Review of evidence for long term psychodynamic psychotherapy in the treatment of mood disorders

The Mood Disorders Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Evidence Review Steering Group (Steering Group), Chaired by Prof Bruce Singh AM, is continuing to work with the Anna Freud Centre (AFC) in the UK following their appointment by the College to conduct a review into the evidence for long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (LTPP) in the treatment of mood disorders. Recent progress includes:   

  • Terms of Reference have been updated to reflect the scope and timeframe for the project to extend it until May 2024.  
  • Protocols for the quantitative systematic review of literature for the evidence for LTPP, and for the qualitative systematic review of studies of experiential evidence in relation to LTPP from the perspective of consumers, carers, and professionals, have been submitted to the PROSPERO database. The reviews are now being conducted in line with these protocols. 
  • Ethics approval has been received in the UK and from an Australian Human Research Ethics Committee (St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne) to facilitate conducting of interviews with people with lived experience of LTPP, and clinicians delivering LTPP. Questions are being developed and work is being co-produced informed by lived experience. 
  • Two members from Aotearoa-New Zealand have been co-opted onto the Steering Group to ensure the project remains Bi-National. These members are advising on how perspectives of people from Aotearoa-New Zealand can be included and to progress ethics approval to enable participants from Aotearoa to be included in the interviews.   
  • A podcast about the work of the Steering Group, comprising an interview with Professor Peter Fonagy and AFC researchers, hosted by Professor Bruce Singh, to inform members about the scope of the project was recorded in February 2024. This is available here.   

The next stage is to commence conducting the interviews within Australia in line with the ethics approval. A further update will be provided once recruitment information is available. 

The final report of the review is anticipated to be completed by May 2024, but may be subject to delay in view of the complexities of seeking ethical approval across three different countries. Members will continue to be updated in this instance.   

Updates on the project will also continue to be provided via the Mood Disorders Hub.  

For further information please contact


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