Therapeutic Interventions Related to Outcome in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy for Anxiety Disorder Patients

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This is the first study with acceptable inter-rater reliability to examine specific therapeutic techniques related to change in anxiety disorder patients during short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy. The study first examined the effectiveness of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy and results showed significant and positive pre-/post-treatment changes on both patient and independent clinical ratings for anxiety, global symptomatology, relational, social, and occupational functioning. Likewise, the majority of patients (76%) reported anxiety symptoms within a normal distribution at termination. Importantly, psychodynamic interventions rated early in treatment (third/fourth session) were positively related to changes in anxiety symptoms. Further, results showed that several individual psychodynamic techniques were meaningfully related to outcome including (1) focusing on wishes, fantasies, dreams, and early memories; (2) linking current feelings or perceptions to the past; (3) highlighting patients' typical relational patterns; and (4) helping patients to understand their experiences in new ways. Clinical applications are discussed.

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