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Collaborative Versus Adversarial Stances in Scientific Discourse: Implications for the Role of Systematic Case Studies in the Development of Evidence-Based Practice in Psychotherapy

David J.A. Edwards


There is still a need for advocacy in the promotion of case study research because there has been insufficient appreciation of its role as a source of evidence relevant to the development and evaluation of practice in psychotherapy. Distorted use of terms like "gold standard," "anecdotal," and "empirical" in the discourse in which research methodology is typically presented has disempowered the practitioner's perspective and discredited the role of case-based knowledge building. The framework of evidence-based practice (EBP) recognizes the complementarity of different research methods and acknowledges the significance of case-based research. To spell out some of these complementary links, a typology of seven research methods -- including both experimental group comparison designs and individual case studies -- is proposed and the contribution of each to the development of EBP is set out. Finally some suggestions are made for strategies to promote the publication of high quality case studies.

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