News 6 December

XenZone Gathers Expert Views on Therapeutic Choice, Warning Against ‘One Size Fits All’ Approach

XenZone, pioneers in digital mental health, today launches “A Thousand Ways to Therapy”, a new campaign advocating therapeutic choice, presenting views from leading experts on the importance of choice and highlighting the risk of a ‘one size fits all’ approach to mental health.

The campaign seeks to gather a range of perspectives on choice while asking whether, in recommending and providing therapies with the requisite quantitative evidence-base, the NHS risks stifling choice and compromising care.

Some therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT), have already generated the standard of evidence required to earn a high billing in NICE guidelines. Those that have not built up a quantitative evidence base do not satisfy the criteria required.

XenZone’s Research and Evaluation Director, Aaron Sefi, believes the type of evidence required should broaden out so that different kinds of therapy become available to those in need of support.

Commenting on the risks associated with a ‘one size fits all’ approach, he said: “Because we value a specific brand of quantitative evidence, we are encouraging a prescriptive and singular approach to mental health support, directly contravening the principle of choice we know is so important.”

Underlining this point, Dr Lynne Green, XenZone’s Clinical Director, states that different interventions may be required to secure best outcomes: “Sometimes, the most appropriate treatment for a particular individual may not be the one that has the greatest evidence base. Offering treatments which have been shown to result in positive outcomes for many is good practice and should absolutely remain central to the provision of health care. However, reliance on such evidence-based approaches should not stifle choice or innovation.”

Six experts were interviewed as part of this work. None necessarily subscribe to the views expressed in this press release, but have provided their own perspective:

Miranda Wolpert MBE, Professor in Evidence Based Practice and Research at UCL and Founder and Director of the Evidence Based Practice Unit. She is also Co-Founder and Director of the Child Outcomes Research Consortium
• Professor Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Roehampton and Chartered Counselling Psychologist
• Dr Terry Hanley, Programme Director of the Doctorate in Counselling Psychology within the Manchester Institute of Education
Tim Tod, founder of Red 22, an organisation working with schools and organisations to support children and young people
Aaron Sefi, Research and Evaluation Director, XenZone
Dan Mills-Da’Bell, Clinical Lead, XenZone

To view contributor video interviews and supporting information, click here, where you can also sign up to receive a Full Interview Transcript Report, with a foreword by Dr Lynne Green.