[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 1976

Contemporary Views of Negative Effects in PsychotherapyAn Integrated Account

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976;33(11):1291-1302. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770110019001

• As part of a larger investigation into negative effects in psychotherapy, we conducted a survey of researchers and practitioners in psychotherapy. We now present an integrated account of the consensus of these experts on the following issues: (1) Is there a problem of negative effects? (2) What constitutes a negative effect? (3) What factors are prominently associated with negative effects? There was an overwhelming affirmation of the reality of negative effects among the respondents. Furthermore, they urged that negative effects be subjected to systematic research scrutiny, a strategy made more feasible by the identifying criteria and possible causative factors cited by these experts. It is suggested that there is need for research into therapeutic actions and psychotherapy outcomes in general, with special reference to negative effects.