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Factors of Dr. Jowdy's Approach:
Evidence Based Treatment

As a consumer of mental health services, it is paramount that you interview the person you are considering working with to find out what guides his or her process of clinical decision-making. In my practice, I base my decisions when helping people on three kinds of evidence — nomothetic, idiographic, and anecdotal.


Nomothetic research. In science, there are two primary categories of methods of scientific inquiry. One is called the nomothetic approach (a fancy term to describe what we typically think of when professionals use the term research). An example is a double-blind, controlled study to determine the effectiveness of exercise on depression. The nomothetic approach involves randomly selecting subjects and assigning them to different groups — for example, treatment groups that do various forms of exercise, such as walking, running, or yoga — and then comparing results among the different groups. A study like this will also include the infamous control group, the one that does something benign such as read a novel or magazine article, watch a movie, or fill out mindless questionnaires. After collecting the data and conducting statistical analyses, the researcher should have more answers to questions about the role exercise can play in the treatment of depression. Ultimately, this mode of scientific inquiry can allow a researcher to draw conclusions that may apply to a larger population of people.


Idiographic research. The other method of scientific inquiry is the idiographic approach. In simple terms, this approach uses a case study or single subject design (involving just one or a few people) to answer questions. Idiographic research is considered more qualitative (or subjective) because it does not involve large enough numbers of people to allow statistical analyses to be conducted. Thus, any conclusions drawn cannot be applied to a larger group of people. One benefit of case studies or single subject designs is that they can provide the researcher with a wealth of information to inform future nomothetic research. 


Anecdotal evidence. Evidence may also be based upon discoveries made by psychologists using different treatment approaches in clinical settings (e.g., private practice). This can be likened to you being able to draw conclusions about factors that lead to good relationships based upon your experience with relationships over time. People are always collecting information (anecdotal evidence) based upon life experiences. There is no substitute for this type of evidence.


My more than 30 years of clinical experience working with patients allows me to quickly pinpoint what I believe will help you, what will not, and what might. There is much more to say about this, but I will end here by welcoming your questions about this aspect of my practice and how my methods have helped others overcome procrastination, sleep better, have more healthy relationships, and be less self-critical, more confident, and happier. 


I appreciate your taking the time to read this. My hope is that the information I’ve provided will allow you to have the most rewarding experience possible as you trust a psychologist or counselor with your life issues.

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