Empirically Supported Treatments: Precept or Percept?

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Abstract

The movement to create and certify empirically supported treatments (ESTs) has sparked controversy since its inception with the American Psychological Association (APA) Task Force on Psychological Intervention Guidelines (1995). The APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2002) remains neutral on this topic, leaving room for interpretation for practitioners, researchers, and policymakers. However, increasing enmeshment of ESTs into the profession, including guild guidelines for accreditation and training, points to a need to consider potential ethical implications of ESTs. Accordingly, the current work considers ESTs and relevant principles and standards of the Ethics Code, before discussing the issue from the stance of an ethical decision model. Implications for research and training are also considered.

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