psychotherapy, and the gold standard of care. Research findings do not support such assertions. Research on evidence-based therapies demonstrates that they are weak treatments. They have not shown superiority to other forms of psychotherapy, few patients get well, and treatment benefits do not last. Questionable research practices create a distorted picture of the actual benefits of these therapies.

APA citation

Shedler, J. (2018). Where Is the Evidence for “Evidence-Based” Therapy?. Psychiatric Clinics Of North America, 41, 319-329, .