Therapeutic interventions related to outcome in psychodynamic psychotherapy for anxiety disorder patients

Jenelle Slavin-Mulford, Mark Hilsenroth, Joel Weinberger, Jerold Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


This is the first study with acceptable inter-rater reliability to examine specific therapeutic techniques related to change in anxiety disorder patients during short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy. The study first examined the effectiveness of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy and results showed significant and positive pre-/post-treatment changes on both patient and independent clinical ratings for anxiety, global symptomatology, relational, social, and occupational functioning. Likewise, the majority of patients (76%) reported anxiety symptoms within a normal distribution at termination. Importantly, psychodynamic interventions rated early in treatment (third/fourth session) were positively related to changes in anxiety symptoms. Further, results showed that several individual psychodynamic techniques were meaningfully related to outcome including (1) focusing on wishes, fantasies, dreams, and early memories; (2) linking current feelings or perceptions to the past; (3) highlighting patients' typical relational patterns; and (4) helping patients to understand their experiences in new ways. Clinical applications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-221
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • CPPS
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • STPP
  • anxiety
  • technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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