The development of a brief psychodynamic intervent


This paper describes a protocol for a brief psychodynamic intervention (Dynamic
Interpersonal Therapy; DIT)for use with depressed patients and a pilot study set
out to test its acceptability and compatibility with session-by-session monitor-
ing as a prelude to a future randomized controlled trial. Sixteen consecutively
referred, depressed patients (aged 20-53) were offered 16 sessions of DIT. Pa-
tient outcomes were collected pre-post, and on a session-by-session basis, using
the PHQ-9 and GAD-7. Therapist and supervision feedback indicates that this
structured psychodynamic treatment could be effectively taught, and that the key
competences involved were acquired and demonstrated in the clinical work super-
vised. Patients found the treatment acceptable and relevant to their problems. The
treatment appeared compatible with session-by-session monitoring of symptoms
of anxiety and depression. DIT was associated with a significant reduction in
reported symptoms in all but one case,to below clinical levels in 70% of the pa-
tients. Random regression models revealed highly significant linear and quadratic
components, confirming the decrease in reported symptom severity but caution-
ing about slight increase in symptoms around the ending phase of the treatment.
The results suggest that DIT is promising in its acceptability and effectiveness
with an unselected group of primary care patients, and is easily acquired by psy-
chodynamically trained clinicians.