Mixing Apples and Oranges and Other Methodological Problems with a Meta-Analysis of Long Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
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Current trends in mental health practice indicate that mental health practitioners, including clinical social workers, are tending to move away from psychodynamic approaches and are favoring short-term empirically supported approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Recently, the presumption that long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (LTPP) approaches lack empirical support has been challenged, however, with the publication in major peer reviewed journals of meta-analyses that are claimed to demonstrate its equality to or superiority over empirically supported short-term therapies for some conditions. The present article examines the methodology employed in one particular meta-analysis which compared LTPP to short term therapies and the studies upon which the analysis was based. We found that major methodological and statistical flaws with the meta-analysis and with the individual studies preclude drawing any conclusions regarding the efficacy of LTPP.
KeywordsMeta-analysis Long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy Campbell collaboration Treatment fidelity Clinical social work
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