Evidence-Based Practice With Couples and Families

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values. In recent years, an expanded definition has included consideration of the environmental and organizational context as well. In essence, when a family therapist uses EBP, she or he uses research findings to guide treatment decisions. EBP is about using research, not clinicians collecting data themselves. Attempts to bridge research and the practice of marital, couples, and family therapy have historically generated controversy and passionate debate. Family therapists have questioned the usefulness of research that focuses on individual therapy for treating mental health disorders, which ignores the complexity of interacting relational systems (e.g., couple or marital, parent–child, intergenerational, and larger system relationships) and families coping with multiple problems. The populations ...

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