Psychotherapy/Psychoanalysis (Depression)

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    Amina H


    I was wondering if when outlining psychological therapies for depression that for a psychodynamic approach, could the terms psychotherapy and psychoanalysis be used interchangeably? So if I outlined techniques such as Rorschach Ink blot test in psychoanalysis as AO1 and then evaluated that with studies that look at psychotherapy would that still be creditworthy?




    Psychoanalysis is only one type of psychotherapy. It very much depends on the actual question. If the question was ‘outline and evaluate one type of psychological therapy for depression’ then you would be free to describe whatever psychological therapy you see as appropriate for depression and then evaluate that therapy more generally provided you were only evaluating its use as a treatment for depression’. What you can’t do is describe one type of psychological therapy as AO1 and then evaluate a different one as AO2, which is what you might be implying here.

    I’m not too sure about the use of the Rorschach test in the treatment of depression. Perhaps you should take a look at the NICE guidelines ( before investing too much time in inappropriate techniques.



    Amina H

    So would it be okay to write ‘one psychological therapy is psychotherapy which includes psychoanalysis…’ then outline techniques within psychoanalysis such as transference, dream analysis etc.’ so that any evaluation referring to psychotherapy in general is then okay to use?


    No it wouldn’t. If you use psychoanalysis for AO1 then you have to be specific about its use as a treatment for depression and then you have to evaluate that specific treatment rather than make more general AO2 points about psychotherapy.

    I don’t quite understand why you are trying to fit traditional Freudian psychoanalytic techniques to the treatment of depression. That is not the approach we have taken in our book where we use CBT and PIT (psychodynamic interpersonal therapy) as the psychological treatments for depression. The NICE guide also mentions Interpersonal therapy (IPT), behavioural activation and behavioural couples therapy but not psychoanalysis. You will have been taught appropriate psychological treatments for depression so best stick to those.


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