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Psychological Development and Wellbeing







Psychological Development and Wellbeing concern the psychological state that every person feels and experiences during the different phases of the life cycle.

According to the definition given by the World Health Organization (1946) "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity".

However, Health and Wellbeing are dynamic states, always in need of continuous re-definition, and they can vary from person to person and in different times of life.

In any determined phave of life, external or internal situations can contribute to changes that one can find it difficult to cope with. 

This is the time to seek for help and to start promoting a change, before the current situation becomes too difficult and impacts on other aspects of life.

The role of a clinical psychologist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist is to assess the client's psychological experience in order to get to a broader understanding and eventually offer an appropriate treatment.

Enquiries about psychoanalysis are welcome for those interested in this form of treatment and are looking for a deeper approach to their recurrent struggles in life.


During the years the demand for an 'evidence-based practice' has became more relevant. 

"What Works for Whom? A Critical Review of Psychotherapy Research" (2 Ed.) by Anthony Roth & Peter Fonagy (2006) is an attempt to understand the relation between a client, his/her experience and the therapy that can be useful for that person in a particular period of life. However, research results cannot simply be applied to clinical practice, as they need to rely on the ability of the clinician in delivering a "therapeutic intervention tailored to the needs of the individual client".

Nowadays, there are a lot of studies with an effort to understand the effectiveness of different psychotherapies in changing people's life and well-being, called 'evidence based practice',

Two meta-analysis studies give evidence for the efficacy of psychodynamic and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, specifically in complex mental disorders, when compared to less intensive therapies:

The National Occupational Standards for Psychological Therapies underlie the key competences of the body of knowledge for psychoanalytic/psychodynamic psychotherapy.

A Case for Psychoanalysis: Exploring the Scientific Evidence by John Thor Cornelius (2014) underlie the effectiveness of psychoanalytic therapy, comparing it to antidepressant medications and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) by using existing scientific data.

An abstract of paper in the American Psychologist (Shedler, J., 2010) gives empirical evidence supports for "The efficacy of psychodynamic therapy"

In 2014 the American Journal of Psychiatry (171:34-43) has published the first study  on psychoanalytical psychotherapy with demonstrated efficacy for an Axis I disorder: Childhood Separation Anxiety and the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Adult Anxiety, by B. Milrod, J. C. Markowitz, A. J. Gerber, J. C. Cyranowski, M, Altemus, T. Shapiro, M. Hofer, C. Glatt.