Why Evidence-Based Care Matters


What is Evidence-Based Care and Why is It Important?

People usually come to therapy because something isn’t working; there’s a problem that needs to be solved. Maybe you are feeling sad, disinterested in things you used to enjoy, or maybe anxiety feels like it’s taken over your life. Perhaps you can’t sleep or eat or you are sleeping or eating too much. You may feel stuck in a relationship or job and don’t know what to do next. The bottom line is that people who come to therapy are hurting in some way, and they need and deserve to feel better.

Lyra only works with providers who practice evidence-based therapies

We want people who are hurting to have the best chance of getting better, as quickly as possible. There are hundreds of therapies out there, but only a handful of those therapies have been rigorously tested in scientific studies and demonstrated to work. What does it mean for a psychological treatment to be rigorously tested? It means the treatment has been compared to another treatment in multiple randomized controlled trials (this just means clients were randomly assigned to receive one treatment or the other) and was shown to be superior in reducing distress and improving functioning in the workplace or relationships, or other aspects of life. Findings are then written up into a paper which is reviewed by numerous psychologists with expertise in that area, in a process known as peer review. If the paper passes the peer review process, it is then published in a scientific journal, where other psychologists can then learn about the treatment.

Using non-evidence-based therapies can be potentially problematic

There are a few therapies out there that have been demonstrated to do more psychological harm than good. Conversion therapy is a good example of a treatment that could harm a client and should be avoided. Second, most therapies, while not harmful, aren’t especially effective either. Staying in therapy for month after month or year after year with little or no progress, means staying stuck and continued suffering. At Lyra, we don’t want people to stay stuck. We want you to feel better as quickly as possible and get back to living a happy and productive life.

How to recognize an evidence-based therapy

O’Donohue, Buchanan, & Fisher (2000) surveyed the authors of various evidence-based therapies and asked them what these methods have in common. They found that the vast majority of evidence-based therapies:

  • Are short-term; the duration of therapy is usually no more than 20 sessions. Research shows that often people feel much better in a relatively short period of time. Our goal is to help you to get back on track quickly, so you can go back to enjoying your life.
  • Involve assessment at the start, throughout, and at the end of therapy. Why is that? Because we want to make sure that if you aren’t progressing well in therapy, we notice early on and change course, as needed.
  • Tend to emphasize building new skills, too. When people are stuck in life, it’s not because there is something wrong with the person, but just that they need to learn a new strategy for managing life’s challenges. Someone who is depressed and withdraws from friends and family, for example, may need to learn ways of re-engaging in life.
  • Usually involve homework, or assignments outside of session, To get the most out of therapy, people need to practice new skills in their day-to-day life. If you want to be a concert pianist, it isn’t enough to go to lessons. You have to spend hours practicing to become a virtuoso. The same is true for therapy. The more you practice skills outside of session, the more skillful you become and easier it is to use these skills.