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Ask the Experts

Question:

Why is pschoanalysis still practiced when it is clinically proven to be less effectice than other forms of therapy?

Answered by: Myrna Weissman

There are no direct comparisions of psychoanalysis with other therapies in homogeneous samples of patients of sufficient size using controlled clinical trials to make any big claims.

Barbara Milrod has a beginning, but its a small study, and I understand that Otto Kernberg has a trial soon to be published.

When and if these trials are done and they ought to be and if they show that psychoanalysis is not effective compared to another treatment for a specific disorder it will lose credence.

There are not so many psychotherapy clinical trials meeting these criteria. I suspect that psychoanalysis in its tradional form is not practiced a lot, mainly because of reimbursement issues.