EMPIRICALLY SUPPORTED THERAPY RELATIONSHIPS: RESULTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE APA DIVISION OF PSYCHOTHERAPY'S TASK FORCE
 
Norcross, J.C., University of Scranton, Resnick, R.J., Macon University, USA
 
The ethical and professional commitment to conduct evidence-based psychotherapy is widely, if not universally, accepted among mental health professionals. In principle, we are all committed to identifying, practicing, and promulgating those psychosocial treatments that "work". Virtually all of the extant efforts have promulgated empirically supported treatments (ESTs) or practice guidelines based on manualized psychological interventions for specific DSM disorders. These lists and guidelines frequently strike practitioners as inapplicable and researchers as incomplete. Missing are the centrality of the therapy relationship, the causal impact of the person of the therapist, and matching the relationship to the patient's nondiagnostic characteristics. Within this context, an APA Division of Psychotherapy Task Force was commissioned to identify, operationalize, and disseminate information on empirically supported (therapy) relationships (ESRs). Specifically, the dual objectives of the Division 29 Task were to identify elements of effective therapy relationships and to determine efficacious methods to customize therapy to the individual patient. This poster summarizes the results and recommendations of the four- year work of the Task Force. The relationship elements are categorized on the basis of empirical evidence into demonstrably effective, promising and probably effective, or insufficient research to judge for both General Elements of the Therapy Relationship as well as Means of Customizing the Therapy Relationship to Individual Patients. The 19 recommendations are divided into general, practice, research, training, and policy recommendations