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Psychodynamic therapy actually works?!

With the current push for evidence based and empirically supported treatments, long utilized psychotherapy approaches such as psychodynamic therapy have taken a back seat to more cognitive behavioral methods. I believe this to be especially true with the younger generation of psychotherapists that mostly embrace cognitive behavioral frameworks. The psychodynamic therapists have begun to push back against the evidence based movement by……providing evidence. Yes, it seems that psychodynamic therapy can actually be as, if not more effective, than other therapeutic frameworks.

A recent article by Dr. Shedler in the American Psychologist brings together evidence from several meta-analyses that show the comparable effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapy for various presenting problems. In the article Dr. Shedler provides descriptions of the core characteristics and processes involved in psychodynamic therapy. In addition, Dr. Shedler provokes CBT therapists by stating that the effective portion of CBT is actually borrowed from psychodynamic therapists. He provides evidence for this too, citing Psychotherapy Q-Sort studies that breaks down therapy interactions into 100 unique characteristics. When comparing components of the CBT prototype and psychodynamic prototype…”Therapists adherence to the psychodynamic prototype predicted successful outcome in both psychodynamic and cognitive therapy.” Regardless of your respective therapeutic framework, the article is definitely worth a read. Check it out and let others know your opinions by posting in the comments section.

Apparently APA is pretty stingy about even showing a preview of the article, but listed below is the citation.

Shedler, J. (2010). The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 65(2), 98-109.



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