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Gordon, R.M. (2020). Psychodynamic Distance Training and Treatment: The China American Psychoanalytic Alliance Research. Psychoanal. Inq., 40(1):56-63.

(2020). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 40(1):56-63

Psychodynamic Distance Training and Treatment: The China American Psychoanalytic Alliance Research

Robert M. Gordon, Ph.D., ABPP

I summarize several studies on the effectiveness of distance training and treatment with Chinese mental health professionals. We found that experts on the average felt that teaching, supervising and treating over video-conferencing (VCON) were only “slightly less effective” than local work. The highest significantly rated indications for treatment over VCON are: “To offer high-quality treatment to underserved or remote patients” and “When patient is house-bound or travel would be impractical.” The highest significantly rated contraindication for treatment over VCON is “Patient needs close observation due to crisis or decompensation.”

The next logical step was to assess the opinions of CAPA graduates about the effectiveness of their distance psychoanalytic training and treatment. We found that the more the graduates used a psychoanalytic formulation was highly correlated with the number of years in distance education and the more days a week in their own therapy. Graduates highly rated the effectiveness of their own psychoanalytic therapy over VCON. The CAPA graduates thought that the therapist variables (warmth, wisdom, empathy, and skillfulness) were far more important in the effectiveness of their treatment than whether the treatment was local or with VCON, or the cultural differences with their therapist. The graduates’ ratings of how they are currently practicing psychoanalytic psychotherapy were highly correlated with how their own therapists practiced psychoanalytic treatment, as measured by the Comparative Psychotherapy Process Scale (CPPS) items.

Dr. Maranda Sze’s preliminary findings from a survey of 163 CAPA students found that they increased from practicing psychodynamic psychotherapy from 55% pre-CAPA to 78% currently, with increased private practice hours, and increase in fees charged. There was also significant increased time in their own psychoanalytic treatment. Overall, these studies show the success of creating a new generation of psychoanalytic therapists in China.

[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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