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Psychodynamic psychotherapy: developing the evidence base

  • Jessica Yakeley
Summary

Psychodynamic psychotherapy has been criticised as being based on outdated principles of psychoanalysis and lacking an adequate evidence base to convincingly demonstrate its efficacy. This article summarises the recent evidence from high-quality outcome studies to show that psychodynamic psychotherapy is as effective in the treatment of a range of mental disorders as other psychological treatment modalities such as cognitive-behavioural therapy, as well as reviewing process-outcome research aiming to elucidate mechanisms of therapeutic change. A paradigm for psychodynamic psychotherapy research based on attachment theory is introduced, which may inform the development of psychodynamic therapeutic modalities tailored for specific conditions.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. Understand the basic principles and techniques of psychodynamic psychotherapy.
  2. Be able to summarise the recent evidence base for the efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy.
  3. Appreciate process-outcome research that elucidates therapeutic mechanisms underpinning psychodynamic psychotherapy.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Jessica Yakeley, Portman Clinic, 8 Fitzjohns Avenue, London NW3 5NA, UK. Email: jyakeley@tavi-port.nhs.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of Interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Psychodynamic psychotherapy: developing the evidence base

  • Jessica Yakeley
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