Hermeneutic single case efficacy design (2002): looking back: commentary on “Hermeneutic single case efficacy design

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This chapter is based on the SPR Presidential Address delivered at the June 2001 meeting of the Society for Psychotherapy Research in Montevideo, Uruguay. In this paper, I outline Hermeneutic Single Case Efficacy Design (HSCED), an interpretive approach to evaluating treatment causality in single therapy cases. This approach uses a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods to create a network of evidence that first identifies direct demonstrations of causal links between therapy process and outcome, and then evaluates plausible nontherapy explanations for apparent change in therapy. I illustrate the method with data from a depressed client who presented with unresolved loss and anger issues. The abridged version of the original article is followed by a commentary.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVisions in Psychotherapy Research and Practice
Subtitle of host publicationReflections from the Presidents of the Society for Psychotherapy Research
EditorsBernard Strauss, Louis Castonguay, Jacques Barber
Place of PublicationOxon
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780203126714
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2015


  • single case research
  • psychotherapy
  • outcome research
  • research design
  • single case design
  • hermeneutic research
  • depression
  • process-experiential psychotherapy

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