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Br J Psychiatry. 2006 Jul;189:60-4.

Comparison of brief dynamic and cognitive-behavioural therapies in avoidant personality disorder.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 15, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



There is a paucity of controlled trials examining the effectiveness of individual psychotherapy in personality disorders, especially in patients with cluster C disorders.


To compare the effectiveness of brief dynamic therapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy as out-patient treatment for people with avoidant personality disorder.


Patients who met the criteria for avoidant personality disorder (n=62) were randomly assigned to 20 weekly sessions of either brief dynamic therapy (n = 23) or cognitive-behavioural therapy (n=21), or they were assigned to the waiting-list control group (n = 18). After the waiting period, patients in the control group were randomly assigned to one of the two therapies.


Patients who received cognitive-behavioural therapy showed significantly more improvements on a number of measures in comparison with those who had brief dynamic psychotherapy or were in the waiting-list control group. Results were maintained at follow-up.


Cognitive-behavioural therapy is more effective than waiting-list control and brief dynamic therapy. Brief dynamic therapy was no better than the waiting-list control condition.

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