Empirically grounded clinical interventions: Cognitive-behavioural therapy progresses through a multi-dimensional approach to clinical science
The current emphasis on Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) is both welcome as a bid to improve the empirical foundations of clinical practice and a cause for concern because it has the potential to distort the scientific approach that has underpinned the development of cognitive-behavioural approaches. It is suggested here that EBM needs to be seen in context; that is, as an approach that almost exclusively focuses on just one of the dimensions that have been and are crucial to the further development of Cognitive-Behavioural Treatments (CBT). EBM is particularly well suited to the development of Biological approaches to treatment, where treatments (and treatment development) are largely atheoretical. However, different considerations apply to CBT, where validated theory and linked research studies are key factors. It is suggested that relationship to evidence in CBT is best conceptualized in terms of Empirically Grounded Clinical Interventions. The parameters of such an approach are considered in relation to the Scientist Practitioner model that is prevalent in the field.