The role of therapist training in the implementation of psychosocial treatments: a review and critique with recommendations

Clin Psychol Rev. 2010 Jun;30(4):448-66. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2010.02.005. Epub 2010 Mar 1.


Evidence-based treatments (EBT) are underutilized in community settings, where consumers are often seen for treatment. Underutilization of EBTs may be related to a lack of empirically informed and supported training strategies. The goals of this review are to understand the state of the literature for training therapists in psychotherapy skills and to offer recommendations to improve research in this area. Results of this review of 55 studies evaluating six training methods indicate that multi-component trainings have been studied most often and have most consistently demonstrated positive training outcomes relative to other training methods. Studies evaluating utility of reading, self-directed trainings, and workshops have documented that these methods do not routinely produce positive outcomes. Workshop follow-ups help to sustain outcomes. Little is known about the impact of train-the-trainer methods. Methodological flaws and factors that may influence training outcome and future directions are also reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Community Mental Health Services*
  • Education, Professional, Retraining*
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychotherapy / education*