Information about Psychoanalytic, Psychodynamic Therapy and Society
John Thor Cornelius, M.D. has posted an accessible presentation that scrutinizes the evidence base for antidepressant medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and psychoanalytic treatment.
By Jonathan Shedler, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine
Empirical evidence supports the efficacy of psychodynamic
therapy. Effect sizes for psychodynamic therapy are as
large as those reported for other therapies that have been
actively promoted as “empirically supported” and “evidence
based.” In addition, patients who receive psychodynamic
therapy maintain therapeutic gains and appear to
continue to improve after treatment ends. Finally, nonpsychodynamic
therapies may be effective in part because the
more skilled practitioners utilize techniques that have long
been central to psychodynamic theory and practice. The
perception that psychodynamic approaches lack empirical
support does not accord with available scientific evidence
and may reflect selective dissemination of research findings.
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Just when you thought psychoanalysis had breathed its last, research resurrects and even validates certain core Freudian beliefs. Forget penis envy. Think conflicting motives and what talking to a shrink four days a week can do for you.
…..What attracted Shteyngart to psychoanalysis is precisely what has for more than a century made it fodder for impassioned, and often ugly, debate.
It is time-intensive and prohibitively expensive. Its benefits are not easy to measure, particularly compared with those promised by more popular, contemporary methods of treatment like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). As a result, psychoanalysis has been dropped from the curriculum of many medical schools and is rarely covered by insurance plans. When it is taught and practiced, experts say, modern psychoanalysis, also called psychodynamic psychotherapy, often bears little resemblance to the treatment put forward by its founding father, Sigmund Freud.
But psychoanalysis is a profound exploration of human subjectivity—our inner world with all its memories and desires and impulses—and its relation to the external, objective world. And it is much more than a treatment. It’s also a set of theories about the nature of human experience, its depth and complexity. “Analysis is the most elaborate and nuanced view of the mind that we have,” Nobel-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel recently told a meeting of the American Psychoana-lytic Association.