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August 1980

Success and Failure in Time-Limited Psychotherapy: Further Evidence (Comparison 4)

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(8):947-954. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780210105011

• This is the fourth in a series of comparisons involving patients treated in time-limited psychotherapy. The two patients were young men suffering from anxiety, depression, and social withdrawal. Both were treated by a highly experienced psychotherapist. One of the patients achieved lasting therapeutic results from the sessions; the other was a therapeutic failure. The comparisons are based on a set of objective measures as well as intensive clinical study of all tape-recorded therapy sessions. Results showed that the therapeutic outcome was a function of the patient's ability to become involved in a therapeutic relationship and to work productively within the framework proffered by the therapist. Equally important were countertransference reactions that seriously interfered with successful confrontation and resolution of the patient's negative transference.