Research Center

The Psychotherapy Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital was formed in 1999 to study the process and outcome of psychotherapy empirically.

Psychotherapy Research Program (PRP)

The PRP is particularly interested in the identification of pan-theoretical mechanisms of change through the intensive study of psychotherapy process across a wide variety of therapeutic modalities and psychiatric disorders. The group is interested in investigating which forms of psychotherapy and which types of interventions work best for specific patient characteristics under specific circumstances.

Contact Us

Psychotherapy Research Program
Wang Ambulatory Center
55 Fruit St.
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: (617) 724-0806

Maps & directions

Research Summary

Members of the group are currently involved in a number of different projects, including:

  • a singe-case study of a long-term psychodynamic treatment of Major Depressive Disorder
  • a study of the effect of the psychoanalytic couch on therapeutic process
  • an investigation of the therapeutic process during psychopharmacological consultations
  • a study of the neural correlates of psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • a study of the efficacy of a new empathy training course for medical students and physicians
  • multiple studies of the placebo effect in the treatment of somatic disorders
  • editing the second edition of Handbook of Evidence-Based Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
PRP members are also involved in the organization and study of a psychotherapy research archive that has been inherited from Berkeley Psychotherapy Research Program. This archive includes audio- and video-tapes of over 50 treatments including long-term psychoanalyses and psychodynamic psychotherapies and short term psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral therapies. 

The PRP is staffed by psychologists and psychiatrists in the outpatient psychiatry department at MGH, and collaborates across clinical research programs within the department of psychiatry. The PRP is currently hosting international research associates interested in psychotherapy process and psychoanalytic research, and will continue to welcome international students and visiting scholars.


Learn more

Meet Our Staff
Members of the group are currently involved in a number of different projects as well as the organization and study of a psychotherapy research archive
Current Research
Our ongoing studies currently include research into psychodynamic psychotherapy and the placebo effect on a variety of disorders