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Christian Counseling - The Benefit of Long-term Psychodynamic Therapy

At CCCRD we offer psychodynamic or insight-oriented therapy. It goes beyond attempting to change faulty thinking (cognitive therapy) and a person's actions (behavioral) to changing the heart. This approach seeks to understand the "whys" of peoples' thoughts, feelings and behaviors. By gaining insight into the unconscious and how one's unique history effects a significant influence on life in the here and now, the therapist and client have critical information necessary for long-lasting change. This, in the context of spiritual understanding and God's help, is a force to be reckoned with.

In October 2008, Richard Glass published, "Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Research Evidence: Bambie Survives Godzilla," in The Journal of the American Medical Association. The meta-analysis (a research technique integrating multiple study results into a single result) looked at 23 studies which evaluated the effectiveness of psychodynamic therapy lasting more than one year. The results showed that long-term psychodynamic therapy to significantly be of greater and lasting benefit to those with complex problems than short-term therapies.

As with any study, there are limitations, such as the small number of studies evaluated. But, because of the complexity and cost of psychodynamic research studies, there aren't many to date. On the other hand, these early results are encouraging to those who use this approach and to clients receiving this type of therapy.

For those who desire to change a specific and uncomplicated behavior, like a phobia, short-term cognitive and/or behavioral therapy can be sufficient. The same can be true for those who simply want therapy to help them feel better. For complicated problems and those seeking heart change ("truth in the innermost being and in the hidden part...[to] know wisdom," [Psalm 51:6]), insight-oriented therapy is the treatment of choice.

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