VISTAS Assessment, Evaluation, Accountability and Research in Counseling

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Evidence-Based Practices and Single-Subject Research Designs in Counseling

Robert L. Smith, K. Michelle Hunnicutt Hollenbaugh, and Saumya Arora


It is widely recognized that evidence-based treatments need to be adopted by practicing counselors. The ACA Code of Ethics states that counselors will use empirically supported treatments, yet there is minimal evidence of this practice despite external pressures from health care providers and government agencies. The ACA Code of Ethics (Section C, Professional Responsibility) also states that “Counselors have a responsibility to the public to engage in counseling practices that are based on rigorous research methodologies.” This manuscript discusses the controversies around evidence-based treatments, effectiveness, and efficacy; presents a set of standards often used to identify evidence-based practices; cites three counseling approaches recognized as meeting this criteria; and recommends that future studies examining counseling effectiveness employ single-subject research designs.

PDF, 359.46 KB

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