Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 175–180 | Cite as

Creativity Within the Structure: Clinical Expertise and Evidence-Based Treatments

  • Thomas L. SextonEmail author
  • Astrid E. van Dam
Original Paper


The emergence of EBT expanded the landscape of good psychotherapy to include clinically relevant science, specificity of clinical process based on comprehensive conceptual/theoretical principles, and the ability to systematically apply and adapt those principles within the complex relational context, in which all family therapy occurs. Yet, EBT has sparked a major debate in the field that is also represented in the discussion regarding clinical expertise. Many of the “either—or” discussions that surround EBT appear in the discussion of clinical expertise. The manuscripts in this issue also illustrate the diversity of perspective, lack of clarity, and even reluctance to integrate EBT and clinical expertise that exists in the field. In this paper we suggest that EBT provide a unique opportunity to bring together the best of clinical intervention science, professional knowledge, and clinical experience and translate them into the most effective systematic approach to helping clients. Using Functional Family Therapy (FFT) as an example, we illustrate how the EBT model provides the very scaffolding that allows for the emergence of clinical expertise.


Clinical expertise Family therapy Creativity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Adolescent and Family StudiesIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.FFT AssociatesBloomingtonUSA

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