Date: Friday 24 March 2017
Venue: Hallam Conference Centre, 44 Hallam Street, London W1W 6JJ

Restructuring Fragility: results of a randomised controlled trial of intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy (ISTDP) for treatment-resistant depression

A decade ago Lord Layard drew attention to the scandal of unmet need for treatment for depression: IAPT was born. A decade on the scandal is that over 1M patients each year are leaving IAPT without having recovered. The NHS ‘set menu’ today – a choice between anti-depressants or (anti-depressants +) CBT / counselling – leaves far too many wanting more. Sadly, the prognosis for those who ‘fail’ these treatments has got bleaker. Less than 1% of IAPT patients in 2016 were offered a choice of psychodynamic treatment. This is despite the fact there have been two randomized controlled trials of psychoanalytic therapies, specifically for treatment resistant depression, since the 2009 NICE guideline. What do we need to do to ensure the NHS offers effective treatments for this group of patients, whom services may see as ‘too risky’ or ‘fragile’?

Dr. Joel Town will present results of a trial of time limited psychoanalytic therapy (20 sessions, ISTDP) versus treatment as usual in a community mental health team (CMHT) for treatment resistant depression. He will discuss the phenomenology of “treatment resistant” depression and will describe the trial design and show how ISTDP treatment works, using video clips from sessions. Finally, he will say whether the trial showed ISTDP was an effective treatment.

For more information download flyer.