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October 10, 2017

Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy the Gold Standard for Psychotherapy?The Need for Plurality in Treatment and Research

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Giessen, Department of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, Giessen, Germany
  • 2MSB Medical School Berlin, Department of Psychology, Berlin, Germany
JAMA. 2017;318(14):1323-1324. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.13737

Mental disorders are common and associated with severe impairments and high societal costs, thus representing a significant public health concern. About 75% of patients prefer psychotherapy over medication.1 For psychotherapy of mental disorders, several approaches are available such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, or psychodynamic therapy. Pointing to the available evidence, CBT is usually considered the gold standard for the psychotherapeutic treatment of many or even most mental disorders.2,3 For example, the American Psychological Association’s Division 12 Task Force on Psychological Interventions currently lists CBT as the only treatment with “strong research support” in almost 80% of all mental disorders included in its listing.2

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