Scientific journal

New Psychological Research

Kryuchkov K.S. Ongoing disputes on therapy efficacy: ‘golden standards’ and ‘common factors’

Kirill S. Kryuchkov, M.S., LLB, Board Member of the World Association for Person Centered & Experiential Psychotherapy & Counseling (WAPCEPC), Senior Lecturer, Department of psychotherapy and psychological counseling, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis; bld. 34–14, Kutuzovsky av., Moscow, Russia, 121170;

In the present paper, the author reviews current research and theoretical studies dedicated to psychotherapy efficacy. The author polemizes that ‘Evidence-Based Approaches’ are the most efficient in psychotherapy and that psychotherapy approaches must be tested against natural sciences and medical criteria of efficacy. Author reviews studies dedicated to the ‘Dodo-bird effect’ (equivalency paradox) and studies that refute the conjectures that some forms of treatment (namely, CBT or EBT) are more efficient than the others. The author also reviews ‘common factors studies’ that emphasize the importance of psychotherapist own professional and personal qualities rather than techniques, or therapeutic modality therapists prefer. The author warns that psychotherapy should not be reduced to the set of ‘skills’ or techniques. The person – psychotherapist – is a key figure of psychotherapy, and this figure should not be ‘put out of the brackets’ of the psychotherapy realm.

Keywords: psychotherapy research, psychotherapy efficacy, psychotherapy skills, common factors theory, equivalency paradox, dodo-bird effect

For citation: Kryuchkov, K.S. (2021). Ongoing disputes on therapy efficacy: ‘golden standards’ and ‘common factors’ in psychotherapy. New Psychological Research, No. 2, pp. 100–114, DOI: 10.51217/npsyresearch_2021_01_02_06 



The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project 20‐313‐90031.


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keywords: psychotherapy research, psychotherapy efficacy, psychotherapy skills, common factors theory, equivalency paradox, dodo-bird effect

received 22 June 2021

published 22 June 2021

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