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Publication Trends in Psychotherapy: Bibliometric Analysis of the Past 5 Decades.

  • Author(s): Soares, Erin E
  • Thrall, Jillian N
  • Stephens, Taylor N
  • Rodriguez Biglieri, Ricardo
  • Consoli, Andrés J
  • Bunge, Eduardo L
  • et al.

OBJECTIVE:Bibliometric analyses are commonly used to document publication trends over time; however, this methodology has not been used to investigate possible trends concerning publishing about psychotherapy brands. In this study, the authors sought to identify the publication trends of peer-reviewed articles about 30 psychotherapy brands. METHODS:Analyses were focused on the past 50 years and on each decade from 1970 to 2019. All searches were performed between October 2018 and January 2019 on the EbscoHost platform. Two databases were selected for the searches: PsycINFO and PubMed. RESULTS:In the 28,594 articles reviewed, most published articles concerned cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and five brands accounted for almost 78% of all publications: CBT, psychoanalysis, family systems therapy, behavioral therapy, and cognitive therapy. Three trends were identified across decades: five therapies consistently yielded the largest number of publications, the number of publications focused on therapies with less research support declined from the 1970s to the 1990s, and publications about therapies with more of a research basis increased in the 1990s through the 2010s. Publications on meditation and mindfulness presented the most salient growth area for all psychotherapies across the 5 decades. A few psychotherapy brands have dominated the publishing realm during the past 50 years and across each decade. CONCLUSIONS:Possible explanations for these publication trends were considered, including the emergence of the evidence-based therapy movement and various sociohistorical changes. Potential psychotherapy publications trends in the future are discussed.

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