Volume 19, Issue 1

Series on Upgrading Methodology in Clinical Psychology. Ethics in Psychotherapy Research: Current debates and suggestions for the development of ethics committees

In this article some of the current debates regarding ethics in psychotherapy research are presented. First, the ethical difficulties of undertaking the double role of psychotherapist and researcher are examined and the most relevant issues regarding confidentiality and publication of clinical vignettes are discussed. Then, the use of control groups in efficacy and effectiveness research is analyzed and the ethical implications of using placebo, proven treatment, and treatment as usual (TAU) and no treatment (i.e. waiting lists) as controls are described. Finally, different types of ethical committees are presented and the need for the development of such committees is sustained. Guidelines for the development of these committees and the relevant contents of research protocols are presented. A draft for an application form to be presented to ethical comities in order to obtain approval for research projects is included in the appendix.

ethics, IRB, ethical evaluation protocols

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