First 541 words of the document:
Psychodynamic therapies - Evaluation
Psychoanalysis - Appropriateness
Psychoanalysis is seen as an appropriate form of therapy for depression as it has helped to introduce
the world to psychodynamic methods of dealing with mental disorders, however some psychologists
argue that the psychodynamic approach cannot be proved or disapprove due to the fact that there is
little scientific evidence which has supported it. However, some of the research which has been
carried out based on middle-class, neurotic women an unrepresentative sample, so the findings
cannot be generalised to wider society, and therefore lacks population validity.
As psychoanalysis is based on the psychodynamic approach which was suggested by Freud, much of
the research is thought to be flawed due to the lack of research evidence; however, Sandler and
Sandler (1980) have overcome some of Freud's flaws.
The psychodynamic approach suggests that repressed memories is the main cause for depression,
however, it has been argued that `repressed memory therapy' does not actually recover repressed
memories, but instead plants false memories into an individual's mind.
Also, many psychologists and medical professionals argue that the psychodynamic approach to
treating depression is not the best form of therapy as it is time consuming and very costly and may
take a while to actually help the individual suffering with depression, unlike biological therapies, such
as chemotherapy, which takes effect much more quickly than psychoanalysis. This is also the case
with may depressed patients who are suicidal; they need a rapidly effective intervention in order to
prevent a suicide attempt and psychoanalysis may not be appropriate to use on them.
Freud, the founder of the psychoanalysis, claimed that he had successful outcomes when he has used
psychoanalysis on depressed patients, also Bergin (1971) calculated that around 80% of patients
benefited from psychoanalysis; both of these suggesting that psychoanalysis is effective in treating
depression. However, Eysenck (1966) estimated that 72% of patients who had received no
treatment over a period of 2 years had made a spontaneous recovery compared to only 44% of
patients who had received psychoanalysis. Also, Smith et al. (1980) conducted a meta-analysis found
that psychoanalysis was effective in treating depression, but not as effective as
cognitive-behavioural therapy, he also found that psychoanalysis was almost as effective as placebo
treatment. Both these studies showing the psychoanalysis is not effective in treating depression.
There are some psychologists that argue that psychodynamic therapies actually cause more
emotional damage to an individual than was already done before; this is due to the fact that they
have to relive painful memories in order to see which one is causing them the problem.
Some psychologists also argue that there is no effective way to measure the effectiveness of
psychoanalysis, this is due to the fact the `effectiveness' is a subjective concept which can only be
measured by the client and how they feel in regards to the therapy. Wedding (1995) also claimed
that there are too many variables involved so a `controlled' study will not provide valid findings and
therefore the effectiveness of psychoanalysis cannot not be measured accurately.