Ellen Driessen

Ellen Driessen
Radboud University | RU · Behavioural Science Institute

PhD

About

42
Publications
25,155
Reads
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2,336
Citations
Citations since 2016
20 Research Items
1665 Citations
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Introduction
Ellen Driessen's professional goal is to improve care for depressed people by means of high-quality research that goes beyond the efficacy of treatments to “what works for whom”. Being both a Radboud Behavioral Science Institute researcher and a licensed mental health care psychologist at Pro Persona's Depression Expertise Center, Ellen Driessen is ideally positioned to bridge the gap between science and practice. That is what she strives to do in her academic work.
Additional affiliations
December 2017 - August 2019
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
June 2013 - November 2017
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • PostDoc Position
July 2006 - May 2013
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
April 2011 - March 2015
RINO
Field of study
  • Clinical Psychology
July 2006 - May 2015
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Field of study
  • Clinical Psychology
September 2000 - August 2005
University of Amsterdam
Field of study
  • Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology (cum laude)

Publications

Publications (42)
Article
Full-text available
Background Cognitive therapy and behavioural activation are both widely applied and effective psychotherapies for depression, but it is unclear which works best for whom. Individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis allows for examining moderators at the participant level and can provide more precise effect estimates than conventional meta-analy...
Article
Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (STPP) is an empirically supported treatment for depression that is frequently applied in clinical practice. However, it remains largely unclear which patients can benefit specifically from STPP for depression, because studies often have small sample sizes and, therefore, lack statistical power to examine pati...
Article
Full-text available
Background Antidepressant medication and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are both recommended interventions in depression treatment guidelines based on literature reviews and meta-analyses. However, ‘conventional’ meta-analyses comparing their efficacy are limited by their reliance on reported study-level information and a narrow focus on depress...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The therapeutic alliance is considered an important causal agent of psychotherapy efficacy. However, studies in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression have suggested that alliance might be more of a consequence rather than a cause of depressive symptom change, while adherence to CBT specific techniques was found to be associa...
Article
Purpose We examined the efficacy of adding short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (STPP) to antidepressants in the treatment of depression by means of a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data, which is currently considered the most reliable method for evidence synthesis. Results A thorough systematic literature search r...
Article
Full-text available
Background Time-limited psychotherapy for depression is effective. However, comorbid personality disorders affect therapy outcomes negatively. Studies of follow-up effects and results relating to the influence of comorbid personality disorder and treatment modality are scarce. Aims To determine the influence of comorbid personality disorder and tr...
Article
In cognitive behavioral therapy for depression, the first sessions play a crucial role in determining treatment outcome. In the first sessions, the therapist needs to form an alliance to facilitate application of the techniques; agree with the patient on problem definition, problem solution, and goals; explain the rationale; and create confidence i...
Article
Objective: We use a new variable selection procedure for treatment selection which generates treatment recommendations based on pre-treatment characteristics for adults with mild-to-moderate depression deciding between cognitive behavioral (CBT) versus psychodynamic therapy (PDT). Method: Data are drawn from a randomized comparison of CBT versus PD...
Article
Equivalence and non-inferiority testing in psychotherapy research - Falk Leichsenring, Allan Abbass, Ellen Driessen, Mark Hilsenroth, Patrick Luyten, Sven Rabung, Christiane Steinert
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (STPP) is an empirically supported treatment that is often used to treat depression. However, it is largely unclear if certain subgroups of depressed patients can benefit specifically from this treatment method. We describe the protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual parti...
Preprint
Objective: Treatment selection could improve outcomes by helping individuals select their optimal intervention. We refine the Personalized Advantage Index approach to generate individual treatment recommendations based on pre-treatment characteristics for adults with depression deciding between cognitive behavioral (CBT) versus psychodynamic therap...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Humanitarian aid workers are likely to be exposed or witness complex emergencies. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most widespread and most commonly studied mental health problems after exposure to adversities and trauma. However, face-to-face treatment has limited utilization in the resource-constrained settings where...
Article
Objective: In a randomized clinical trial, we compared the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy for adult outpatient depression on measures of psychopathology, interpersonal functioning, pain, and quality of life. Method: There were 341 Dutch adults (70.1% female, mean age = 38.9, SD = 10.3) meetingDiagnostic...
Article
Full-text available
Prior studies have suggested that the association between the alliance and depression improvement varies as a function of prior history of depression. We sought to replicate these findings and extend them to short-term psychodynamic supportive psychotherapy (SPSP) in a sample of patients who were randomized to one of these treatments and were admin...
Article
Background: Barber and Muenz (1996) reported that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) was more effective than interpersonal therapy (IPT) for depressed patients with elevated levels of avoidant personality disorder, while IPT was more effective than CBT in patients with elevated levels of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. These findings may...
Article
Background: Minimal efficacy differences have been found between cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapies for depression, but little is known about patient characteristics that might moderate differential treatment effects. We aimed to generate hypotheses regarding such potential prescriptive factors. Method: We conducted p...
Article
Full-text available
Background The efficacy of antidepressant medication has been shown empirically to be overestimated due to publication bias, but this has only been inferred statistically with regard to psychological treatment for depression. We assessed directly the extent of study publication bias in trials examining the efficacy of psychological treatment for de...
Article
Background: Psychological treatments for depression have been shown to be effective, but there is room for improvement. Aim: To summarise new research findings concerning the efficacy of psychological treatments for depression, as reported in a recent dissertation. Method: Four systematic reviews and meta-analyses and one randomised clinical t...
Article
Background: Since the mid-1970s, short-term psychodynamic psychotherapies (STPP) for a broad range of psychological and somatic disorders have been developed and studied. Early published meta-analyses of STPP, using different methods and samples, have yielded conflicting results, although some meta-analyses have consistently supported an empirical...
Article
Psychodynamic therapy (PT) for depression is the least examined treatment method for depression, compared to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy. This article, consisting of five randomized clinical trials of short psychodynamic supportive psychotherapy (SPSP) conducted over the last 25 years in Amsterdam, will review the t...
Article
CME EducationaL Objectives 1. Review the outcome evidence of prior meta-analytic reviews of intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy (ISTDP). 2. Provide an additional meta-analysis of ISTDP for the treatment of personality and somatic disorders. 3. Suggest areas for future study in the use of psychodynamic psychotherapy for personality and somati...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The efficacy of psychodynamic therapies for depression remains open to debate because of a paucity of high-quality studies. The authors compared the efficacy of psychodynamic therapy with that of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), hypothesizing nonsignificant differences and the noninferiority of psychodynamic therapy relative to CBT....
Article
Based on over forty years of videotaped case-based research, Habib Davanloo of McGill University, Canada, discovered some of the core ingredients that can enable direct and rapid access to the unconscious in resistant3 patients, patients with func-tional disorders, and patients with fragile character structure. We will describe here some of the mai...
Article
Based on over forty years of videotaped case-based research, Habib Davanloo of McGill University, Canada, discovered some of the core ingredients that can enable direct and rapid access to the unconscious in resistant3 patients, patients with functional disorders, and patients with fragile character structure. We will describe here some of the main...
Article
The aim of this research was to examine the extent to which the use of research-specific procedures in psychodynamic psychotherapy impacts upon treatment effectiveness and which variables moderate this potential relationship. Effects of audio/video recording of sessions, use of treatment manuals, and checks of treatment fidelity were examined. A me...
Chapter
In this chapter, we review 10 evidence-based psychotherapies for depression in adults, which have been examined in two independent randomized controlled trials. These therapies are: cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), behavioral activation treatment (BAT), self-control therapy, problem-solving therapy, social skills training, interpersonal psychother...
Article
Habib Davanloo has spent his career developing and teaching methods to accelerate dynamic psychotherapy, including his technique of intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy (ISTDP). Over the past 20 years, outcome studies using this treatment have been conducted and published. We performed a systematic review of the literature to obtain studies p...
Article
The presence of comorbid personality disorder (PD) is one of the factors that can make the treatment of depression unsuccessful. Short-term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (STPP) has been shown efficacious in the treatment of personality and depressive disorders (DD). However, the efficacy of STPP for comorbid DD and PD has not been systematically eval...
Article
Full-text available
It is widely believed that psychological treatment has little effect on more severely depressed patients. This study assessed whether pretreatment severity moderates psychological treatment outcome relative to controls by means of meta-analyses. We included 132 studies (10,134 participants) from a database of studies (www.evidencebasedpsychotherapi...
Article
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is efficacious in the acute treatment of depression and may provide a viable alternative to antidepressant medication (ADM) for even more severely depressed unipolar patients when implemented in a competent fashion. CBT also may be of use as an adjunct to medication treatment of bipolar patients, although there ha...
Article
It remains largely unclear, firstly whether short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (STPP) is an effective treatment for depression, and secondly, which study, participant, or intervention characteristics may moderate treatment effects. The purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy of STPP for depression and to identify treatment moderators. A...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has shown that Short Psychodynamic Supportive Psychotherapy (SPSP) is an effective alternative to pharmacotherapy and combined treatment (SPSP and pharmacotherapy) in the treatment of depressed outpatients. The question remains, however, how Short Psychodynamic Supportive Psychotherapy compares with other established psychotherapy...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
This large international research project aims at developing a tool to help select the optimal treatment for people with depression based on their personal characteristics. To do so, individual participant data will be brought together from randomized clinical trials worldwide covering five of the most efficacious and widely used depression treatments (antidepressant medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, behavioral activation, and psychodynamic therapy).
Project
The aim of this project is to examine which patients benefit specifically from short-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy (STPP) for depression when compared to other patients (prognostic factors or predictors), and which patients benefit specifically from STPP when compared to other treatments (prescriptive factors or moderators). The goal of the proposed project is to collect the primary data of 63 studies examining the efficacy of STPP for depression that were identified by a thorough literature search for a recent ‘conventional’ meta-analysis (Driessen et al., 2015), and to combine these datasets in order to conduct ‘individual patient data (IPD)’ meta-analyses.