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Psychother Psychosom. 1988;50(4):192-200.

12-year follow-up study of the Hamburg short psychotherapy experiment: an overview.

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Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Clinic of Eppendorf, Hamburg, FRG.


In 1971/72 eighty-seven psychoneurotic and psychosomatic patients of the Psychosomatic Outpatient Department at the University Clinic of Hamburg-Eppendorf attained an indication for short-term psychotherapy. Nineteen patients did not accept our offer despite a sufficient prognosis; they form the nontreated control group. The remaining 68 patients were assigned at random to a psychodynamic conflict-centered (n = 34) or to a client-centered therapy (n = 34), each with a maximum of 30 sessions. In spite of this long interval of 12 years we gained information about 82.5% of our patients. The follow-up program consisted of a multidimensional approach to describe the posttreatment development of our patients: psychological tests, self-rating by the patient and assessments by the follow-up interviewer and independent ratings of experts. The efficacy of short psychotherapy is seen in the test scale 'extraversion' for both treatment groups, for 'depression' only for the client-centered therapy; for the psychodynamic therapy there is a tendency for late changes. The clinical ratings show no significant differences between the treatment and the control groups. Sex combination in the therapeutic dyads (i.e. same sex vs. opposite sex) is important for patients' posttherapeutic development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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