(One cannot hold oneself out as a Psychologist unless they have received the Doctorate degree, and have passed the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, the national licensing examination. In the state of New Hampshire as elsewhere, the LCMHC are individuals who have earned no less than a master’s degree, (some have earned their doctorate) but either cannot in the case of a terminal master’s degree status, or have chosen not to take the EPPP in the case of having been conferred the doctorate degree. )
Although psychodynamic psychotherapy can take many forms, commonalities include:
- An emphasis on the centrality of intrapsychic and unconscious conflicts, and their relation to development.
- Seeing defenses as developing in internal psychic structures in order to avoid unpleasant consequences of conflict.
- A belief that psychopathology develops especially from early childhood experiences.
- A view that internal representations of experiences are organized around interpersonal relations.
- A conviction that life issues and dynamics will re-emerge in the context of the client-therapist relationship as transference and counter-transference.
- Use of free association as a major method for exploration of internal conflicts and problems.
- Focusing on interpretations of transference, defense mechanisms, and current symptoms and the working through of these present problems.
- Trust in insight as critically important for success in therapy.
Meta-analyses in 2012 and 2013 come to the conclusion that there is support or evidence for the efficacy of psychoanalytic therapy, thus further research is needed. Other meta-analyses published in the recent years showed psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy to be effective, with outcomes comparable or greater than other kinds of psychotherapy orantidepressant drugs, but these arguments have also been subjected to various criticisms.
A system review of Long Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in 2009 found an overall effect size of .33. Others have found effect sizes of .44-.68. Meta-analyses of Short Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (STPP) have found effect sizes ranging from .34-.71 compared to no treatment and was found to be slightly better than other therapies in follow up. Other reviews have found an effect size of .78-.91 for somatic disorders compared to no treatment and .69 for treating depression. A 2012 meta-analysis by the Harvard Review of Psychiatry of Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (I-STPP) found effect sizes ranging from .84 for interpersonal problems to 1.51 for depression. Overall I-STPP had an effect size of 1.18 compared to no treatment.
In 2011, the American Psychological Association made 103 comparisons between psychodynamic treatment and a non-dynamic competitor and found that 6 were superior, 5 were inferior, 28 had no difference and 63 were adequate. The study found that this could be used as a basis "to make psychodynamic psychotherapy an "empirically validated" treatment."
A 2011 meta study showing that long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy was superior to less intensive forms of psychotherapy in complex mental disorders, has been challenged on methodology in the British Journal of Psychiatry, stating "we would greatly appreciate caution against a conclusion that the overall effectiveness of LTPP for treating complex mental disorders should now be considered as definitely proven." Positive research on efficacy would be very helpful to increase health systems provision of psychodynamic research.