Enhancing Evidence Based Practice Implementation: Defining, Training and Evaluating Therapist Competence at Treating Youth Psychiatric Disorders
Elizabeth S. Sburlati, Carolyn A. Schniering and Heidi J. Lyneham
Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW, 2109, Australia.
While policy makers demand that mental health care professionals implement empirically supported treatments (ESTs) for youth psychiatric disorders, research indicates that mental health care professionals do not possess the required competence for the implementation of these ESTs, due to less than optimal EST training. This paper discusses the need for: 1) the clear articulation of therapist competencies required for the effective treatment of youth psychiatric disorders, 2) the development of effective training aimed at instilling these competencies in mental health care professionals, and 3) accurate, reliable, and cost efficient assessment of therapist competencies. Current initiatives and future directions related to the definition, training and assessment of therapist competencies for the treatment of clinical disorders in youth are discussed in this paper.
Keywords: Competencies, training, dissemination, implementation, children and adolescents, mental health care, youth psychiatric disorders, ESTs, therapist competencies, cost efficient assessment
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