Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy Trial Therapy: Effectiveness and Role of “Unlocking the Unconscious”

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Abstract

This study examined the effects of trial therapy interviews using intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy with 500 mixed sample, tertiary center patients. Furthermore, we investigated whether the effect of trial therapy was larger for patients who had a major unlocking of the unconscious during the interview compared with those who did not. Outcome measures were the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP), measured at baseline and at 1-month follow-up. Significant outcome effects were observed for both the BSI and the IIP with small to moderate preeffect/posteffect sizes, Cohen's d = 0.52 and 0.23, respectively. Treatment effects were greater in patients who had a major unlocking of the unconscious compared with those who did not. The trial therapy interview appears to be beneficial, and its effects may relate to certain therapeutic processes. Further controlled research is warranted.

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