234 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Do Your Research!

Based on research by Butler, Andrew C., Chapman, J. E., Forman, E. M., and Beck, Aaron T. (2006) written by Mara Rowcliffe, MS.

Is mental health treatment effective?

One of the main reasons why research is so important is to find out what works and what doesn’t! There are many controlled studies demonstrating certain types of psychological treatment are effective. Psychology researchers conducted a study of many controlled studies that examined treatment outcomes of psychotherapy known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. They looked at whether CBT was effective in treating various psychological disorders. Their results? When compared to multiple studies that used randomized control groups for each disorder, CBT was significantly better, with large effect sizes, in treating depression, general anxiety, panic disorder, social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and childhood depressive and anxiety disorders. CBT was also reported to be moderately effective in the treatment of marital distress, anger, and chronic pain.

If you see a therapist or are considering seeking therapy, ask them what type of treatment they provide. All psychotherapy practitioners do not use these scientifically based practices. If you seek treatment for any of these disorders, do your research! Ask about their specific treatment approach and its research basis.


Butler, A. C., Chapman, J. E., Forman, E. M., & Beck, A. T. (2006). The empirical status of cognitive-behavioral therapy: a review of meta-analyses. Clinical psychology review, 26(1), 17-31.

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