Two Babies in Two Bathtubs -- Don't Throw Out Either, But Rather Advance Both: Discussion of Edwards, Eells, and Messer Papers
Keywords:case studies, randomized clinical trial (RCTs), generalization from research, politics of research
AbstractThis article discusses three contributions by Edwards, Eells, and Messer to an article series on "seeking an equal place at the therapy research table" for the pragmatic case study method represented in this PCSP journal. The discussion focuses on a single but complex theme that these three authors as a group directly address. This theme is the importance of recognizing that both randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and case studies are methods that have both strengths and limitations with regards to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of psychotherapy, and that actually these strengths and limitations are complementary. In reaching our ultimate goal "improving the future practice of therapy with individual clients," we thus need both RCTs and case studies. Subsequently, one of the challenges for the psychotherapy research field is to establish a constructive, working relationship between these two paradigms.
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