Is psychodynamic therapy (PT) an evidence-based practice? What makes PT work? In the present article we shall discuss empirical evidence for these as well as other vital questions. First, we shall examine the existing findings concerning two of the most widespread myths about PT: (1) PT is not an evidence-based therapy; (2) PT is not directed at and, therefore, not effective at alleviating symptoms. Second, we shall examine some of the existing findings regarding what it is that actually enables change in PT. The aim of the article is to provide some access to the knowledge accumulated from numerous studies on PT treatments, conducted by dozens of therapists, with the hope that it will benefit clinicians.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Jacques P. Barber, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., is professor and dean of the Derner Institute of Advanced Studies in Psychology, Adelphi University. He is emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and adjunct professor at New York University Medical School. He is past president of the society for psychotherapy research and was a recipient of its early career award. His research, which has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, focuses on the outcome and process of psychodynamic and cognitive therapies for depression, panic disorder, substance dependence, and personality disorders. He has published more than 190 articles, chapters, and books in the fields of psychotherapy and personality.
Sigal Zilcha-Mano would like to acknowledge, with thanks, that the research on which this article is based was supported by a Fulbright PostDoctoral Fellowship, awarded by the Fulbright commission for Israel, the United States-Israel Educational Foundation.
- Evidence-based practice
- Mechanisms of change
- Psychotherapy research
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health