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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (MSCP)

Committee Chair

Paula Truax


A meta-analysis was conducted in order to critically evaluate the comparative effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapy (PDP) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) in the treatment of adult Major Depressive Disorder. Although numerous studies exist that investigate these treatment techniques individually, no meta-analysis has been conducted which carefully compares the outcome effectiveness of each of these methodologies. Aside from investigating the general effectiveness of these methods, additional questions were considered in order to gain a better understanding of whether these treatment methods would be more effective in an individual or a group therapy setting. A total of fifteen studies were identified that used common diagnostic criteria and outcome measures of depression. Studies had to target MDD as the focal problem of treatment. Depression is a severe and chronic disorder, which affects moods, thinking, sleep, appetite, level of interest in activities, energy level, interpersonal relationships, and behavior. Due to a dramatic transformation of our society's approaches to organization and financing of mental health care, the suffering endured by people with depression, the lives lost to suicide, and the economic burden of depression on society, improved recognition, treatment and prevention of depression are critical public health priorities. Because of this, the goal of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of two forms of psychotherapy (PDP and IPT) that have been found to be effective in treating depression.