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Research Article

Differential Outcome of Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy and Systematic Desensitization in the Treatment of Anxious Out-Patients A Preliminary Report

Authors:

Roland Pierloot ,

St. Rafaël, Kapucijnenvoer 35, 3000 Leuven, BE
About Roland
M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, University of Leuven
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Jan Vinck

St. Rafaël, Kapucijnenvoer 35, 3000 Leuven, BE
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Ph.D, Lecturer in Medical Psychology, Limburgs Universitair Centrum, Diepenbeek
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Abstract

A number of out-patients, presenting anxiety manifestations, were randomly assigned to systematic desensitization or short-term dynamic psychotherapy. The results were compared with regard to symptomatic improvement, gain in insight and integration of conflicts, change in general functioning. The assessment was based on comparison of the results of different methods, applied before and at the end of the therapy and after a follow-up period of three months. Generally we do not find consistent differences of a statistically sufficient magnitude between the treatments. This is in line with the results of comparative studies where specificity of effect is not examined. We find some tendencies in the direction of our expectations. 1. Although not uniform, the results are in favour of the assumption that systematic desensitization produces more immediate specific symptomatic effects. The evolution of this improvement in the follow-up period is divergent, according to the different evaluation instruments. 2. According to the appraisal of the therapists short-term dynamic psychotherapy produces a larger increase of insight; this opinion is not confirmed by the patients. Probably the concept of "insight’ should be more circumscribed. - 3. General effects of therapy are estimated by both groups at the same level. The initial similar effect on habitual role functioning improves during the follow-up in the short-term dynamic psychotherapy group, while the opposite occurs in the systematic desensitization group.
How to Cite: Pierloot, R. and Vinck, J., 1978. Differential Outcome of Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy and Systematic Desensitization in the Treatment of Anxious Out-Patients A Preliminary Report. Psychologica Belgica, 18(1), pp.87–98. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb.626
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Published on 01 Jan 1978.
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