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Leichsenring, F. Klein, S. Salzer, S. (2014). The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in Specific Mental Disorders: A 2013 Update of Empirical Evidence. Contemp. Psychoanal., 50(1-2):89-130.

(2014). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 50(1-2):89-130

The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in Specific Mental Disorders: A 2013 Update of Empirical Evidence

Falk Leichsenring, D.Sc., Susanne Klein, M.Sc. and Simone Salzer, D.Sc.

This article reviews the empirical evidence for psychodynamic therapy for specific mental disorders in adults. The focus is on randomized controlled trials (RCTs). However, this does not imply that RCTs are uncritically accepted as the gold standard for demonstrating that a treatment works. According to the results presented here, there is evidence from RCTs that psychodynamic therapy is efficacious in common mental disorders, that is, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, somatic symptom disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, complicated grief, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance-related disorder. These results clearly contradict assertions repeatedly made by representatives of other psychotherapeutic approaches claiming psychodynamic psychotherapy is not empirically supported. However, further research is needed, both on outcome and processes of psychodynamic psychotherapy. There is a need, for example, for RCTs of psychodynamic psychotherapy of PTSD. Furthermore, research on long-term psychotherapy for specific mental disorders is required.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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