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Lazar, S.G. (2014). The Cost-Effectiveness of Psychotherapy for the Major Psychiatric Diagnoses. Psychodyn. Psych., 42(3):423-457.

(2014). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 42(3):423-457

The Cost-Effectiveness of Psychotherapy for the Major Psychiatric Diagnoses

Susan G. Lazar, M.D.

Psychotherapy is an effective and often highly cost-effective medical intervention for many serious psychiatric conditions. Psychotherapy can also lead to savings in other medical and societal costs. It is at times the first-line and most important treatment and at other times augments the efficacy of psychotropic medication. Many patients are in need of more prolonged and intensive psychotherapy, including those with personality disorders and those with chronic complex psychiatric conditions often with severe anxiety and depression. Many patients with serious and complex psychiatric illness have experienced severe early life trauma in an atmosphere in which family members or caretakers themselves have serious psychiatric disorders. Children and adolescents with learning disabilities and those with severe psychiatric disorders can also require more than brief treatment. Other diagnostic groups for whom psychotherapy is effective and cost-effective include patients with schizophrenia, anxiety disorders (including posttraumatic stress disorder), depression, and substance abuse. In addition, psychotherapy for the medically ill with concomitant psychiatric illness often lowers medical costs, improves recovery from medical illness, and at times even prolongs life compared to similar patients not given psychotherapy.

[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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