Behavioral Health Landscape Survey Results

By: Dr. Cheri Shapiro

We recently completed a Behavioral Health Landscape Survey, distributed in collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Social Services, to help us better understand what evidence-based interventions were currently being used by behavioral health providers working in this state.  This survey will help us prepare for implementation of the federal Families First legislation (check our prior blog posts on this). We are grateful to everyone who completed the survey.

Of the 2,614 providers who responded, approximately half (1,298) work with our target population of interest: children, adolescents, families, and/or caregivers.  Providers work in both the public and private sectors — for-profit as well as non-profit — and represented a range of professions: medicine, counseling, social work, and psychology, just to name a few of the larger groups.  Approximately 70% have been working in this area for 5 or more years, with 36% working more than 16 years.  Most respondents have master’s-level degrees, and the majority of counties in our state were represented.

The most commonly used evidence-based approaches used by providers within the past 12 months include:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT),
  • Motivational Interviewing,
  • Trauma-Focused CBT,
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy,
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy,
  • Multisystemic Therapy,
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, and
  • Alternatives For Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

The number of providers reporting this relatively recent use of these interventions was 60 or more (range 60-789).

A number of additional evidence-based interventions were reported as having been used in the prior 12 months; however, the number of providers reporting using them were smaller (less than 50; range 3-46).

It is exciting to know that so many providers are using approaches that have a strong research base with evidence of efficacy and effectiveness.  Providing high quality services to all clients is one way that we can do our part to minimize known inequities in care and health disparities.

Remember, whatever approach you use, pay careful attention to tracking your outcomes as you go.  Tracking outcomes and engaging clients in discussion of progress is key to a strong therapeutic alliance — without that, no progress can be made!

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