Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice

Thinking without knowing – Child psychoanalytic psychotherapy in the UK and evidence‐based practice

Journal Article


Background  Child psychoanalytic psychotherapy has been criticized for its reluctance to embrace evidence‐based practice. This study aims to explore the historical narrative of a sample of child psychoanalytic psychotherapists about progress in developing the evidence base.

Methods  Fourteen psychotherapists were interviewed and the transcripts analysed for common themes about evidence‐based practice.

Results  Child psychoanalytic psychotherapists were generally positive about developing evidence‐based practice but had reservations about the narrowness of hierarchies used by commissioners to assess evidence.

Conclusion  The child psychoanalytical psychotherapists interviewed for this study recognized the need to promote evidence‐based practice, in particular, to inform commissioners of Child Mental Health Services.

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