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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1989 Apr;57(2):195-205.

The Psychotherapy Research Project of the Menninger Foundation: an overview.


Studied processes and outcomes of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, both expressive and supportive. 42 Ss were followed via initial, termination, and follow-up studies over the entire natural course of treatment, with 100% follow-up 2-3 years posttermination. Some follow-ups extended over the 30-year life span of the study. Detailed case histories and life histories were obtained from all 42 Ss. Psychoanalyses achieved more limited outcomes than predicted; psychotherapies often achieved more than predicted. Supportive mechanisms infiltrated all therapies, psychoanalyses included, and accounted for more of the achieved outcomes (including structural changes) than anticipated. An expanded new categorization of supportive therapeutic mechanisms is proposed, along with an elaboration of expressive therapeutic mechanisms.

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