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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2009 Jul;197(7):547-51. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181aac833.

Defense style changes with the addition of psychodynamic group therapy to clonazepam in social anxiety disorder.

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Post Graduate Program in Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.


Psychodynamic Group Therapy (PGT) and clonazepam are strategies to reduce symptoms of generalized social anxiety disorder (GSAD). The addition of PGT might lead to changes in defense styles. The objective of this study is to examine changes in defense styles when comparing clonazepam to psychodynamic group therapy plus clonazepam in GSAD during 12 weeks. Fifty-seven patients that met DSM-IV criteria for GSAD participated. social anxiety disorder symptoms were evaluated with the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, and defense styles with the Defense Style Questionnaire. All defense styles changed overtime for both groups, especially mature defense style, which increased independently of the treatment allocation group. Regression analyses found that overtime there was a reduction in neurotic defenses in the combined group, whereas there was an increase in the clonazepam group. Neurotic defense style can change toward greater adaptiveness with the addition of PGT to clonazepam in GSAD, even in 12 weeks.

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