Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for panic disorder, according to a new study comparing it with relaxation therapy. Panic disorder is a common and debilitating condition characterized by bouts of extreme anxiety, dizziness, palpitations and chest pain. It accounts for as many as 20 per cent of US emergency room visits. Antidepressant therapies can be used to treat it, as can cognitive behavioral therapy. In a new study, researchers at New York -Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center reveal that psychodynamic psychotherapy is also a useful approach. A group of 49 patients was assigned to either 12 weeks of twice weekly psychodynamic therapy or to applied relaxation training. The psychoanalysis was twice as effective as the relaxation. In the study, 73 per cent of those on psychotherapy reported improvement, compared to only 39 per cent in the relaxation group. Psychodynamic psychotherapy allows helps patients confront the root causes of the fear that drives their panic disorder. This was only a small study but the results are promising enough to justify its extension to larger groups of patients.
Source American Journal of Psychiatry March 2007
I suppose it is good to see this sort of report. However it is all nonsense. They muddle up the distinction between psychoanalysis & psychodynamic psychotherapy, and worse it the idea that psychodynamic psychotherapy is focused on a particular symptom with a particular outcome. It may be that there is deep trauma under the panic and even 24 sessions is rushing it. Worse still is that the clients will have had to consent to a battery of tests.
Psychotherapy is like some particles in physics – it changes if you observe it from the outside.
Nice to see a test that says psychotherapy os ok, but still silly