PSYCHOTHERAPY IS HIGHLY EFFECTIVE: Overall psychotherapeutic methods (psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic psychotherapy) have a response rate of approximately 80 percent (i.e. roughly 8 out of 10 people report improvements after psychotherapy) and all psychotherapeutic methods produce similar beneficial effects [1-3]. The most important influence on treatment efficacy, aside from the personalities of the client and the therapist, is the relationship (therapeutic alliance) between the client and therapist [1, 2].

PSYCHOANALYSIS PRODUCES GREATER AND LONGER LASTING BENEFITS THAN OTHER METHODS. Studies have shown that 3 to 10 years after therapy clients who underwent psychoanalysis showed better personal and social functioning than those treated with other long-term psychotherapeutic methods [4-6].

QUALITY OF LIFE CONTINUES TO IMPROVE ONCE PSYCHOANALYSIS HAS ENDED. Apart from the fact that psychoanalytic psychotherapy is similarly effective when compared with other psychotherapeutic methods [1, 7], many clients choose psychoanalytic psychotherapy because it enhances quality of life in the long run [4, 8, 9]. Studies have shown the positive effects of psychoanalytic psychotherapy are enduring and that clients continue to improve after treatment has finished [10].

THE VARIOUS PSYCHOTEHRAPEUTIC METHODS ARE SIMILARLY EFFECTIVE. Although some studies have suggested that psychoanalytic psychotherapy is the best treatment for depression [11] whereas cognitive behavioral psychotherapy is the best treatment for bulimia [12], most studies indicate that all psychotherapeutic methods have similar effectiveness [1, 2, 13].

Sources and literature:

  1. Wampold, B.E. and Z.E. Imel, The great psychotherapy debate: The evidence for what makes psychotherapy work. 2015: Routledge.
  2. Norcross, J.C. and M.J. Lambert, Psychotherapy relationships that work II. Psychotherapy, 2011. 48(1): p. 4.
  3. Lambert, M.J., Bergin and Garfield’s handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change. 2013: John Wiley & Sons.
  4. Lindfors, O., et al., Effectiveness of psychoanalysis and long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy 10 years after start of treatment. European Psychiatry, 2017. 41: p. S263.
  5. Knekt, P., et al., Quasi-experimental study on the effectiveness of psychoanalysis, long-term and short-term psychotherapy on psychiatric symptoms, work ability and functional capacity during a 5-year follow-up. Journal of Affective Disorders, 2011. 132(1): p. 37-47.
  6. Sandell, R., et al., Varieties of long-term outcome among patients in psychoanalysis and long-term psychotherapy: A review of findings in the Stockholm Outcome of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Project (STOPPP). The International journal of psycho-analysis, 2000. 81(5): p. 921.
  7. Driessen, E., et al., Cognitive Behavioral Therapy versus Short Psychodynamic Supportive Psychotherapy in the outpatient treatment of depression: a randomized controlled trial. BMC psychiatry, 2007. 7(1): p. 58.
  8. de Maat, S., et al., The effectiveness of long-term psychoanalytic therapy: A systematic review of empirical studies. Harvard review of psychiatry, 2009. 17(1): p. 1-23.
  9. Fonagy, P., et al., Pragmatic randomized controlled trial of longterm psychoanalytic psychotherapy for treatmentresistant depression: the Tavistock Adult Depression Study (TADS). World Psychiatry, 2015. 14(3): p. 312-321.
  10. Shedler, J., The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Am Psychol, 2010. 65(2): p. 98-109.
  11. Huber, D., et al., Comparison of cognitive-behaviour therapy with psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapy for depressed patients – a three-year follow-up study. Z Psychosom Med Psychother, 2012. 58(3): p. 299-316.
  12. Poulsen, S., et al., A randomized controlled trial of psychoanalytic psychotherapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy for bulimia nervosa. Am J Psychiatry, 2014. 171(1): p. 109-16.
  13. Gibbons, M.B.C., et al., Comparative effectiveness of cognitive therapy and dynamic psychotherapy for major depressive disorder in a community mental health setting: a randomized clinical noninferiority trial. JAMA psychiatry, 2016. 73(9): p. 904-912.