NIMH Funding Changes Threaten Psychotherapy Research
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is increasingly shifting its research emphasis toward attempting to uncover biomarkers for “mental diseases,” which may have dramatic consequences for research and training in clinical psychology. In an article to be published in next month’s Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Marvin Goldfried outlines how the shift in funding priorities for psychological research is tied to the needs of pharmaceutical companies and the biological model in psychiatry.
For nearly thirty years the NIMH has largely funded psychological research that utilized randomized control trials (RCTs) and tested “disorders” identified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Because the diagnostic categories listed in the DSM merely describe symptoms, this line of research rested on an “essentially weak empirical foundation.”