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Sydney Morning Herald reports on a congress of psychodynamic therapists in Sydney this weekend

November 12, 2010

The Australian Psychological Society is hosting a conference in Sydney this weekend. Among the speakers is Christopher Bollas. this is a story from the Sydney Morning Herald covering the conference:

This weekend 230 psycho-dynamic therapists – as analysts now call themselves – meet in Sydney to hear from Jonathan Shedler, an associate professor at the University of Colorado Medical School, who has gathered the first impressive evidence in 80 years that talking therapies may work.

”The public has been told only new symptom-focused treatments like cognitive behaviour therapy have scientific support,” he said. ”The actual evidence shows that psycho-dynamic therapy is highly effective.”

Dr Shedler caused something of a sensation this year when he published in American Psychologist a review of 160 studies of psycho-dynamic therapy. The review not only countered the universal criticism of a lack of scientific evidence for psychoanalysis but also demonstrated it had substantial and lasting treatment benefits.

Psychoanalysis had moved with the times, he said. But Freud’s legacy lived on in his insight into the complexity of mental life and the realisation that people did not fully understand much of what they had experienced.

The unconscious part of mental life could cause people great suffering and shape the quality of their relationships.

”Therapy is a way of coming to know the part of ourselves we don’t fully know,” he said.


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