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ERIC Number: EJ914069
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0003-066X
When It Comes to Evaluating Psychodynamic Therapy, the Devil Is in the Details
Anestis, Michael D.; Anestis, Joye C.; Lilienfeld, Scott O.
American Psychologist, v66 n2 p149-151 Feb-Mar 2011
Comments on the original article, "The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy," by J. Shedler. 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).
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A