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New report outlines 10 key themes to transform psychological treatments

A new report that MQ helped to support, has set out a 10-step plan for transforming psychological treatments through scientific research. 

Psychological treatments are the treatment of choice for the majority of people experiencing a mental health condition. But they’re hard to access and they often don’t work well enough. 

And despite the development of evidence-based psychological therapies being one of the major triumphs of mental health research, recent progress has stalled – with psychological treatments yet to fully benefit from the major scientific advances of the last 20 years, from digital technology to neuroscience. 

The Lancet Commission on psychological treatments research in tomorrow’s science was led by clinical psychologist Professor Emily Holmes working with a range of experts across disciplines. Their report sets out a roadmap for research, arguing that that with innovation, exchange of new ideas across scientific disciplines, and robust critical debate, huge advances are possible. 

The Commission’s ten priority areas for research are as follows:

1) How do existing treatments work?

2) Where can psychological treatments be deployed?

3) How can psychological treatments be combined with pharmacological treatments?

4) When in life? Looking at prevention and early intervention

5) Technology – can we transform the availability and effectiveness through new technologies?

6) How can trials for psychological treatments be improved?  

7) Can we encourage scientists from different disciplines and clinicians to work together more?

8) Whom should we treat, for what, and with what? Embracing the complexity of mental illness

9) How can we prevent suicide?

10) Active innovation and scrutiny of future research

The report is being launched at a meeting at the Karolinska Institutet on Friday 16th March.

On Monday 19th March, The Lancet Psychiatry, Mental Elf and MQ are hosting a Twitter chat at 12.30-13.30 GMT. You can join using the hashtag #seeingfurther to hear experts involved and the wider mental health community discuss the report’s findings and opportunities for the future.

We look forward to seeing how the recommendations of the Commission are taken forward by the the research community as we work together to improve psychological treatments. 

Last updated: 16 March 2018

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