One of the purposes of our clinic is to facilitate research on therapy, to help us gain a better understanding of what therapists do that makes the process go better or less well. Three kinds of studies are conducted here:
Occasionally, the methods used in a particular therapy case, or the progress made or problems encountered, are sufficiently noteworthy that it is useful to write a report of the case for a conference presentation or a publication in a psychology journal or book. For this reason, our consent form includes a permission to write and publish case reports (with all identifying information changed to protect client confidentiality).
Analyses of Routine Treatment
We ask all clients to complete a computer-administered symptom measure at each session, the Outcome Questionnaire. Other measures may be included also for specific people, depending on their problems or goals. Tracking changes on these measures helps us in conducting research on what distinguishes times of rapid progress vs. slow progress and similar questions about psychotherapy outcome.
No identifying information about any client is included in any report of any study conducted at the clinic.
Prospectively Designed Outcome Studies
Occasionally, clinical researchers from our staff recruit clients specifically for the purposes of conducting a treatment study. Past examples include studies of the effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy for (a) cigarette smokers and (b) African Americans with panic disorder.
Participants in such studies will complete study-specific consent forms and will receive explanations of what special procedures will be involved.