What Is Evidence-Based Mental Health Care?

Medically reviewed by: Wendy Rasmussen, PhD
Tuesday, February 28 2023

Mental health care isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach — there are many types of therapies and treatments that can treat a variety of symptoms and disorders. If you’re considering therapy or just started it, you may be wondering which treatment approach is right for you. It will all depend on your unique needs, including your symptoms, background, diagnosis, and preferences. 

Evidence-based care may get you on the best path toward feeling better, faster. Read on to learn what evidence-based care is, how it’s used in therapy, and why it works. 

What is evidence-based care? 

Evidence-based care is when health care professionals use the best available research and their clinical expertise to treat someone based on their unique needs and preferences. 

You can think of evidence-based care this way: 

Let’s say you go to the doctor to get treated for a sore throat. Based on your symptoms and throat culture results, your doctor diagnoses you with strep throat. 

Research and the best available data have shown that a certain medication has treated infections like strep throat successfully, but your doctor knows that you’ve taken this medication  in the past and it hasn’t worked great. So instead, they prescribe a different medication — also shown to be effective through evidence — that may work better for you specifically. 

Your doctor will see how you do on this medication, and make note of how well it works for you for future reference. This is a form of evidence-based care because both research data and your unique circumstances were taken into account to determine the right treatment for you. 

Evidence-based care isn’t just used in a medical setting. It’s been proven to be effective in therapy, which is why SonderMind therapists use evidence-based practices to help clients reach their therapy goals.

So, what does evidence-based care look like in a mental health care setting? Read on to see how it’s used at SonderMind. 

Evidence-based care at SonderMind 

Using evidence-based practice in therapy goes beyond relying on research and data to decide on a treatment plan — it takes the whole person into account. To help paint a clearer picture of how it’s used in therapy, here’s what evidence-based therapy from a SonderMind therapist looks like: 

1. Your therapist gets to know you 

Once SonderMind connects you with a therapist based on your specific needs and preferences, you’ll schedule a first session. In this first session, your therapist will ask you about your symptoms, background, and therapy goals. This will help them make a diagnosis and get to know your individual needs and what you’re looking to get out of therapy. You can take this opportunity to get to know your therapist, too, to make sure they’re the right fit for you. 

2, Research data and your individual needs inform treatment 

Then, your therapist will reference the best available research evidence to provide you with the most effective care. This evidence will include data from SonderMind’s research partnership with the University of Denver. Through this partnership, we use anonymous data to research and analyze how clinical practices are working for SonderMind clients. Then, we share this information back with our therapists to help them deliver high-quality care.  

Along with using research evidence, your therapist will also take into account your unique characteristics and circumstances — such as your personality, cultural background, life stage, values, preferences, and level of social/family support — when considering treatment options to make sure care is tailored to your individual needs. 

3. You work with your therapist to decide on treatment 

Your therapist will discuss with you the treatment options they think may work best for you based on your unique characteristics, circumstances, and goals, their clinical expertise, and the best research evidence available to them. Then, you’ll work together to decide on a treatment plan that will put you on the best route toward reaching your therapy goals. Collaborating with your therapist on your care is key to its success. 

4. Your therapist tracks your progress 

The last big part of evidence-based care at SonderMind is using feedback-informed care to guide your therapy journey. This means your therapist will regularly ask for your feedback about how you’re doing. This is done through clinical questionnaires (CQs), which have you answer questions about your mental well-being before and after sessions. You can fill CQs out right within your SonderMind portal, making it quick and easy to share how you’re really doing with your therapist.

CQs allow you to actively participate in your own care. Using self-reflection to complete CQs can help you better understand your emotions and symptoms and see your progress over time. Through CQs, you and your therapist will both be able to see how your treatment plan is working and can work together to make changes, if needed. 

Evidence-based care works 

In addition to helping our therapists deliver evidence-based care, our research also proves that SonderMind’s approach to care really works in helping improve mental health. Our data shows that clients see results in less than six sessions — that's less than two months — with SonderMind. 

Evidence-based care allows you to be involved in your own treatment decisions, see your progress, and ultimately feel empowered to play a key role in your therapy journey. This can help you feel better and reach your therapy goals faster. 

If you’re ready to start your therapy journey through an evidence-based approach to care, SonderMind can help you get started

If you have questions or want to learn more about our approach to therapy, we’re here to help. Talk to a Wellness Coordinator: 

(844) THERAPY 

Monday through Friday

7 AM to 6 PM Mountain Standard Time

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