(This section is organized alphabetically by first author.)
Ablon, J., & Jones, E. E. (1998). How expert clinicians’ prototypes of an ideal treatment correlate with outcome in psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Psychotherapy Research,Psychother Res 8, 71–83.
Demonstrating how what a treatment is called by therapists, and how it benefits patients, may be two quite different matters. New methodology for assessing the processes of therapy combine with outcome assessment.
Ablon, J. S., Levy, R.A., & Katzenstein, T. (2006). Beyond Brand Names of Psychotherapy: Identifying Empirically Supported Change Processes. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training 43, 216-231.
Blatt and his colleagues’ work has shown a wide variety of important clinical features affecting the outcome of treatment.
This study explores the varieties of perceived benefits including changes in self-concept. A careful effort to determine what categories of changes patients actually appreciate after the treatment.
Høglend, P. Hersoug, A.G., Bøgwald, K.P., Amlo, S., Marble, A., Sørbye, Ø., Røssberg, J.I.,, Ulberg, R., Gabbard, G. & Crits-Christoph, P. (2011). Effects of Transference Work in the Context of Therapeutic Alliance and Quality of Object Relations. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 79, 697–706.
Leuzinger-Bohleber, M., Stuhr, U., Ruger, B., & Beutel, M. (2003) How to study the quality of psychoanalytic treatments and their long-term effects on patients’ well-being: a representative, multi-perspective follow-up study. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 84, 263-290.
This study of hundreds of patients about seven years after their analyses and psychotherapies is sensitive, in depth, yet methodologically sophisticated. One of the very best.
Levy, K.N., Meehan, K.B., Kelly, K.M., Reynoso, J.S., Weber, M., Clarkin, J.F., & Kernberg, O.F. (2006) Change in attachment patterns and reflective function in a randomized controlled trial of Transference Focused Psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 74, 1027-1040.
A superbly organized and executed study showing how the psychodynamic elements make a difference to outcome. Patients with severe and long-standing personality difficulties in psychoanalytic treatment improve significantly in their functioning and emotional health, and they do so by cultivating a greater ability to meaningfully reflect on themselves and others close to them.
A systematic review of studies examining the complex interactions between therapist attachment styles, interpersonal history, and other factors affecting therapists’ subjective self-concept on the one hand, with similar patient personality factors on the other. By attending to one’s own ‘subjective variables’ as a therapist, one can construct interventions better suited to the patient’s needs in treatment.
Milrod, B., Leon, A.C., Busch, F., Rudden, M., Schwalberg, M., Clarkin, J., Aronson, A., Singer, M., Turchin, W., Klass, E.T., Graf, E., Teres, J.J. & Shear, M.K. (2007) A randomized controlled clinical trial of psychoanalytic psychotherapy for panic disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry 164: 265-272.
This randomized study of the results of twice-weekly panic focused therapy compared to a version of cognitive therapy often used to treat panic attacks, each lasting for 24 sessions, is noteworthy for the sophistication of its design.
Sandell, R., Blomberg, J., Lazar, A., Carlsson, J., Broberg, J. & Schubert, J. (2000). Varieties of long-term outcome among patients in psychoanalysis and long-term psychotherapy: a review of findings in the Stockholm outcome of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy project (STOPPP). International Journal of Psychoanalysis: 81: 921-942.
A complicated study to understand fully, but of the highest quality, showing that the benefits of more intensive work (in comparison with infrequent sessions) begin to show only as the years go on. There are other findings in regard to therapists who attempt to conduct therapy too much like classical analysis, to the detriment of their patients.
This is a classical study, compiling carefully what our patient “consumers” really got out of their treatments. Clear and sensible.
Shea, M. Tracie; Elkin, Irene; Imber, Stanley D; Sotsky, Stuart M; Watkins, John T; Collins, Joseph F; Pilkonis, Paul A; Beckham, Edward; Glass, David R; Dolan, Regina T. 1992.Course of depressive symptoms over follow-up: Findings from the National Institute of Mental Health Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program.
Archives of General Psychiatry. 49: 782-787.
Stern, D.N. (1998). The process of therapeutic change involving implicit knowledge: Some implications of developmental observations for adult psychotherapy. Infant Mental Health Journal, 19, 300-308.
Seminal work leading to increasing awareness of the importance of implicit processes in psychotherapy. Despite past bias privileging explicit insights gained by the patient, many important and helpful things occur more implicitly in treatment, in the background of the conversation and often without either therapist or patient realizing.
Wallerstein, R. (1986) Forty-Two Lives in Treatment: A Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. New York: Guilford Press.(746 pages) and Wallerstein, R.S. (1989) The Psychotherapy Research Project of the Menninger Foundation: an overview. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57 (2), 195-205.
This monumental, sophisticated and thorough clinical study is fascinating reading. The short version is in the second reference. Patients benefited substantially (see WALDRON, S. Book Review: (1989) Psychoanalytic Quarterly 58: pp. 643-647 for an interesting way of assessing the degree of benefit). Two limitations: there was no comparison group, and there was no recording of the treatments to make possible detailed process assessments. Nevertheless, the study demonstrated strikingly that long term change took place as much with supportive elements as insight.
Werbart, A., Hagertz, M., & Olander, N.B. (2018). Matching patient and therapist anaclitic-introjective personality configurations matters for psychotherapy outcomes. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 48: 241-251.
This study examined patients and their therapists, according to Blatt’s theory of personality development, and differential personality patterns emphasizing either relatedness or self-definition. The authors found that convergent patterns in patient and therapist were associated with more robust treatment outcomes, and they suggest additional attention and intervention in patients known to differ from therapists in these respects, in order to collaborate effectively in psychotherapy.
Westen, D., Novotny, C.M., & Thompson-Brenner, H. (2004). The empirical status of empirically supported psychotherapies: Assumptions, findings, and reporting in controlled clinical trials. Psychological Bulletin. 130: 631-663
These writers demonstrate the inadequacy of the empirically supported approach to benefit, from a variety of convincing perspectives.