Depth Therapies in Our Quick-Fix Times: What Does the Evidence Say and What Do People Want?

Misperceptions and misunderstandings of the evidence bases supporting depth-oriented psychotherapy, short-term structured therapy, and psychiatric medication have permeated the public and our own profession for decades. As a result, many people, including therapists, lack clear, updated information about which therapies are most effective. Evidence bases supporting short-term treatment -- whether manualized cognitive-behavioral treatments or medications -- are undisputedly large and do show these treatments can be efficacious. However, there are many indications that these evidence bases are c...Read morerumbling, and short-term treatments have been overvalued and depth therapies undervalued. Unfortunately, the narrative from proponents of short-term treatments (academic psychology, government funding sources, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies), with their substantial financial resources, has crowded out awareness and understanding of the strong evidence for longer-term, psychodynamic treatment.

The general public is also influenced by these narratives, in addition to having their own biases and ideas about therapy. To assess what people know about therapy and mental health, and what they really want from treatment, the Psychotherapy Action Network (PsiAN) conducted extensive original research with the general public. From this innovative and unprecedented effort to talk directly to the public, we learned about the attitudes people have towards therapy, which benefits matter most, what their misperceptions and biases are, and what they know and don’t know about mental health and therapy.

It’s critical for therapists to have the most updated and accurate information about the evidence bases for different forms of treatment. It’s also invaluable to understand how the general public views therapy and what’s really most important to them. This presentation will review the evidence bases for short-term and long-term treatments, and outline the various factors that have contributed to the misperceptions of the evidence. It will also share the findings from PsiAN’s original research with the general public. Finally, it will offer ideas about how to communicate and engage with the public in ways that are meaningful and relevant, so that the public gains greater awareness, understanding and appreciation for therapies of depth, insight, and relationship. Less...

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the evidence base for psychoanalytic treatment.
  • Describe the evidence base for short-term structured treatments.
  • Assess the consequences of misinterpreting these evidence bases.
  • Describe the benefits that the general public seeks from therapy and their attitudes towards issues of mental health care.

Friday, September 17, 2021


10:00 AM EDT - 01:00 PM EDT

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About the speaker



Evidence base for psychoanalytic/depth therapies

10:30 – 11:00

Othering of this evidence base

“Evidence-based treatments” – another look 


Legal and regulatory support for depth therapies

Why action is needed now to support them and educate others on evidence base

11:30 – 12:30

What people want from therapy – presentation of PsiAN’s original market research 

12:30 – 1:00


CE Information - Earn 3 CE Credit Hours

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New York Education Department for Licensed Mental Health Counselors
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New York State Education Department's State Board for Psychology
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