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Treatment duration has been studied extensively over the years and recent efforts to make psychotherapy more efficient and cost effective have increased this focus.

Historically it has been argued the behavior therapy and its derivatives was superior to psychoanalytic therapy partly because of its reduced treatment time. Psychoanalysts responded by exploring brief therapy variants, modifying their psychoanalytic theory and techniques as they did so. As psychotherapy became more widely available, and the demand for it has grown, further work has been focused by the needs of managed care environments to reduce the costs. As a consequence attempts have been made to reduce the number of sessions and the length of sessions.

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