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What does research show about the effectiveness of psychotherapy?

Research suggests that therapy effectively decreases patients' depression and anxiety and related symptoms - such as pain, fatigue and nausea. Psychotherapy has also been found to increase survival time for heart surgery and cancer patients, and it can have a positive effect on the body's immune system.

Research increasingly supports the idea that emotional and physical health are very closely linked and that therapy can improve a person's overall health status.
There is convincing evidence that most people who have at least several sessions of psychotherapy are far better off than untreated individuals with emotional difficulties. Psychotherapy with children is similar in effectiveness to psychotherapy with adults and is best when supported by the child’s parents or carers (they may even be invited to attend with their child or children).
 
Dr Laydon-Walters is a member of the BPS
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