The Debate was the best attended of any Maudsley debate in our 12 year history. Unfortunately we had to turn away at least as many people as were able to attend, and we apologise to those who were not able to get in. This was testament to the excellent panel and also the fact that in these austere times, psychotherapy services around the country are being scaled back.
Our apologies to those who were unable to get in, however the good news is the podcast is now available.
The debate opened with a striking majority in favour of psychoanalysis with 251 pro the motion, 36 abstainers and 44 against.
Prof. Peter Fonagy reviewed the evidence base for psychotherapies, noting that psychodynamic therapies fared no worse than CBT. He emphasised the convergence of psychodynamic and neuroscientific accounts of development.
Opposing the motion, Prof. Paul Salkovskis likened psychoanalytic schools to cults, criticised the absence of a symptom-based approach and some of the theories underpinning psychoanalysis.
Prof. Alessandra Lemma drew on her experience in psychoanalysis and CBT to argue for an eclectic approach, but argued that psychoanalysis provides an unrivalled framework for understanding interactional processes.
Prof Lewis Wolpert shared his personal negative experience with psychoanalysis when suffering from severe depression, and described it as a pseudoscience with no evidence to back it up. He also accused his opponents of conflating psychodynamic therapies with psychoanalysis.
It closed with 260 in favour of the motion, 33 abstainers and 38 against.