What Are Evidence Based Practices?

Evidence based practices are practices which have consistently demonstrated positive outcomes in multiple research studies. In the mental health field, evidence based practices are specific clinical interventions or services that produce benefits to recipients and their quality of life (e.g., employment, reduced hospitalization, etc.), as established by several scientific studies.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Mental Health Services (SAMSHA) continues to identify treatments that are considered "evidence based practices" due to consistent research findings that they help recipients recover. A list of practices can be found on SAMSHA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices website at http://www.samhsa.gov/

Examples of Evidence Based Practices Implemented in B&D Services Include:

Motivational interviewing is a counseling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change their behavior. It is a practical, empathetic, and short-term process that takes into consideration how difficult it is to make life changes.

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based treatment model designed to assist children, adolescents, and their families in overcoming the negative effects of a traumatic experience.

The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is a 10- to 14-week parenting and family skills training program for high-risk and general population families. It is unique because the whole family attends and practice new relationship skills together in family groups. It can also be given to families to view at home.

Contingency management (CM) is most-widely used in the field of substance abuse, often implemented as part of clinical behavior analysis. CM refers to the application of the three-term contingency (or operant conditioning), which uses stimulus control and positive reinforcement to change behavior.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a short-term therapy technique that can help people find new ways to behave by changing their thought patterns. It focuses on their present-day challenges, thoughts, and behaviors.

Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) is a curriculum that a specially trained mental health practitioner or specially trained consumer specialist uses to help people to develop personal strategies for coping with mental illness and moving forward with their life.