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Paper of the Month: The Marburg Declaration (Rief et al.) | May 2024


We decided to try a new format for our blog with the choice to present you a featured article each month.

For this first featured article we choose to present to you the paper "The future of psychological treatments: The Marburg Declaration", written by Winfried Rief, Gordon J G Asmundson, Richard A Bryant, David M Clark, Anke Ehlers, Emily A Holmes, Richard J McNally, Carmem B Neufeld, Sabine Wilhelm, Adam C Jaroszewski, Max Berg, Anke Haberkamp, Stefan G Hofmann and the PsyChange consortium and published in the Clinical Psychology Review Journal.

You can find the complete paper in open-access by clicking on this link.

Here is our review of this article below. We hope you will enjoy this new format and see you soon for more content.

Do you have a thought-provoking article that you think could be suitable for this new format? Then do not hesitate and send it to us. Maybe we will select it to be the next featured article of the month.


1) What’s in the paper?

Clinical Psychology needs to take care of challenges for the future of general mental health care like the high prevalence of disorders, health care costs, the need to optimise mental health care and reduce barriers to access it, the need to have effective and evidence-based therapies, and the need to address societal needs.

To overcome those new challenges, a group of clinical psychologists met in Marburg, Germany, with the aim to discuss current challenges, review evidence and make recommendations for future development in the field of clinical psychology. This article is the result of their constructive discussion.

The authors raise avenues for the future of clinical psychology and discuss different topics like:

  • the importance to identify the processes and mechanisms that need to be targeted in treatment

  • the crucial part of guidelines and structural aspect of services to increase access to therapies

  • the need to go further categorical models with models like the network models to address the complexity of psychopathology

  • the use of digital mental health interventions to increase access to therapies and overcome structural barriers

  • new directions in research into the effectiveness of therapies like the use of adaptive interventions and meta-analyses focusing on specific mechanisms and components

  • the priority to take into account cultural context and its influence on mental disorders and to adapt treatments accordingly

  • the development of a common framework for psychological interventions and going beyond theoretical orientations

  • the usefulness of having dynamic training systems for therapists and a constant focus on increasing the quality

  • increasing access to evidence based treatments and having more outreach to the general public

2) Why is this important to us?

This article offers a broad view of the current state of clinical psychology and the challenges for the future. The authors address those challenges and provide useful recommendations to overcome them. Those recommendations are useful and can be implemented at multiple levels not only by the clinicians, and researchers but also by the diverse stakeholders of general mental health including centers, services and policymakers. This article is a real mine of information that we recommend to anyone working in the field of clinical psychology and wanting to know different ways of dealing with the current challenges in our field.

3) What do we take away from it?

There is a constant need for clinical psychology to evolve with scientific advancements, societal changes and individual needs. The Marburg Declaration gives us a road map for the future, describing current challenges in clinical psychology and mental health and offering crucial recommendations that can be implemented. By presenting us so much material to work with and concrete actions that can be done, the authors grant us an optimistic view and the hope for a even brighter future for clinical psychology.

We hope this quick review of this article has made you want to read it in its entirety and we will see you next month for the next featured article.


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