Volker Tschuschke, Aureliano Crameri, Margit Koemeda, Peter Schulthess, Agnes von Wyl, Reiner Weber: Fundamental reflections on psychotherapy research and initial results of the naturalistic psychotherapy study on outpatient treatment in Switzerland (PAP-S)

The paper deals with arguments of the current Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) debate regarding the subject of appropriate research strategies in psychotherapy. Several accounts within the EBM concept, particularly the RCT-paradigm, are being considered as fully inappropriate for psychotherapy research. This paper takes a clear stand in favour of naturalistic, process-outcome research approaches (practice-based evidence). Psychotherapy needs real patients in naturalistic therapy contexts and methodological rigor in order to detect principles of therapeutic changes. It is pointed out how precise process-outcome research can work: On the basis of the design of the PAP-S-Study, conducted by the Swiss Charter for Psychotherapy, it is being demonstrated by the data of two therapies that therapeutic progress might be subject to the similarity of the experienced quality of the therapeutic relationship on either side, patient and therapist.

Key-words: Psychotherapy research – research strategies – naturalistic psychotherapy study –  process-outcome research – outpatient treatment

Translated by Anna Mária Hansjürgens

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