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Torbet, G. (2012). Thoma, N. C., McKay, D., Gerber, A. J., Milrod, B. L., Edwards, A. R., & Kocsis, J. H. (2012). A quality-based review of randomized controlled trials of cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression: An assessment and metaregression. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169 (1): 2230.. Neuropsychoanalysis, 14(1):119.

(2012). Neuropsychoanalysis, 14(1):119

Research Digest

Thoma, N. C., McKay, D., Gerber, A. J., Milrod, B. L., Edwards, A. R., & Kocsis, J. H. (2012). A quality-based review of randomized controlled trials of cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression: An assessment and metaregression. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169 (1): 2230.

Review by:
Georgiana Torbet

Within the psychological community, debate continues regarding which forms of psychotherapy are the most effective, particularly for common conditions such as depression and anxiety. A large-scale project, the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative, has seen large amount of funding going toward the implementation of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for these conditions. CBT practitioners and supporters argue that it follows from a tradition of evidence-based practice; that it studies demonstrate its efficacy; and that it is the responsibility of clinicians to promote the treatments that are most likely to improve patient outcomes. The psychoanalytic community, however, argues that CBT may improve certain outcomes, but psychodynamic therapies have an important place in the treatment of severe, long-term conditions. CBT may be appropriate for treating mild depression, but it fails to address the root of more pronounced difficulties in the way that psychodynamic therapy can.

Naturally, a great deal of research has been undertaken into the efficacy of CBT vs. psychodynamic therapies, particularly in the case of depression and anxiety, and the evidence is heavily weighted in favor of CBT being most effective. The randomized control trial—the gold standard of evidence—is often used in this research. However, even the best studies have limitations, and in order to control for confounding effects it is important to compare the results of many studies in a meta-analysis.

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