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Counseling Psychology News

UW-Madison's Wampold earns Division of Psychotherapy’s MVP award

February 07, 2014

The Division of Psychotherapy within the American Psychological Association has awarded UW-Madison’s Bruce Wampold with its annual MVP award.

Bruce Wampold mugThis division of APA has a competition for the most influential article of the year that appears in its journal, Psychotherapy. And this year’s Most Valuable Paper, or MVP, is Wampold’s article, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: A 50-Year Perspective on the Outcome Problem.”

Papers are nominated by the journal’s editorial board, which then votes on the nominated articles. The honor reflects high recognition of Wampold's work by his peers.

According to the paper’s abstract: “In the middle of the 20th century, Hans Eysenck reviewed studies of psychotherapy which consisted primarily of psychoanalytic, psychodynamic and eclectic treatments, and concluded that psychotherapy (as opposed to behavior therapy) was not effective and was possibly harmful. In the inaugural article in Psychotherapy, Hans Strupp challenged Eysenck's conclusions and discussed how psychotherapy research should progress. Eysenck criticized Strupp's conjectures and Strupp responded. In this article, I discuss progress in psychotherapy research by examining ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ aspects of the Eysenck and Strupp interchange. Essentially, Eysenck and Strupp motivated researchers to pursue, with increased sophistication, process and outcome research, but each was defending a theoretical position (behavior therapy and psychodynamic therapy, respectively). Despite the progress, the conjecture at issue continues to be debated today.”

Wampold is UW-Madison's Patricia L. Wolleat Professor of Counseling Psychology and is a  clinical professor of psychiatry.

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