Pragmatic randomized controlled trial of long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy of treatment-resistance depression: The Tavistock Adult Depression Study

This study goes a long way towards shattering myths about psychoanalytic treatments and how they compare to other, more short-term and problem-solving models. The majority of studies on effectiveness have looked primarily at improvement at termination. This is one of very few following patients’ progress post-termination.

The study compares patients with depression receiving long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (LTPP) with those receiving treatments typically recommended through the British National Health Service, such as medication, CBT, supportive counseling (TAU). Although, at termination, LTPP with TAU was more effective than TAU alone to a non-significant extent, as time went on following termination (i.e., up to 42 months after), the effects of the LTPP increased to a highly significant degree (with probabilities as low as p<.0002)!! For example, at the 42-month follow up, 10% of the TAU group did not meet the criteria for depression anymore whereas 44% of the LTPP group did not meet the criteria for depression anymore.

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