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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2009 Oct;77(5):801-13. doi: 10.1037/a0016596.

Unique and common mechanisms of change across cognitive and dynamic psychotherapies.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, USA. gibbonsm@mail.med.upenn.edu

Abstract

The goal of this article was to examine theoretically important mechanisms of change in psychotherapy outcome across different types of treatment. Specifically, the role of gains in self-understanding, acquisition of compensatory skills, and improvements in views of the self were examined. A pooled study database collected at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Psychotherapy Research, which includes studies conducted from 1995 to 2002 evaluating the efficacy of cognitive and psychodynamic therapies for a variety of disorders, was used. Patient samples included major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, borderline personality disorder, and adolescent anxiety disorders. A common assessment battery of mechanism and outcome measures was given at treatment intake, termination, and 6-month follow-up for all 184 patients. Improvements in self-understanding, compensatory skills, and views of the self were all associated with symptom change across the diverse psychotherapies. Changes in self-understanding and compensatory skills across treatment were predictive of follow-up symptom course. Changes in self-understanding demonstrated specificity of change to dynamic psychotherapy.

(c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.

PMID:
19803561
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2844256
Free PMC Article
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