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Evidence-Based Practice Statement

  1. PACFA recognises that the strength of evidence for the effectiveness of any specific counselling and psychotherapy intervention or approach is a function of the number, independence and quality of available effectiveness studies.  PACFA further recognises that the quality of studies is a function of study design, measurements used and the ecological validity (i.e. its approximation to real-life conditions) of the research.
  2. PACFA acknowledges that the absence of evidence for a counselling or psychotherapy intervention does not mean that it is ineffective or inappropriate. Rather, the scientific evidence showing equivalence of effect for different counselling and psychotherapy interventions justifies a starting point assumption of effectiveness.  However, Member Associations that teach or advocate interventions with a weaker evidence-base should be actively engaging in a process designed to develop an evidence-base for effectiveness.
  3. PACFA endorses the American Psychological Association’s definition of evidence-based practice as ‘the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture, and preferences’.
  4. PACFA recognises the need to improve the evidence-base for the effectiveness of various therapeutic approaches.
  5. PACFA is committed to supporting our Member Associations and Registrants to develop research protocols that will help the profession to build the evidence-base to support the known effectiveness of counselling and psychotherapy.
  6. PACFA asks Member Associations to encourage their members to use standardised measures of counselling and psychotherapy to ensure that they receive systematic feedback on the effectiveness of their services.

Download PACFA Evidence-Based Practice Statement