Mission and History

The Center for Psychotherapy Research was founded in 1990 through a Clinical Research Center (CRC) grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The NIMH no longer sponsors CRC grants, but for over a decade the Center for Psychotherapy Research was the only NIMH-funded center directed to study the mechanisms of effective psychotherapy treatment. For almost two decades now, the Center has led the way in the study of psychotherapy treatments for psychiatric disorders, with and without pharmacotherapy. Paul Crits-Christoph, PhD, the Principal Investigator on the initial grant, was the Center’s Director from its inception until 2019, when Mary Beth Connolly Gibbons, PhD took over as Director.

When the NIMH ended its CRC program, the Center turned to the NIMH’s new program encouraging studies in community settings. Today, the Center is increasing its focus on community-based research, and has received an NIMH grant to partner with a community mental health organization in Philadelphia. This work is an integral part of the direction for the Center, providing the opportunity to facilitate the testing and dissemination of evidence-based psychotherapies in routine clinical settings.


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