Psychodynamic Readings

Top 13 Studies Illustrating Effectiveness of Psychodynamic Therapy

This is a list of arguably some of the best articles for psychoanalytic psychotherapy. After this list is a much longer list of Randomized Controlled Trials and Effectiveness studies of Psychoanalytic (Psychodynamic) Psychotherapy.

You can download a folder of all 13 studies here.

1. Abbass, A.A., Kisely, S.R., Town, J.M., Leichsenring, F., Driessen, E., … Crowe, E. (2014). Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapies for common mental disorders (review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2014(7), 1-108.

Abbass 2014

2. Driessen, E., Cuijpers, P., de Maat, S. C. M., Abbass, A. A., de Jonghe, F., & Dekker, J. J. M. (2010). The efficacy of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy for depression: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(1), 25-36. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2009.08.010

Driessen 2010

3. Hayes, J. A., Gelso, C. J., Goldberg, S., & Kivlighan, D. M. (2018). Countertransference management and effective psychotherapy: Meta-analytic findings. Psychotherapy, 55(4), 496–507.

Hayes 2018

4. Keefe, J. R., McCarthy, K. S., Dinger, U., Zilcha-Mano, S., & Barber, J. P. (2014). A meta-analytic review of psychodynamic therapies for anxiety disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, 34(4), 309-323. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2014.03.004

Keefe 2014

5. Leichsenring, F., Luyten, P., Hilsenroth, M. J., Abbass, A., Barber, J. P., Keefe, J. R., . . . Steinert, C., (2015). Psychodynamic therapy meets evidence-based medicine: A systematic review using updated criteria. Lancet Psychiatry, 2(7), 648-660. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00155-8

Leichsenring 2015

6. Shedler, J. (2010). The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 65(2), 98-109. doi:10.1037/a0018378

Shedler 2010

7. Steinert, C., Munder, T., Rabung, S., Hoyer, J., & Leichsenring, F. (2017). Psychodynamic therapy: As efficacious as other empirically supported treatments? A meta-analysis testing equivalence of outcomes. American Journal of Psychiatry, 174(10), 943-953. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.17010057

Steinert 2017

8. Westen, D. (1998). The scientific legacy of sigmund freud: Toward a psychodynamically informed psychological science. Psychological Bulletin, 124(3), 333-371. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.124.3.333

Westen 1998

9. Driessen, E., Hegelmaier, L. M., Abbass, A. A., Barber, J. P., Dekker, J. J. M., Van, H. L., . . . Cuijpers, P. (2015). The efficacy of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy for depression: A meta-analysis update. Clinical Psychology Review, 42, 1-15. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2015.07.004

Driessen 2015

10. Keefe, J. R., McMain, S. F., McCarthy, K. S., Zilcha-Mano, S., Dinger, U., Sahin, Z., . . . Barber, J. P. (2019). A meta-analysis of psychodynamic treatments for borderline and cluster C personality disorders. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, doi:10.1037/per0000382

Keefe 2019

11. Barlow, J., Bennett, C., Midgley, N., Larkin, S. K., & Wei, Y. (2015). Parent-infant psychotherapy for improving parental and infant mental health. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 1, CD010534.

Barlow 2015

12. Abbass, A., Rabung, S., Leichsenring, F., Refseth, J. and Midgley, N. (2013). Psychodynamic psychotherapy for children and adolescents: A meta-analysis of short-term psychodynamic models. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 52(8), 863-875. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2013.05.014

Abbass 2013

13. Høglend, P., Amlo, S., Marble, A., Bøgwald, K. P., Sørbye, Ø., Sjaastad, M. C., & Heyerdahl, O. (2006). Analysis of the patient-therapist relationship in dynamic psychotherapy: An experimental study of transference interpretations. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163(10), 1739-1746.
Hoglend 2006

References for Effectiveness and Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Randomized Controlled Trial 
See summary here

Meta-analyses

Cuijpers, P., van Straten, A., Andersson, G., & van Oppen, P. (2008). Psychotherapy for depression in adults: A meta-analysis of comparative outcome studies. Journal of Consulting And Clinical Psychology, 76(6), 909-922. doi:10.1037/a0013075

 Link 

Leichsenring, F., & Rabung, S. (2011). Long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy in complex mental disorders: Update of a meta-analysis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 199(1), 15-22. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.110.082776

 Link 

Driessen, E., Cuijpers, P., de Maat, S. M., Abbass, A. A., de Jonghe, F., & Dekker, J. M. (2010). The efficacy of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy for depression: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(1), 25-36. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2009.08.010

 Link 

Shedler, J. (2010). The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 65(2), 98-109. doi:10.1037/a0018378

 Link 

Leichsenring, F., Rabung, S., & Leibing, E. (2004). The efficacy of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy in specific psychiatric disorders: A Meta-analysis. Archives Of General Psychiatry, 61(12), 1208-1216. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.61.12.1208

 Link

Leichsenring, F., & Rabung, S. (2008). Effectiveness of long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy: A meta-analysis. Journal of The American Medical Association, 300(13), 1551-1565. doi:10.1001/jama.300.13.1551

 Link

Svartberg, M., & Stiles, T. C. (1991). Comparative effects of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy: A meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting And Clinical Psychology, 59(5), 704-714. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.59.5.704

 Link 

Abbass, A., Town, J., & Driessen, E. (2011). The efficacy of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy for depressive disorders with comorbid personality disorder. Psychiatry: Interpersonal And Biological Processes, 74(1), 58-71. doi:10.1521/psyc.2011.74.1.58

Link

Smit, Y., Huibers, M. H., Ioannidis, J. A., van Dyck, R., van Tilburg, W., & Arntz, A. (2012). The effectiveness of long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy—A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clinical Psychology Review, 32(2), 81-92. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2011.11.003

 Link 

Reviews
Bateman, A. W., & Fonagy, P. (2000). Effectiveness of psychotherapeutic treatment of personality disorder. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 177, 138-143. doi:10.1192/bjp.177.2.138
 Link 
Fonagy, P., Roth, A., & Higgitt, A. (2005). The outcome of psychodynamic psychotherapy for psychological disorders. Clinical Neuroscience Research, 4(5-6), 367–377. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cnr.2005.03.005
 Link 
Beail, N. (2003). What works for people with mental retardation? Critical commentary on cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic psychotherapy research. Mental Retardation, 41(6), 468-472. doi:10.1352/0047-6765(2003)412.0.CO;2
 Link 
Gabbard, G. O. (2001). Empirical evidence and psychotherapy: A growing scientific base. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158(1), 1–3. http://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.158.1.1
 Link 
Milton, J. (2001). Psychoanalysis and cognitive behaviour therapy–Rival paradigms or common ground?. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 82(3), 431-447. doi:10.1516/DVLN-RK5E-C1YV-ME4V
 Link
Fonagy, P. (2003). The research agenda: The vital need for empirical research in child psychotherapy. Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 29(2), 129-136.
 Link
Fonagy, P., & Target, M. (1996). Predictors of outcome in child psychoanalysis: A retrospective study of 763 cases at the Anna Freud Centre. Journal of The American Psychoanalytic Association, 44(1), 27-77.
 Link
Midgley, N., & Kennedy, E. (2011). Psychodynamic psychotherapy for children and adolescents: A critical review of the evidence base. Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 37(3), 232-260. doi:10.1080/0075417X.2011.614738
 Link
Willner, P. (2005). The effectiveness of psychotherapeutic interventions for people with learning disabilities: A critical overview. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 49(1), 73-85. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2005.00633.x
 Link
Gottesfeld, M. L. (1985). Mystical aspects of psychotherapeutic efficacy. Psychoanalytic Review, 72(4), 589-597.
 Link
Incomplete List of Individual Studies
Burnand, Y., Andreoli, A., Kolatte, E., Venturini, A., & Rosset, N. (2002). Psychodynamic psychotherapy and clomipramine in the treatment of major depression. Psychiatric Services, 53(5), 585-590. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.53.5.585
 Link
Bateman, A., & Fonagy, P. (2001). Treatment of borderline personality disorder with psychoanalytically oriented partial hospitalization: An 18-month follow-up. The American Journal Of Psychiatry, 158(1), 36-42. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.158.1.36
 Link
Driessen, E., Van, H. L., Don, F. J., Peen, J., Kool, S., Westra, D., & … Dekker, J. M. (2013). The efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy in the outpatient treatment of major depression: A randomized clinical trial. The American Journal Of Psychiatry, 170(9), 1041-1050. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2013.12070899
 Link
Freedman, N., Hoffenberg, J. D., Vorus, N., & Frosch, A. (1999). The effectiveness of psychoanalytic psychotherapy: The role of treatment duration, frequency of sessions, and the therapeutic relationship. Journal Of The American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(3), 741-772. doi:10.1177/00030651990470031001
 Link
Bressi, C., Porcellana, M., Marinaccio, P. M., Nocito, E. P., & Magri, L. (2010). Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy versus treatment as usual for depressive and anxiety disorders: A randomized clinical trial of efficacy. Journal Of Nervous And Mental Disease, 198(9), 647-652. doi:10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181ef3ebb
 Link
Hilsenroth, M. J., Ackerman, S. J., Blagys, M. D., Baity, M. R., & Mooney, M. A. (2003). Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy for depression: An examination of statistical, clinically significant, and technique-specific change. Journal Of Nervous And Mental Disease, 191(6), 349-357. doi:10.1097/00005053-200306000-00001
 Link
Krystal, H. (1982). Alexithymia and the effectiveness of psychoanalytic treatment. International Journal Of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 9353-378.
 Link
Piper, W. E., Debbane, E. G., Bienvenu, J. P., & Garant, J. (1984). A comparative study of four forms of psychotherapy. Journal Of Consulting And Clinical Psychology, 52(2), 268-279. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.52.2.268
 Link
Blatt, S. J., & Shahar, G. (2004). Psychoanalysis–with whom, for what, and how? Comparisons with psychotherapy. Journal of The American Psychoanalytic Association, 52(2), 393-447.
 Link
Knekt, P., Lindfors, O., Härkänen, T., Välikoski, M., Virtala, E., Laaksonen, M. A., & … Renlund, C. (2008). Randomized trial on the effectiveness of long- and short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy and solution-focused therapy on psychiatric symptoms during a 3-year follow-up. Psychological Medicine, 38(5), 689-703. doi:10.1017/S003329170700164X
 Link 
Haase, M., Frommer, J., Franke, G., Hoffmann, T., Schulze-Muetzel, J., Jäger, S., & … Schmitz, N. (2008). From symptom relief to interpersonal change: Treatment outcome and effectiveness in inpatient psychotherapy. Psychotherapy Research, 18(5), 615-624. doi:10.1080/10503300802192158
 Link
Watzke, B., Rüddel, H., Jürgensen, R., Koch, U., Kriston, L., Grothgar, B., & Schulz, H. (2010). Effectiveness of systematic treatment selection for psychodynamic and cognitive–behavioural therapy: Randomised controlled trial in routine mental healthcare. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 197(2), 96-105. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.109.072835
 Link
Milrod, B., Leon, A. C., Busch, F., Rudden, M., Schwalberg, M., Clarkin, J., & … Shear, M. K. (2007). A randomized controlled clinical trial of psychoanalytic psychotherapy for panic disorder. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 164(2), 265-272. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.164.2.265
 Link
Busch, F. N., Milrod, B. L., & Sandberg, L. S. (2009). A study demonstrating efficacy of a psychoanalytic psychotherapy for panic disorder: Implications for psychoanalytic research, theory, and practice. Journal of The American Psychoanalytic Association, 57(1), 131-148. doi:10.1177/0003065108329677
 Link
Target, M., & Fonagy, P. (1994). The efficacy of psychoanalysis for children: Prediction of outcome in a developmental context. Journal of The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 33(8), 1134-1144. doi:10.1097/00004583-199410000-00009
 Link
Fonagy, P., & Target, M. (1994). The efficacy of psychoanalysis for children with disruptive disorders. Journal of The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 33(1), 45-55. doi:10.1097/00004583-199401000-00007
 Link
Fonagy, P., & Moran, G. S. (1990). Studies on the efficacy of child psychoanalysis. Journal of Consulting And Clinical Psychology, 58(6), 684-695. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.58.6.684
 Link
Target, M., & Fonagy, P. (1994). Efficacy of psychoanalysis for children with emotional disorders. Journal Of The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 33(3), 361-371. doi:10.1097/00004583-199403000-00010
 Link
Philips, B., Wennberg, P., Werbart, A., & Schubert, J. (2006). Young adults in psychoanalytic psychotherapy: Patient characteristics and therapy outcome. Psychology And Psychotherapy: Theory, Research And Practice, 79(1), 89-106. doi:10.1348/147608305X52649
 Link
Baruch, G. (1995). Evaluating the outcome of a community-based psychoanalytic psychotherapy service for young people between 12 and 25 years old: Work in progress. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 9(3), 243-267. doi:10.1080/02668739500700251
 Link
Deakin, E. K., & Nunes, M. T. (2009). Effectiveness of child psychoanalytic psychotherapy in a clinical outpatient setting. Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 35(3), 290-301. doi:10.1080/00754170903244621
 Link
Lush, D., Boston, M., & Grainger, E. (1991). Evaluation of psychoanalytic psychotherapy with children: Therapists’ assessments and predictions. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 5(3), 191-234. doi:10.1080/02668739100700101
 Link
Tonge, B. J., Pullen, J. M., Hughes, G. C., & Beaufoy, J. (2009). Effectiveness of psychoanalytic psychotherapy for adolescents with serious mental illness: 12 month naturalistic follow-up study. Australian And New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 43(5), 467-475. doi:10.1080/00048670902817679
 Link
Beail, N., Warden, S., Morsley, K., & Newman, D. (2005). Naturalistic Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy with Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of Applied Research In Intellectual Disabilities, 18(3), 245-251. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3148.2005.00223.x
 Link
Beail, N. (1998). Psychoanalytic psychotherapy with men with intellectual disabilities: A preliminary outcome study. British Journal Of Medical Psychology, 71(1), 1-11. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8341.1998.tb01363.x
 Link
Vinnars, B., Barber, J. P., Norén, K., Gallop, R., & Weinryb, R. M. (2005). Manualized supportive-expressive psychotherapy versus nonmanualized community-delivered psychodynamic therapy for patients with personality disorders: Bridging efficacy and effectiveness. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 162(10), 1933-1940. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.162.10.1933
 Link
Steuer, J. L., Mintz, J., Hammen, C. L., Hill, M. A., Jarvik, L. F., McCarley, T., & … Rosen, R. (1984). Cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic group psychotherapy in treatment of geriatric depression. Journal Of Consulting And Clinical Psychology, 52(2), 180-189. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.52.2.180
 Link
Leichsenring, F., Masuhr, O., Jaeger, U., Dally, A., & Streeck, U. (2010). The effectiveness of psychoanalytic-interactional psychotherapy in borderline personality disorder. Bulletin Of The Menninger Clinic, 74(3), 206-218. doi:10.1521/bumc.2010.74.3.206
 Link
Gabbard, G. O. (2000). Psychodynamic psychotherapy of borderline personality disorder: A contemporary approach. Bulletin Of The Menninger Clinic, 65(1), 41-57. doi:10.1521/bumc.65.1.41.18705
 Link
Books/Book Chapters
Levy, R. A., Ablon, J. S. (2009). Handbook of evidence-based psychodynamic psychotherapy:  Bridging the gap between science and practice.  New York: Humana Press
Keller, W., Westhoff, G., Dilg, R., Rohner, R., & Studt, H. H. (2002). Efficacy and cost effectiveness aspects of outpatient (Jungian) psychoanalysis and psychotherapy–a catamnestic study. In M. Leuzinger-Bohleber, M. Target, M. Leuzinger-Bohleber, M. Target (Eds.), Outcomes of psychoanalytic treatment: Perspectives for therapists and researchers (pp. 186-197). Philadelphia, PA, US: Whurr Publishers.