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Roy, C.A. Perry, J.C. Luborsky, L. Banon, E. (2009). Changes in Defensive Functioning in Completed Psychoanalyses: The Penn Psychoanalytic Treatment Collection. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 57(2):399-415.

(2009). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 57(2):399-415

Research Section

Changes in Defensive Functioning in Completed Psychoanalyses: The Penn Psychoanalytic Treatment Collection

Carmella A. Roy, J. Christopher Perry, Lester Luborsky and Elisabeth Banon

Theory predicts that patients completing psychoanalysis should improve in their dynamic functioning. The aim of this naturalistic study is to examine whether a sample of 17 subjects from the Penn Psychoanalytic Treatment Collection with completed, tape-recorded psychoanalyses demonstrated improvement in one dynamic aspect: their defense mechanisms. The pre-post effect size for the change in overall defensive functioning (ODF) of the sample was large (.76) and statistically significant (p = .01). The percentage of subjects who improved in their ODF (71%) was similar to that found by others who studied the same sample using general functioning measures. These findings provide the first empirical evidence to support a trait-like change in dynamic personality functioning in patients who have undergone psychoanalysis. Randomized controlled studies with homogeneous samples are needed to further confirm these findings.

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