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Psychol Bull. 2004 Jul;130(4):669-73; author reply 677-83.

On the need for a new psychotherapy research paradigm: comment on Westen, Novotny, and Thompson-Brenner (2004).

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA. marvin.goldfried@sunysb.edu


Basic, process, and outcome research have the potential to inform clinical practice. However, as D. Westen, C. M. Novotny, and H. Thompson-Brenner observed in their timely analysis, the current dominant paradigm for psychotherapy outcome research--the randomized clinical trial--is not fulfilling this potential. The field's reliance on the medical model and manual-based interventions has contributed to the gap between research and clinical practice. Greater collaboration between practitioners and researchers, a focus on therapeutic principles rather than treatment packages, and systemic changes in how scholarly efforts are reinforced are needed to shift the current research paradigm.

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