A Survey of Clinical Psychologists’ Attitudes Toward Treatment Manuals

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Treatment manuals have been strongly approved and strongly criticized. They are central instruments in the dissemination of evidence-based practice. A total of 815 Norwegian clinical psychologists were surveyed about their attitudes toward treatment manuals (ATMs) combined with therapeutic orientations, therapeutic strategies, and demographic factors. Although most of the participants found treatment manuals somewhat useful, they very rarely used them. Clinicians who used experiences from their personal therapy experiences or had a psychoanalytic or humanistic orientation were more negative toward treatment manuals. Therapists with a cognitive–behavioral orientation or therapists who used psychotherapy literature and self-help material to increase their therapeutic knowledge were more likely to have positive ATMs. These findings have implications for how ATMs can be modified and possibly used for bridging the gap between research and practice.

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