Psychotherapy Technique Related to Changes in Anxiety Symptoms With a Transdiagnostic Sample

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Abstract

The current study examined how techniques in a psychodynamic model of therapy (Blagys and Hilsenroth, Clin Psychol Sci Pract. 7, 167–188, 2000) were related to changes in anxiety symptoms across early treatment process among a transdiagnostic sample of patients with primary anxiety disorder, subclinical anxiety disorder, and no anxiety disorder. Secondary analyses examined the use of specific psychodynamic techniques in relation to symptom change. Results revealed that therapists' use of psychodynamic-interpersonal (PI) techniques were significantly and directly related to changes in anxiety symptoms, in line with previous findings (Pitman, Slavin-Mulford, and Hilsenroth, J Nerv Ment Dis. 202, 391–396, 2014). In addition, patients with co-occurring axis I and II disorders demonstrated positive changes in anxiety symptoms regardless of level of PI technique used, whereas patients without co-occurring disorders experienced greater improvement with more PI. Implications for transdiagnostic treatment protocols for anxiety, notably Leichsenring and Salzer's (Psychotherapy 51, 224, 2104) Unified Psychodynamic Protocol for Anxiety Disorders, are discussed in relation to the current findings.

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