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J Clin Psychol. 2001 Jul;57(7):865-74.

Syzygy, science, and psychotherapy: the Consumer Reports study.

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  • 1Northwestern University, Milwaukee, WI, USA.


Results from a Consumer Reports (CR) survey indicated that psychotherapy has proven to be quite effective and that longer-term therapy has been more effective than shorter-term therapy. Critiques of the methodology of this study have included the claim that (a) the self-selected sample was biased in favor of people who felt that they had benefited from psychotherapy, (b) the use of retrospective accounts led to a further positive bias, and (c) the validity of the outcome assessment was questionable. Supplemental data from other sources, including prospective data from a large sample of psychotherapy patients, are presented to augment the interpretation of the results of the CR study and to illustrate how some critiques of research results can be evaluated systematically.

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