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 evidence-based psychotherapies. 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.

Over the last decade, the Center expanded its mission to focus on exploring the effectiveness and mechanisms of mental health interventions in real world treatment settings. We have partnered with community stakeholders to develop psychotherapies and measurement based care interventions to improve outcomes in community settings, while maintaining a focus on the mechanisms of therapeutic effects and the context variables that influence implementation success.

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