Long-term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Leichsenring, Falk and Rabung, Sven (2008). Effectiveness of Long-term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: A meta-analysis. JAMA vol. 300 (13) 1551-1565


Evidence suggests that short-term psychotherapy is sufficiently effective for most individuals experiencing acute distress.9 Evidence, however, also indicates that short-term treatments are insufficient for a considerable proportion of patients with complex mental disorders, ie, patients with multiple or chronic

In this meta-analysis, LTPP was significantly superior to shorter-term methods of psychotherapy with regard to overall outcome, target problems, and personality functioning. Long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy yielded large and stable effect sizes in the treatment of patients with personality disorders, multiple mental disorders, and chronic mental disorders. The effect sizes for overall outcome increased significantly between end of therapy and follow up.

In this meta-analysis, the number of LTPP sessions was significantly correlated with improvements in both target problems and general psychiatric symptoms. These results are consistent with previous findings. However, no such correlations were found for the duration of LTPP. The number of sessions and duration of LTPP appear to be different parameters that function differently with regard to the psychotherapeutic process and outcome.

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Luyten, Patrick and Blatt, Sydney J.  (2012).  Psychodynamic Treatment of Depression.  Psychiatric Clinics of North America.  Vol 35 (1)


These findings are consistent with the assumption that LTPT is characterized by a slower rate of change compared with brief treatment (probably because it focuses less on symptomatic improvement), but is associated with more lasting, and perhaps broader, changes.

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