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Effectiveness of child psychoanalytic psychotherapy in a clinical outpatient setting

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the outcome of child psychoanalytic psychotherapy in a clinical outpatient setting in a city in southern Brazil. Three psychological tests (Rorschach, Bender and WISC III) were administered to 23 children, aged 6-11 years old, and the Child Behaviour Check List (CBCL) was completed by the parents. All testing was completed before the beginning of the individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The same measures were repeated after 12 months of intervention. The 23 children who received individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy were compared with a control group who did not receive any kind of intervention. In the clinical group, the results indicated a statistically significant reduction of anxiety symptoms (0.002) and school problems (0.031), improvement in interpersonal relationships (0.022), and positive change in the following CBCL scales: withdrawn (0.010), thought problems (0.022), anxiety and depression (0.017), internalising (0.008) and total (0.003). An effect size of 0.696 was calculated based on the CBCL total scale before and after the intervention. The results revealed that child psychoanalytical psychotherapy is mostly effective in the treatment of female children who present internalising disorders.
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Keywords: Child; effectiveness; outcome; psychoanalysis; psychological evaluation; psychotherapy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 340 West Enid Drive, Key Biscayne, FL, USA 2: Pontificia Universidade Catolica do RGS, Av. Ipiranga, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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