Over the past quarter century, psychiatry and other professions concerned with the treatment of mental illness have experienced an almost explosive proliferation of new therapeutic tools, techniques, and programs offered in the hope and belief that they will increase the effectiveness of the overall therapeutic effort. Some of these have been found wanting after relatively brief periods of utilization and have faded into oblivion, while others have attracted greater or lesser numbers of proponents and have achieved the status of standard components in the modern therapeutic repertory.
Unfortunately, whatever their fate, the evaluation of these new approaches has been, for the most part, largely impressionistic. The carefully controlled, research-oriented evaluation study which clearly delineates in a quantifiable, controlled, and statistically valid way the benefits accruing from their use has been rare indeed.
This state of affairs has been a source of major concern to that segment