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Psychother Res. 2016;26(3):307-17. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2014.973921. Epub 2014 Nov 3.

Goldilocks on the couch: Moderate levels of psychodynamic and process-experiential technique predict outcome in psychodynamic therapy.

Author information

1
a Department of Psychology , Chestnut Hill College , Philadelphia , PA , USA.
2
b Department of Psychology , University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia , PA , USA.
3
c Derner Institute, Adelphi University , Garden City , NY , USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Greater symptom change is often assumed to follow greater technique use, a "more is better" approach. We tested whether psychodynamic techniques, as well as common factors and techniques from other orientations, had a curvilinear relation to outcome (i.e., whether moderate or "just right" intervention levels predict better outcome than lower or higher levels).

METHODS:

For 33 patients receiving supportive-expressive psychodynamic psychotherapy for depression, interventions were assessed at Week 4 using the multitheoretical list of therapeutic interventions and symptoms were rated with the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression.

RESULTS:

Moderate psychodynamic and experiential techniques predicted greater symptom change compared to lower or higher levels.

CONCLUSION:

This "Goldilocks effect" suggests a more complex relation of intervention use to outcome might exist.

KEYWORDS:

experiential/existential/humanistic psychotherapy; outcome research; psychoanalytic/psychodynamic therapy

PMID:
25364984
DOI:
10.1080/10503307.2014.973921
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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