The Theory-Practice Gap in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Document Type



Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This special series is devoted to understanding the theorypractice gap in cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT). Although CBT enjoys considerable empirical support, and is widely recognized as an efficacious approach to a diversity of psychiatric disorders and includes many different forms of treatment, it is unclear whether clinicians are familiar with the underlying theories of the treatments they are practicing. Moreover, it is unclear to what degree an understanding of the theory is necessary for effective practice. Gaining clarity on the role of understanding underlying theory and identifying potential disparities between theory and practice may have implications for the way graduate training programs are structured and current professionals approach continuing education. A brief exploration of these implications will be offered by introducing issues related to the scientist-practitioner model and dissemination of efficacious treatments, in addition to an outline of potential advantages and disadvantages of knowing underlying theory. This special series will then feature several major approaches to treatment wherein the role of theory and practice are discussed.

Article Number


Publication Date






Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.