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Evaluation of outcome in psychotherapy

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Historical overview

Hoche (1910) had observed that therapists were cultists rather than scientists, peddling their approaches on the basis of questionable assumptions [citation needed].

It was not until the late 40's that clinicians such as Carl Rogers and J. McV. Hunt trained both in psychotherapy and the scientific method began to report the first controlled studies.

Until the 1970s the efficacy of psychotherapy approaches was largely assumed and untested, attested too by subjective report of therapists rather than through objective measures by independent observers. Early studies that were conducted were badly designed, lacking controls groups etc.


  • Zubin, J. (1953).Evaluation of thearapeutic outcome in mental disorders. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 117, 95-111.

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