Psychodynamic psychotherapy for children and adolescents: an updated narrative review of the evidence base

French, Lorna, Kennedy, Eilis, Midgley, Nick and O'Keeffe, Sally (2017) Psychodynamic psychotherapy for children and adolescents: an updated narrative review of the evidence base. Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 43 (3). pp. 307-329. ISSN 0075-417X

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While the evidence base for psychodynamic therapy with adults is now quite substantial, there is still a lack of research evaluating the effectiveness of psychodynamic therapies with children and young people. Those studies that have been carried out are also not widely known in the field. To help address the second point, in 2011, we carried out a review of the evidence base for psychodynamic psychotherapy for children and adolescents, which identified 35 studies which together provided some preliminary evidence for this treatment for a range of childhood disorders. The present study is an updated review, focusing on research published between March 2011 and November 2016. During this period, 23 additional studies were published, of which 5 were reports on randomised controlled trials, 3 were quasi-experimental controlled studies and 15 were observational studies. Although most studies covered children with mixed diagnoses, there were a number of studies examining specific diagnostic groups, including children with depression, anxiety and disruptive disorders. whilst the quality of studies was mixed, some were well-designed and reported, and overall indicated promising findings. Nevertheless, further high-quality research is needed in order to better understand the effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapy across a range of different disorders, and to ensure that services can provide a range of evidence-based treatments for children and young people.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Child And Adolescent Psychotherapy, Evidence-Based Practice, Effectiveness, Efficacy, Outcome Studies, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Research & Development Unit
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Psychotherapy
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Psychodynamics
Research, Tests, Assessments > Narrative Analysis
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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