Psychoanalytic psychotherapy can help depressed patients where other treatments fail
A ground-breaking research study conducted by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Mental Health Trust and published in the October issue of World Psychiatry is providing important evidence of the efficacy of long term psychoanalytic psychotherapy (LTPP) for NHS patients suffering from chronic depression.
The Tavistock Adult Depression Study (TADS) is the first randomized controlled trial in the NHS to establish if this type of psychotherapy can provide relief for those not helped by the treatments currently provided: antidepressants, short-term courses of counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy.
Crucially, the study, which started over 10 years ago, followed participants for two-years post-intervention to look at long-term therapeutic effects. It found nearly half of patients still saw major improvements two years after therapy had ended. This kind of depression is a major mental health problem: as many as one in five people who have an episode of depression will suffer a chronic form; the quality of life associated with some of these conditions is similar to that of people suffering from advanced metastatic cancer; suicide rates are high.
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