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Leuzinger-Bohleber, Marianne; Kaufhold, Johannes; Kallenbach, Lisa; Negele, Alexa; Ernst, Mareike; Keller, Wolfram; Fiedler, Georg; Hautzinger, Martin; Bahrke, Ulrich; Beutel, Manfred (2019): How to measure sustained psychic transformations in long-term treatments of chronically depressed patients: Symptomatic and structural changes in the LAC Depression Study of the outcome of cognitive-behavioural and psychoanalytic long-term treatments(*). In: International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 100, No. 1: pp. 99-127
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Worldwide, the pressure on psychoanalysis to prove the results of its treatments according to the criteria of so-called evidence-based medicine has increased. While a large number of studies on the results of psychoanalytic short-term therapies are now available, such studies are still largely lacking on psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic long-term therapies. In a large multicentre study, the results of psychoanalytical and cognitive-behavioural longterm therapies in chronically depressed patients were compared, Both psychotherapies led to statistically highly significant changes in depressive symptoms three years after the start of the treatments However, the focus of psychoanalytic treatments is not exclusively on reducing psychopathological symptoms, but on changes in the inner world of the patients that are reminiscent of the goal of psychoanalyses that Freud has characterized as developing "the ability to love, work and enjoy life." In the German-speaking community, such transformations are called "structural changes." This article reports results on such structural changes achieved with the help of a sophisticated measuring instrument, the Operationalized Psychodynamic Diagnostics (OPD). These so-called structural changes are compared with symptomatic changes. Three years after the start of the treatments, significantly more patients in psychoanalytical treatments show such structural changes than patients in cognitive-behavioural treatments.