Brief Psychodynamic and Cognitive Therapy Regarding Acute Treatment

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Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic psychotherapy either in their pure forms or possibly synthesized as a form of eclectic therapy appear to be the 2 most commonly utilized forms of psychotherapy, both having levels of empirical support. As the majority of outpatient therapy in America appears to be very brief, 1 reasonable assumption is that treatment is often sought for resolution of acute episodes. A relevant question for practice and clinical training is what are the potential implications with brief psychodynamic and cognitive therapy for this type of treatment? This brief commentary will address the following: (a) the current general differential empirical status of each approach; (b) distinctions between acute treatment and traditional brief therapy and current common treatment patterns; and (c) the general clinical mechanisms for change for each approach and their potential implications regarding acute treatment and clinical supervision.

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