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Negative effects in psychotherapy: commentary and recommendations for future research and clinical practice

  • Alexander Rozental (a1), Louis Castonguay (a2), Sona Dimidjian (a3), Michael Lambert (a4), Roz Shafran (a5), Gerhard Andersson (a6) and Per Carlbring (a7)...
Abstract
Background

Psychotherapy can alleviate mental distress and improve quality of life, but little is known about its potential negative effects and how to determine their frequency.

Aims

To present a commentary on the current understanding and future research directions of negative effects in psychotherapy.

Method

An anonymous survey was distributed to a select group of researchers, using an analytical framework known as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Results

The researchers perceive an increased awareness of negative effects in psychotherapy in recent years, but also discuss some of the unresolved issues in relation to their definition, assessment and reporting. Qualitative methods and naturalistic designs are regarded as important to pursue, although a number of obstacles to using such methods are identified.

Conclusion

Negative effects of psychotherapy are multifaceted, warranting careful considerations in order for them to be monitored and reported in research settings and routine care.

Declaration of interest

None.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Alexander Rozental, PhD, Centre for Psychiatry Research, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, 113 64 Stockholm, Sweden. Email: alexander.rozental@ki.se
References
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Negative effects in psychotherapy: commentary and recommendations for future research and clinical practice

  • Alexander Rozental (a1), Louis Castonguay (a2), Sona Dimidjian (a3), Michael Lambert (a4), Roz Shafran (a5), Gerhard Andersson (a6) and Per Carlbring (a7)...
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