A new study says that psychodynamic psychotherapy is effective for a number of mental health symptoms and its benefits grow after treatment has ended.
According to research published by the American Psychological Association, psychodynamic therapy, which focuses on the psychological roots of emotional suffering, is beneficial for patients suffering from depression, anxiety, panic and stress-related physical ailments.
The therapy's hallmarks are self-reflection and self-examination, and the use of the relationship between therapist and patient as a window into problematic relationship patterns in the patient's life. Its goal is not only to alleviate the most obvious symptoms but to help people lead healthier lives.
"The American public has been told that only newer, symptom-focused treatments like cognitive behavior therapy or medication have scientific support," said study author Jonathan Shedler, PhD, of the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. "The actual scientific evidence shows that psychodynamic therapy is highly effective. The benefits are at least as large as those of other psychotherapies, and they last."
To reach the conclusion, Shedler reviewed eight meta-analyses comprising 160 studies of psychodynamic therapy, plus nine meta-analyses of other psychological treatments and antidepressant medications.