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Int J Psychoanal. 2005 Apr;86(Pt 2):433-55.

The Göttingen study of psychoanalytic therapy: first results.

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Clinic of Tiefenbrunn and Clinic of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, University of Göttingen, von Sieboldstr. 5, D-37075 Göttingen, Germany.


Results of a naturalistic study of the effectiveness of psychoanalytic therapy are reported. Outcome data are presented for a sample of N = 36 patients who were treated with psychoanalytic therapy. For a sample of n = 23 of these patients, data for 1-year follow-up are available at present. According to the results, psychoanalytic therapy yielded significant improvements in symptoms (Symptom Checklist 90-R, SCL-90-R and rating of psychoanalysts), in interpersonal problems (Inventory of Interpersonal Problems, IIP), in quality of life (Questionnaire of Quality of Life, FLZ), in well-being (Questionnaire of Changes in Experience and Behaviour VEV) and in target problems defined by the patients (Goal Attainment Scaling, GAS). Large effect sizes between 1.28 and 2.48 were found in symptoms (GSI of the SCL-90-R), interpersonal problems (IIP-total), quality of life (FLZ-total), well-being (VEV) and target problems (GAS). At 1-year follow-up, all improvements proved to be stable or even increased. The self-reported improvements in symptoms were corroborated by the ratings of the psychoanalysts. At the end of therapy, 77% of the patients showed clinically significant improvements. In the 1-year follow-up group, this was true for 80%. Further results are presented and discussed.

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