Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Long-term psychoanalysis for young adults - does it work?

Psychotherapy can help with a wide range of different mental-health problems. There is good evidence to support this but little research has been done into whether psychoanalytic psychotherapy is effective in treating young adults. A team of Swedish researchers, led by Annika Lindgren from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm looked into this issue in a study of 134 young adults who underwent long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy. The study found that on all the measures used people got significantly better from the time they started treatment to a follow-up check after they had finished. Interestingly a lower therapist-rated alliance - how well the therapist thought they and the patient were working together) was linked to a better outcome; perhaps because of the extra work therapists put in to improve a relationship they saw as less-than-satisfactory.

Lindgren, Annika, Werbart, Andrzej and Philips, Bjorn - Long-term outcome and post-treatment effects of psychoanalytic psychotherapy with young adults Psychology and psychotherapy: theory, practice and research March 2010, 83(1), 27-43

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