Theory of Therapeutic and Preventive Intervention


Course Objective

a. To understand in general terms how psychological science tries to
understand processes through which preventive and therapeutic
interventions reach their effects;
b. To critically discuss the medical and contextual models of
psychotherapy effectiveness as well as new theoretical approaches;
c. To have a working knowledge on the strength of scientific evidence
for effectiveness of different types of interventions (psychotherapy,
medication, (guided) self-help, family/school interventions)
d. To develop the habit of scrutinizing the evidence base for particular
therapeutic approaches and intervention protocols;
e. To develop skills for critically analyzing intervention rationales,
to judge their empirical support, and to apply theory in designing
interventions for specific problems.

Course Content

Interventions to alleviate or prevent psychopathology are expected to be
designed and delivered on a rational basis, which means that a
particular analysis of the clinical problem at hand has led to a
well-considered choice for therapeutic procedures and tools. However,
explanations why some therapeutic approaches are more effective than
others have remained largely speculative, insofar differences in
effectiveness do exist.
Nevertheless, theoretical insight in the processes through which
interventions reach their effects is necessary for improving
interventions, and for the science of mental health. The goals of this
course are to scrutinize the evidence base for therapeutic approaches
and intervention protocols, and to learn how scientific research may
test rationales for particular interventions.

The stage for the course is set by the sometimes heated debate between
proponents of pursuing specific versus common ingredients of effective
psychotherapy. We will discuss different schools of thought and the
evidence that the protagonists in the debate are producing to argue
their case. We critically examine newly emerging approaches to diagnosis
and intervention that have been proposed as a way out from the stalemate
between conflicting worldviews (e.g., network models and data-driven

Teaching Methods

Work lectures with researchers and clinical experts.

Method of Assessment

Paper and oral presentation. 60/40 weight


List of required reading will be announced on DLO

General Information

Course Code P_MTHEOTH
Credits 6 EC
Period P3
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Fac. of Behavioural and Movement Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. C. Schuengel
Examiner prof. dr. C. Schuengel
Teaching Staff prof. dr. M.J.H. Huibers
prof. dr. C. Schuengel
prof. dr. W.J.M.J. Cuijpers

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Study Group, Lecture