by Michael D. Anestis, M.S.
Last night, Marvin Goldfried, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at SUNY Stony Brook and the president of the Society of Clinical Psychology (APA Division 12), sent an interesting email through the listserv for the Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies (ABCT). I contacted him and asked his permission to re-post his email on PBB and he complied. What follows is the text of Dr.Goldfried's message.
In its desire to build a two-way bridge between research and practice, the Society of Clinical Psychology, Division 12 of APA, invites practicing therapists to complete the brief survey described below.
Once a drug has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) as a result of clinical trials, practitioners have the opportunity to offer feedback to the FDA on any shortcomings in the use of the drug in clinical practice. The Society of Clinical Psychology, Division 12 of the American Psychological Association, is in the process of establishing a mechanism whereby practicing psychotherapists can report their clinical experiences using empirically supported treatments (ESTs).
This is not only an opportunity for clinicians to share their experiences with other therapists, but also can offer information that can encourage researchers to investigate ways of overcoming these limitations. We are starting with the treatment of panic disorder, but will extend our efforts to the treatment of other problems at a later time.
Our Web site provides the opportunity for therapists using cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) in treating panic to share their clinical experiences about those variables they have found to limit the successful reduction of symptomotology. Although research is underway to determine if other therapies can successfully treat panic, CBT is the only approach at present that is an EST. However, in order for the field to move from an EST to an evidence-based treatment that works well in practice settings, we need to know more about the clinical experience of therapists who make use of these interventions in actual clinical practice. By identifying the obstacles to successful treatment, we can then take steps to overcome these shortcomings.
Your responses, which will be anonymous, will be tallied with those of other therapists and posted on the Division 12 Web site at a later time. The results of the feedback we receive from clinicians will be provided to researchers, in the hope they can investigate ways of overcoming these obstacles.
The survey, which should take 10 minutes, can be found at: www.div12.org/panic
I believe this is an absolutely fantastic enterprise on the part of Division 12. On the one hand, I believe that the development, dissemination, and implementation of therapeutic techniques should be based wholly upon what we learn from data (including effectiveness trials - those that test therapies in "real world" settings), but at the same time, I think that the entire process will be smoother if it is a dialogue that incorporates and listens to the concerns of clinicians. There is no reason for there to be a gap between research and practice and efforts like this seem like an excellent way to develop a more civil back-and-forth amongst members of both sides of the equation. Studies have shown that ESTs for anxiety disorders produce strong results in "real world" clinical practice (click here for our coverage of this topic), but the more information being shared, the better everyone will understand this process.
If any readers take part in this survey, we would love to hear your thoughts on this issue.
If you would like to learn more about CBT for panic disorder, we recommend the following items, which are available through our online store for scientifically-based psychological resources:
- Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic: Workbook by David Barlow and Michelle Craske