by Comprehensive Staff
For too long, the treatment of mental illness has been more art than science. Excellent clinicians have used medications and various therapies to make a difference in the lives of their patients and their families. At the same time, many persons suffering from mental illness have had their suffering prolonged because the most effective therapy models have not been made available to them. Many practitioners have been content to do what they do because that is what they have always done rather than basing practice on what the evidence (research, outcome studies, etc.) tell us. We can’t keep doing that.
The mental health field has had an abysmally long research to practice interval. Some have estimated that it takes as long as 17 years for a researched intervention to reach actual implementation in the field. There is a great deal of evidence about what works and using what works promises great things. In addition to substantially better outcomes, evidence-based practice often means shorter treatment episodes and quicker return to recovery (work, school, etc.). In my mind it is a no brainer to adopt such practices.
Unfortunately, many practitioners continue to do what they have always done. It is not that those approaches are necessarily harmful. They just aren’t the best approaches available. The rationale offered is often cost of training or an argument that the patients served by a practitioner are somehow different from everyone else. Those arguments simply don’t hold. Who, when faced with a cancer diagnosis, would want a 1970s treatment when the 2020 treatment was available?
At Comprehensive Healthcare we have made a commitment to the adoption of evidence-based practice. In every case where such evidence is available we adopt the best practice. We have implemented many, many such practices to ensure that we have a good toolkit from which to address the needs of our patients. We seek out the best evidence and adopt those practices. We hold ourselves to high standards by measuring the fidelity of our practice to the high standards we hold ourselves to. Often this involves collaboration with universities and other accrediting bodies to give us confidence that we are doing what we know to be right. We owe our patients nothing less.