Evidence-Based Practices

What are Evidence-based Practices?

Practitioners seldom have as much evidence as they would like about the best clinical approach to use in any given clinical situation. To choose the optimal approach for each client, clinicians must draw on research, theory, practical experience, and a consideration of client perspectives. Picking the best option at the moment using the best information available has been termed “evidence-based thinking”.  

What's the Difference?

Evidence-based Practices: Approaches to prevention or treatment that are based in theory and have undergone scientific evaluation. "Evidence-based" stands in contrast to approaches that are based on tradition, convention, belief, or anecdotal evidence.

Promising Practices: Science-based programs that showed at least some positive outcomes.


Progress in Vermont

Vermont’s publicly-funded adult mental health service system is committed to using all the resources available to our system to provide the best possible services to consumers and families in order to promote their recovery and full participation in our community. There are training and consultation resources that are devoted to the development of an evidence-based practices approach. To view these opportunities, please visit the Training/Consultation Resources page.


The Draft Evidence-Based Practices, Emerging Practices, Values-Based Practices Policy Framework document that was created in 2004 explains the vision and principles guiding the development and implementation of evidence-based adult mental health practices in Vermont.


This page also has links to numerous national and state resources providing information regarding evidence-based practices and the use of research and data to promote quality mental health services.   

Evidence-based Practices Resources

  • SAMHSA's Guide to Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) on the Web: This guide provides a list of Web sites with information about specific EBPs or reviews of research findings. It could be helpful to stakeholders seeking to promote awareness of current research and to increase the implementation and availability of evidence-based practices (EBPs). 
  • National Association of State Mental Health Directors Research Institute (NRI): NRI routinely conducts research on various aspects of state mental health agencies from financial matters, clinical services, staffing, mental health service systems, and outcomes. NRI concurrently facilitates the application of evidence-based research findings and data-based decision making to the management and delivery of public mental health services. Also publishes information on Definitions and Issues regarding EBPs .
  • Turning Knowledge into Practice: This manual has been developed to provide a practical approach to moving the mental health field forward. It is written with specific audiences in mind, clinicians and administrators in provider organizations and their chief partners. The manual is general enough to provide a broad perspective of how to move evidence-based practices into everyday use, and is detailed enough to be useful to those who make change happen regardless of the  area of human services.
  • Therapy Advisor: Promoting Scientifically-Based Psychotherapy: Information for consumers and providers on effective psychosocial treatments.
  • National Implementation Research Network: The National Implementation Research Network is located at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, a part of the University of South Florida. The mission of the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) is to close the gap between science and service by improving the science and practice of implementation in relation to evidence-based programs and practices.  Their website contains the most current review of the literature on implementing evidence-based practices, to-date.
  • The Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health: More information about Evidence-based Practices and Practice-based Evidence.