Misconceptions and Facts

  • Rosalyn BertramEmail author
  • Suzanne Kerns


The scientific method is being ignored or minimized when proven facts seem confusing or uncomfortable. Myths and misconceptions are passionately asserted to challenge science when findings suggest a new and necessary path that may disrupt accustomed practice and belief. In this through the looking glass historical moment, opinion, or faith are often asserted as alternatives to avert inconvenient truths. In this chapter, we present facts that address the myths and misconceptions that fuel inaccurate opinions and beliefs about evidence-based practice. While some have lost their valence, others continue to this day and shape the thinking of academic faculty and behavioral health care or social service program administrators, managers, supervisors, and practitioners.


Comorbidity Evidence-based practice Misconceptions Myths 


  1. Aarons, G. A., & Sawitzky, A. C. (2006). Organizational culture and climate and mental health provider attitudes toward evidence-based practice. Psychological Services, 3(1), 61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aarons, G. A., Sommerfeld, D., Hecht, D., Silovsky, J., & Chaffin, M. (2009). The impact of evidence-based practice implementation and fidelity monitoring on staff turnover: Evidence for a protective effect. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77(2), 270–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Addis, M., Wade, W. A., & Hatgis, C. (1999). Barriers to dissemination of evidence-based practices: Addressing practitioners’ concerns about manual-based psychotherapies. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 6, 430–441.Google Scholar
  4. Alexander, J., Barton, C., Gordon, D., Grotpeter, J., Hansson, K., Harrison, R., et al. (1998). Blueprints for violence prevention, book three: Functional family therapy. Boulder: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.Google Scholar
  5. American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Evidence Based-Practice. (2006). Evidence-based practice in psychology. American Psychologist, 61(4), 271–285.Google Scholar
  6. Ardito, R. B., & Rabellino, D. (2011). Therapeutic alliance and outcome of psychotherapy: Historical excursus, measurements, and prospects for research. Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barth, R. P., Lee, B. R., Lindsey, M. A., Collins, K. S., Strieder, F., Chorpita, B. F., et al. (2012). Evidence-based practice at a crossroads: The timely emergence of common elements and common factors. Research on Social Work Practice, 22(1), 108–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bertram, R. M., Charnin, L. A., Kerns, S. E. U., & Long, A. C. (2015). Evidence-based practices in North American MSW curricula. Research on Social Work Practice, 25(6), 737–748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bertram, R. M., Schaffer, P., & Charnin, L. (2014). Changing organization culture: Data driven participatory evaluation and revision of wraparound implementation. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 11, 18–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bruns, E. J. (2008). The evidence base and wraparound. In E. J. Bruns & J. S. Walker (Eds.), The resource guide to wraparound. Portland: National Wraparound Initiative, Research and Training Center for Family Support and Children’s Mental Health.Google Scholar
  11. Bruns, E. J., Pullmann, M. D., Sather, A., Brinson, R. D., & Ramey, M. (2015). Effectiveness of wraparound versus case management for children and adolescents: Results of a randomized study. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 42(3), 309–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chambless, D. L., & Ollendick, T. H. (2001). Empirically supported psychological interventions: Controversies and evidence. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 685–716.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cohen, J. A., Mannarino, A. P., & Deblinger, E. (2006). Treating trauma and traumatic grief in children and adolescents. Guilford Publications.Google Scholar
  14. Dopp, A. R., Coen, A. S., Smith, A. B., Reno, J., Bernstein, D. H., Kerns, S. E. U., et al. (2018). Economic impact of the statewide implementation of an evidence-based treatment: Multisystemic therapy in New Mexico. Behavior Therapy, 49(4), 551–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Duncan, B. L., Miller, S. D., Wampold, B. E., & Hubble, M. A. (2010). The heart and soul of change: Delivering what works (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gambrill, E. (1999). Evidence-based practice: An alternative to authority-based practice. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services, 80, 341–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gambrill, E. (2010). Evidence-informed practice: Antidote to propaganda in the helping profession. Research on Social Work Practice, 20, 302–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gambrill, E. (2018). Contributions of the process of evidence-based practice to implementation: Educational opportunities. Journal of Social Work Education, 54(sup1), S113–S125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gitterman, A., & Knight, C. (2013). Evidence-guided practice: Integrating the science and art of social work. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 94, 70–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Henggeler, S. W., Rowland, M. D., Randall, J., Ward, D. M., Pickrel, S. G., Cunningham, P. B., … & Santos, A. B. (1999). Home-based multisystemic therapy as an alternative to the hospitalization of youths in psychiatric crisis: Clinical outcomes. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry38(11), 1331–1339.Google Scholar
  21. Henggeler, S. W., Schoenwald, S. K., Borduin, C. M., Rowland, M. D., & Cunningham, P. B. (2009). Multisystemic therapy for anti-social behavior in children and adolescents (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  22. Huey, S. J., Jr., & Polo, A. J. (2008). Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for ethnic minority youth. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 37(1), 262–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Institute of Medicine. (2001). Crossing the quality chasm: A new healthy system for the 21st century. Washington, DC: National Academic Press.Google Scholar
  24. Letourneau, E. J., Henggeler, S. W., Borduin, C. M., Schewe, P. A., McCart, M. R., Chapman, J. E., et al. (2009). Multisystemic therapy for juvenile sexual offenders: 1-year results from a randomized effectiveness trial. Journal of Family Psychology, 23, 89–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Linehan, M. M., Cochran, B. N., & Kehrer, C. A. (2001). Dialectical behavior therapy for borderline personality disorder. In D. H. Barlow (Ed.), Clinical handbook of psychological disorders: A step-by-step treatment manual (3rd ed., pp. 470–522). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  26. Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (2012). Motivational interviewing: Helping people change. Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  27. Nowak, C., & Heinrichs, N. (2008). A comprehensive meta-analysis of Triple P-Positive Parenting Program using hierarchical linear modeling: Effectiveness and moderating variables. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 11(3), 114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sparks, J. A., & Muro, M. L. (2009). Client-directed wraparound: The client as connector in community collaboration. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 28, 63–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Straus, S. E., & McAlister, F. A. (2000). Evidence-based medicine: A commentary on common criticisms. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 163(7), 837–841.Google Scholar
  30. Suter, J. C., & Bruns, E. J. (2008). A narrative review of wraparound outcome studies. Resource guide to wraparound. Portland, OR: National Wraparound Initiative, Research and Training Center for Family Support and Children’s Mental Health.Google Scholar
  31. Swenson, C. C., Schaeffer, C. M., Henggeler, S. W., Faldowski, R., & Mayhew, A. M. (2010). Multisystemic therapy for child abuse and neglect: A randomized effectiveness trial. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 497–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Trupin, E. J., Kerns, S. E. U., Walker, S. C., DeRobertis, M. T., & Stewart, D. G. (2011). Family integrated transitions: A promising program for juvenile offenders with co-occurring disorders. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 20(5), 421–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wampold, B. (2001). The great psychotherapy debate. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  34. Wampold, B. E., & Bhati, K. S. (2004). Attending to the omissions: A historical examination of evidence-based practice movements. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 35, 563–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Webb, S. A. (2001). Some considerations on the validity of evidence-based practice in social work. British Journal of Social Work, 31(1), 57–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professor, School of Social WorkUniversity of Missouri–Kansas CityKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Research Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social WorkUniversity of DenverDenverUSA

Personalised recommendations