It’s no secret that a lot of modern insurance companies harbor a preference for what they view as the most cost-effective measures when it comes to addressing emotional well-being and health in general. In relation to therapy, this attitude has often lead to a hasty endorsement of short-term therapies, especially in conjunction with various medicines. But Falk Leichsenring, a professor of Psychotherapy Research at the University of Giessen in Germany, has long suspected that this hasty endorsement is a departure from understanding which types of therapy are most effective.
Based on the extensive review of a collection of twenty three in-depth studies involving over a thousand participants, Leichsenring set out to pinpoint the therapies that clients found most beneficial, and with which therapists themselves were most satisfied. What he found was that while short term therapies usually had some degree of impact on the lives and prosperity of clients, in-depth courses of therapy involving psychodynamic elements and techniques were responsible for greater rates of achievement. Over the course of several months or even a few years, long term therapy embracing the person as a whole and taking the time to look at their backgrounds, memories, relationships, and personal observations is capable of serving as the foundation for profound change, the study suggests, while less involved treatments can fail to address deep-rooted feelings and ideas.
Leichsenring’s work, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in the fall, goes a long way toward helping the mental health professions underscore the importance of effective and meaningful technique in the face of insurance plans and common myths tied to the false superiority of short-term therapy. As more professionals open their work to the principles of psychodynamic care, the great ability and potential of this method may experience a rightful rise.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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