Psychoanalytically informed therapies should be more widely available - BPC letter in the Guardian

The BPC has had a letter from its CEO Gary Fereday published in The Guardian newspaper, making it clear that there is good evidence that psychoanalytically informed therapies help many people and should be more widely available.

Written in response to an article by journalist Susanna Rustin, the full letter states:

'Susanna Rustin ('We all need psychoanalysis', 9 October) is surely right that “A country in which reflection and curiosity about oneself is encouraged would be a wiser, kinder place”. Psychoanalysis provides a safe and confidential space in which people can explore their feelings and thoughts, and it changes lives. While clinical trials have previously been thin on the ground there have been a number of important ones in recent years, and the clinical evidence base is growing. There is good evidence to suggest that psychoanalytically informed therapies should be more widely available. Readers may also be interested to know that data from the NHS’s psychological therapies programme dataset demonstrates that psychodynamic psychotherapy helped patients to recover in fewer sessions on average (5.7 sessions) than CBT (5.8 sessions), the most widely available therapy.

As Rustin notes, talking is not a cure-all. No one treatment will work for everyone but where there is good evidence that a treatment can have a lasting positive effect, it should be made more widely available. If this helps to make Britain a kinder, happier place then that surely can only be a good thing. At a time of increasing stress and uncertainty, we could all do with more kindness and happiness.'

Working with its Research and Evidence Base Advisory Group, the BPC has been collating the evidence base for psychoanalysis for a number of years.  As the letter attests, we can now confidently say that the clinical evidence base is growing.  The BPC will shortly be publishing a number of updated papers on the research and evidence.

Date: 
Thursday, 19 October, 2017 - 12:25