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Comment
, 66 (2), 149-51; discussion 152-4

When It Comes to Evaluating Psychodynamic Therapy, the Devil Is in the Details

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Comment

When It Comes to Evaluating Psychodynamic Therapy, the Devil Is in the Details

Michael D Anestis et al. Am Psychol.

Abstract

Comments on the original article, "The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy," by J. Shedler (see record 2010-02208-012). As Shedler noted, some researchers have reflexively and stridently dismissed psychodynamic therapy (PT) as ineffective without granting outcome studies on this modality a fair hearing. We applaud Shedler's efforts to bring PT into the scientific mainstream and hope that his article encourages investigators to evaluate claims regarding PT's efficacy with a more objective eye. Nevertheless, as Shedler also observed, one reason for the scientific community's premature dismissal of PT is traceable to some psychodynamic practitioners' historical antipathy toward controlled research and propensity to overstate PT's efficacy. Regrettably, Shedler falls prey to the latter error by glossing over key methodological details, ignoring crucial findings that run counter to his position, and overstating the quality and quantity of the evidence base for PT. Because of space constraints, we focus only on a handful of the more serious shortcomings of Shedler's analysis (a more complete review of these issues is available from the first author on request).

Comment on

  • The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
    J Shedler. Am Psychol 65 (2), 98-109. PMID 20141265. - Review
    Empirical evidence supports the efficacy of psychodynamic therapy. Effect sizes for psychodynamic therapy are as large as those reported for other therapies that have bee …

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