Comparison of brief dynamic and cognitive-behavioural therapies in avoidant personality disorder

Paul M. G. Emmelkamp*, Ank Benner, Antoinette Kuipers, Guus A. Feiertag, Harrie C. Koster, Franske J. van Apeldoorn

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    93 Citations (Scopus)


    Background There is a paucity of controlled trials examining the effectiveness of individual psychotherapy in personality disorders, especially in patients with cluster C disorders.

    Aims To compare the effectiveness of brief dynamic therapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy as out-patient treatment for people with avoidant personality disorder.

    Method Patients who met the criteria for avoidant personality disorder (n=62) were randomly assigned to 20 weekly sessions of either brief dynamic therapy (n=23) or cognitive-behavioural therapy (n=21), or they were assigned to the waiting-list control group (n=18). After the waiting period, patients in the control group were randomly assigned to one of the two therapies.

    Results Patients who received cognitive-behavioural therapy showed significantly more improvements on a number of measures in comparison with those who had brief dynamic psychotherapy or were in the waiting-list control group. Results were maintained at follow-up.

    Conclusions Cognitive-behavioural therapy is more effective than waiting-list control and brief dynamic therapy. Brief dynamic therapy was no better than the waiting-list control condition.

    Declaration of interest None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)60-64
    Number of pages5
    JournalThe British Journal of Psychiatry
    Publication statusPublished - Jul-2006


    • SAMPLE

    Cite this