Outcomes all equal? The Dodo Bird Debate lives on

| September 7, 2012

The dodo bird verdict says all treatment approach produce similar outcomesIt seems the jury is still out on the “Dodo Bird verdict” declaring that all treatment approaches work equally well (provided, of course, there are good therapists using them).

To see where the two sides in the debate stand, read this 2009 article by Siev, Huppert and Chambless in Behavior Therapist alongside Scott D. Miller’s subsequent response.

Siev, Huppert and Chambless acknowledge the growing popularity of the “common factors” proposition — which holds that successful outcomes have less to do with model-specific approaches than elements common to all effective therapy — as well as the evidence that appears to back it up. But they argue that it’s based on “fallacious reasoning” and that specific disorders do warrant specific treatments.

Miller shoots back with his own hard-hitting critique: “rather than seizing the opportunity they were given to educate clinicians and address the complex issues involved in questions surrounding evidence-based practice,” he says, “Siev [Huppert] and Chambless instead wrote to ‘shore up the faithful.’ ‘Do not doubt … science is on our side.'”

It’s an important debate for the future of psychotherapy, particularly since, as Miller notes, “there are forces at work in the United States and abroad that are currently working to limit the types of approaches clinicians can employ when working with clients.”

Stayed tuned for more developments in this ongoing saga.

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Category: Agencies, Scott Miller

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