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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Negative effects in psychotherapy

Alexander Rozental, Louis Castonguay, Sona Dimidjian, and others
BJPsych Open (2018) 4, 307–312.

Background

Psychotherapy can alleviate mental distress and improve quality of life, but little is known about its potential negative effects and how to determine their frequency.

Aims

To present a commentary on the current understanding and future research directions of negative effects in psychotherapy.

Method

An anonymous survey was distributed to a select group of researchers, using an analytical framework known as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Results

The researchers perceive an increased awareness of negative effects in psychotherapy in recent years, but also discuss some of the unresolved issues in relation to their definition, assessment and reporting. Qualitative methods and naturalistic designs are regarded as important to pursue, although a number of obstacles to using such methods are identified.

Conclusion

Negative effects of psychotherapy are multifaceted, warranting careful considerations in order for them to be monitored and reported in research settings and routine care.

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