Although the subject has been debated and examined for more than 3 decades, it is still not clear whether all psychotherapies are equally efficacious. The authors conducted 7 meta-analyses (with a total of 53 studies) in which 7 major types of psychological treatment for mild to moderate adult depression (cognitive—behavior therapy, nondirective supportive treatment, behavioral activation treatment, psychodynamic treatment, problem-solving therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and social skills training) were directly compared with other psychological treatments. Each major type of treatment had been examined in at least 5 randomized comparative trials. There was no indication that 1 of the treatments was more or less efficacious, with the exception of interpersonal psychotherapy (which was somewhat more efficacious; d=0.20) and nondirective supportive treatment (which was somewhat less efficacious than the other treatments; d=−0.13). The drop-out rate was significantly higher in cognitive—behavior therapy than in the other therapies, whereas it was significantly lower in problem-solving therapy. This study suggests that there are no large differences in efficacy between the major psychotherapies for mild to moderate depression.
(Reprinted with permission from Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2008; 76:909—922)
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