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Does Therapy ACTUALLY Work?

There are many scientific studies confirming that therapy does work. 


The research paper, “The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy", published by the American Psychological Association (APA) highlights the meta-analysis of general therapy and psychodynamic therapy. Below, we are providing a short summary of the paper’s findings.


What is a meta-analysis?

“A meta-analysis is a widely accepted method for summarizing and synthesizing the findings of studies. A widely used metric is effect size, which is the difference between treatment and control groups, expressed in standard deviation units. An effect size of 1.0 means that the average treated patient is one standard deviation healthier on the normal distribution or bell curve than the average untreated patient."


What is considered a positive effect size?

In psychological and medical research, an effect size of 0.8 is considered a large effect, 0.5 is considered moderate, and 0.2 is considered small.”

 

Results of general therapy

“One of the major meta-analysis of 475 general psychotherapy outcome studies found that patients who received therapy had a 0.85 effect size compared to patients who didn’t receive therapy.”


Results for psychodynamic therapy

"The meta-analysis of psychodynamic therapy, which included 23 randomized controlled trials of 1,413 patients who received short term (less than 40 hours) treatment, shows an effect size of 0.97.  Nine months later, the patients were assessed again showing an effect size increased to 1.51.” 


These results show that general therapy works and that psychodynamic therapy is "highly effective and works even beyond when therapy ends. It sets in motion psychological processes that lead to ongoing change.”

  

At Theralane, we practice culturally informed, psychodynamic therapy.


Learn more about the Benefits of Therapy.

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