Placebo and Psychotherapy: Differences, Similarities, and Implications

Gaab, Jens and Locher, Cosima and Blease, Charlotte. (2018) Placebo and Psychotherapy: Differences, Similarities, and Implications. International review of neurobiology, 138. pp. 241-255.

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The placebo and psychotherapy are both effective psychological interventions. Next to being characterized by their own and specific controversies and debates, there is a persistent-and least for psychotherapy-looming notion that these two interventions share more than just the first letter. Based on Grunbaum's influential conceptualization of placebo, this chapter critically reviews both the time-honored claim that psychotherapy is a placebo as well as the argument that the placebo concept does not translate to psychotherapy. We conclude that there is an unwanted proximity between these two interventions and that empirical attempts to separate the "wheat from the chaff" in psychotherapy research face several distinctive challenges and thus are often methodologically comprised by the integrity of the placebo. However, drawing on recent, innovative research, we conclude that psychotherapy can be saved, i.e., shown to be distinct from the placebo, by employing study designs derived from the placebo research. We conclude that the placebo concept has profound implications for psychotherapy, psychotherapy research, and last but not least its ethical practice.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Abteilung Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Health & Intervention > Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie (Gaab)
UniBasel Contributors:Gaab, Jens and Locher, Cosima
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Further Journal Contribution
Publisher:Academic Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal item
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Last Modified:18 Feb 2019 16:43
Deposited On:18 Feb 2019 16:43

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