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Long term psychotherapy proves effective

The Tavistock Adult Depression Study (TADS) is the first randomised controlled trial in the NHS to establish if long term psychoanalytic psychotherapy provides relief for patients suffering from chronic depression that has not been helped by the treatments currently provided: antidepressants, short-term courses of counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy:

44% of the patients who were given 18 months of weekly psychoanalytic psychotherapy no longer have major depressive disorder when followed up two years after therapy had ended;

14% of those receiving the psychoanalytic psychotherapy had recovered completely

Those receiving the psychoanalytic psychotherapy also saw significantly more benefits to their quality of life, general wellbeing and social and personal functioning.

Some patients did not benefit. Research is ongoing to identify the reasons underlying the differences in responsiveness.

Freud at Tavistock

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