Practicing psychologists' knowledge of general psychotherapy research findings: Implications for science-practice relations

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If you are a therapist, how knowledgeable are you and how knowledgeable do you need to be about psychotherapy research findings? In this study, the authors examined practicing psychologists' knowledge of general psychotherapy research findings. Results revealed that some psychologists showed excellent familiarity with this body of outcome research, but many did not achieve this standard. Not infrequently, psychologists believed that research findings were less positive than is actually the case, perhaps explaining some of the negativity that practitioners sometimes express toward psychotherapy research. Research knowledge could not be predicted by years graduated, percentage of long-term clients, percentage of time conducting therapy, theoretical orientation, or perceived familiarity with research. The modest familiarity with research findings that therapists, in general, demonstrated may be understood, in part, through examination of the acquisition of research knowledge as a judgment task. The authors explore potential factors that may influence therapists' judgments about the research. In addition, they examine possible relations between research knowledge and therapy outcome and their potential practice implications. © 2006 APA, all rights reserved.

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Professional Psychology: Research and Practice