It is a proven fact that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is evidence-based. This simply means that it has been clinically proven to work for a variety of mental health conditions. However, there are still many who could benefit from this treatment that do not receive it.
Because of this, efforts have been increased in disseminating CBT evidence-based protocols to implement CBT, highlighting the importance of flexibility within fidelity. CBT therapists are constantly engaged in activities that update their skills, knowledge, and techniques to be able to deal with the constantly evolving changes.
What is Evidence-Based CBT Protocols?
Evidence-based CBT protocols are the clinical recommendations supported by the best available evidence in the clinical literature or you can check out the list of evidence-based protocols offered by Dr. Tomassetti. There are seemingly a hundred ways to do CBT but there are several cases that clinicians have strong evidence that reveals the best ways to do it.
Evidence for CBT Compiled by the Government
The ideas and procedures for best practices used in CBT come from the evidence in research and clinical studies. These are then applied by therapists on a personal basis to individuals who need CBT therapy. Here are some of the best available evidence that supports CBT:
The Center for Deployment Psychology
This organization trains military and civilian behavioral health professionals to provide high-quality, culturally-sensitive, evidence-based behavioral health services to military personnel, Veterans, and their families.
They offer instruction in a variety of evidence-based CBT treatments such as:
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) has been found effective for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and other symptoms that appear after a traumatic event.
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) has been found effective for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and other corollary symptoms following traumatic events.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is an effective treatment for a wide range of insomnias. The treatment includes assessment, behavioral and cognitive interventions, motivational techniques, and relapse prevention skills.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression (CBT-D) is an effective and first-line treatment for depression in the VA/DoD Clinical Guideline for Management of Depressive Disorder (2009).
The aim of this approach is to help patients change unhelpful patterns of thinking and behavior in order to resolve current issues.
- Cognitive Therapy for Suicidal Patients (CT-SP) has proven efficacy for the treatment of suicide ideation and behaviors. The treatment involves crisis intervention, behavioral and cognitive interventions, problem-solving skills, and relapse prevention exercises.
Throughout the years, several meta-analysis have found solid evidence for the effectiveness of CBT, according to Positive Psychology. They are typically, but not necessarily based on randomized, controlled clinical trials. The following are examples of these systematic assessments of previous research on CBT.
- CBT in treating anxiety (Carpenter et al., 2018)
- CBT in treating depression (in all treatment delivery formats; Cuijipers, Noma, Karyotaki, Cipriani, and Furukawa, 2019)
- CBT in treating psychosis (Hazell, Hayward, Cavanagh, and Strauss, 2016)
- CBT in treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD; Harrison, de la Crus, Enander, Radua, and Mataix-Cols, 2016)
- CBT in treating eating disorders (Linardon, Wade, de la Piedad Garcia, and Brennan, 2017)
Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behavior Therapy (ICBT)
Positive Psychology further reported that Vigerland et al in 2016 found that ICBT can be effective in treating children and adolescents with anxiety and depressive symptoms. ICBT provided a way to make the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy as evidenced-based treatment for a lot of disorders available to as many who need it.
In fact, a decade of a study conducted on the efficacy and effectiveness of online cognitive behavioral therapy treatment found out that the treatment adherence of online CBT is 82%. This means that 82% of the clients followed the treatment plan.
Government Evidence for CBT in the UK
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the UK continuously recommends CBT for many issues. The Department of Health in the UK has also produced information supportive of CBT as an effective type of psychotherapy.
Effectiveness of CBT Based on Evidence
Anyone who would undergo treatment would like to know how effective the treatment would be. That is part of laying their life on the line. The most important question asked is, “Does it actually work?”
CBT evidence-based protocols applied by CBT therapists and psychologists alike have become stronger as more and more research leads to embracing this approach to make the lives of people better.