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Sebek, M. (2001). ‘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)’ by Rolf Sandell et al.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 82(1):205-210.

(2001). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 82(1):205-210

‘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)’ by Rolf Sandell et al.

Review by:
Michael Sebek

The Paper

Providing an extremely interesting and important comparison of outcomes and related factors in subsidised psychoanalysis and long-term psychotherapy in the Stockholm area, the STOPPP is a large-scale study of over four hundred case studies that were followed for more than three years in phases divided into before, during and after treatment (either psychoanalysis or long-term psychotherapy). The authors found only one follow-up study in the field of psychoanalytic research—the Menninger Project (Wallerstein, 1986)—of more than two years' duration.

The final sample of the STOPPP included 74 patients in psychoanalysis and 331 in psychotherapy. Psychoanalysis was defined as treatment three to five times a week (M:3, D:3.57, SD:3, D:0.7), psychotherapy as one to three sessions a week (M:3, D:1.48, SD:3, D:0.52). On average, patients in psychoanalysis had 642 sessions over four and half years, and those in psychotherapy 233 sessions over nearly four years. Data were collected from patients and psychoanalysts/psychotherapists mostly using self-rating methods (questionnaires in the case of the patients), as well as official statistics and personal interviews. Among reported methods are the Symptom Check List-90 (SCL-90) (Derogatis et al., 1974), the Sense of Coherence Scale (SOCS) (Antonovsky, 1987)—measuring morale, vitality and optimism, and the Social Adjustment Scale (SAS) (Weissman & Bothwell, 1976). Analysands are described as a very qualified group, educationally and vocationally, although psychiatrically quite vulnerable and distressed, with long histories of suffering and long histories of psychiatric care (Sandell et al.

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