What treatment works best for people with depression? Is it psychodynamic psychotherapy, in the Freudian tradition, with its emphasis on hidden, unconscious desires? Or is it Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, based on more contemporary (and less, y’know, made up) ways of thinking about psychology? How do you even do a good study on something as complicated as psychological therapy, anyway?
In this episode of The Studies Show, Tom (ego) and Stuart (superego) talk about two recent reviews that summarise all the evidence on which kind of therapy works best - and find some results that surprise them both.
The Studies Show is sponsored by Works in Progress magazine - a journal of new and exciting ideas about how to make the world better. Recent issues have covered topics as varied as geothermal power, architecture, the scientific literature, vaccines, and cocktails - explaining how we’ve made progress with them in the past, and how we might improve them even more in future. Find all their articles for free at this link.
Paper on the importance of the control group in psychotherapy RCTs
The pros and cons of “treatment as usual” as a control group
The 2023 meta-analysis on psychodynamic psychotherapy
The 2023 meta-analysis on cognitive behavioural therapy
An argument as to why CBT is the “gold standard” of psychotherapy
Frederick Crews’s very very negative book on Freud
The online tool we used to put the effect sizes in terms of “% of the treatment group doing better than the control group”
The Studies Show is produced by Julian Mayers at Yada Yada Productions.