The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

  • Jonathan ShedlerEmail author
Part of the Current Clinical Psychiatry book series (CCPSY)


Empirical evidence supports the efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Effect sizes for psychodynamic psychotherapy are as large as those reported for other therapies that have been actively promoted as “empirically supported” and “evidence based.” Additionally, 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.


Meta-analysis psychoanalysis psychodynamic psychotherapy psychotherapy ­outcome psychotherapy process 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineAuroraUSA

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