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Unipolar depression in adults: Psychodynamic psychotherapy

Glen Gabbard, MD
Valdesha DeJean, MD
Section Editor
Peter P Roy-Byrne, MD
Deputy Editor
David Solomon, MD


There are many types of psychotherapy indicated for the treatment of depression, including psychodynamic psychotherapy.

(See "Unipolar major depression in adults: Choosing initial treatment".)

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is based upon the idea that childhood experiences, past unresolved conflicts, and previous relationships significantly influence an individual’s current situation in life [1]. Thus, adult relationships are understood to be a byproduct of unconscious patterns that begin in childhood [2]. Psychodynamic psychotherapy uncovers the unconscious patterns of object relations (interpersonal relationships), conflicts, and desires that cause depression.

This topic reviews psychodynamic psychotherapy for treating mild to moderate depression in adults. The initial treatment of depression; treatment of resistant depression; diagnosis of depression, prognosis of depression; treatment of late-life depression; and epidemiology, pathogenesis, and neurobiology of depression are discussed elsewhere.

(See "Unipolar major depression in adults: Choosing initial treatment".)

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 20, 2016.
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