“Evidence-based?” Yep! Psychotherapy gets respect from Science.

Most people are looking for a psychotherapist to help them through difficult times, to gain understanding of themselves, or to stop or begin certain behaviors which will help them develop and grow. There will always be debate about which approach or “kind” of therapy works best — CBT, behavior mod, talking, past-life regression, imago therapy, classic psychoanalysis, Jungian, mindfulness, Buddhist, Rogerian — so many approaches to psyche! Here is a scholarly article by Jonathan Shedler, a psychologist from Denver, who does some heavy lifting to bring psychodynamic therapy into the realm of other “evidence-based practices” — ie ways of working that can be proved empirically, by “Science” and not just by woo-woo good-vibes talk.

Click to download Shedler (2010) The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

ABSTRACT: 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.