June 2, 2011
Though the info isn’t new, it’s just as relevant as it was years ago…
Back in 1995 Consumer Reports published an article that touted the benefits of psychotherapy. The article offered several interesting conclusions: 1) patients benefited very substantially from psychotherapy, 2) long-term treatment did considerably better than short-term treatment, and 3) a combination of psychotherapy with medication did not differ in effectiveness from psychotherapy alone.
There were other interesting findings, including that no one modality of psychotherapy was better than any other, and that licensed, doctoral level mental health professionals were more effective than “marriage counselors” or being followed just by one’s primary care physician. Furthermore, when insurance companies interfered by determining the therapists to be used or determining the length of treatment, patients did worse.
Though this was not exactly a prime example of a peer-reviewed, randomized controlled trial measuring the efficacy of psychotherapy, it was a nice, easy to understand adjunct to the existing psychotherapy effectiveness literature.